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Health Department

Drinking Water

Protecting drinking water involves protecting water sources from contamination and appropriately treating water to remove contaminants and germs.

Drinking Water Standards

All public water providers must meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. These standards and treatment techniques prevent illness from contaminants in drinking water.

Secondary Drinking Water Standards are guidelines to manage drinking water taste, color and odor. They are not mandatory and not enforced since contaminants addressed in these standards do not pose a health risk.

Lead in Water

The Denver Water Lead Reduction Program identifies lead service lines and provides education and outreach. A small area of Douglas County falls within the service area of this program. Check your eligibility for the Lead Reduction Program.

Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)

PFCs are a group of human-made chemicals used to make coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. PFCs have been discovered in groundwater in certain areas of Colorado including the Commerce City area. Learn more about PFCs from the CDC.

PFAS

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are long-lasting chemicals that break down very slowly over time. Exposure to levels of PFAS above health guidelines has been linked to health problems including cancer, decreased fertility, lower birth weight, developmental delays in children, and reduced immune response.  Some PFAS persist in the environment for a long time, and people can be exposed to these chemicals through air, food and food packaging, drinking water, consumer products, and household dust. Learn more about PFAS from the EPA and the CDPHE.

If you are on a public water system, you may be able to view your water system’s PFAS test results from CDPHE. If you do not see your system listed, you can call your system administrator to request test results or to request testing.

On June 15, 2022, the EPA released updated PFOA and PFOS Health Advisories.

Water Hardness

Water hardness is determined by the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water. Hard water contains high levels of these dissolved minerals, which enter the groundwater naturally through contact with soil. Since Colorado’s groundwater supplies are naturally high in calcium and magnesium, groundwater is typically hard.

Calcium and magnesium are essential to human health. High levels are not harmful to health, although they may leave mineral deposits on dishes and faucets. Learn more from USGS.

Lead in Drinking Water

Lead is a naturally occurring metal in the air, soil, and water that can be found throughout our environment. It has been used in products such as paint, pipes, gasoline, batteries, and cosmetics. It can enter drinking water through pipes, faucets, and fittings.

Lead can enter the body through the consumption or inhalation of paint, dust, soil, or drinking water. There is no safe level of lead in drinking water. Lead can accumulate in humans, resulting in multiple health effects, and is particularly dangerous for children. If you are concerned about lead exposure, speak to your health care provider to check your child’s blood lead level.

For more information visit Poisonous and Toxic Materials.