New Castle residents typically source their water from private wells, community wells, or municipal water. While contaminants can vary between each water source, one thing is always the same: New Castle has very hard water. With an average of 18 grains per gallon of hard minerals, this water ranks very hard to extremely hard. Of course, these hard minerals cause frustrating hard water buildup, which can decrease the lifespan of common household appliances and affect the quality of other items such as clothing and kitchenware. Contact Aspen WaterWise to discover how these minerals can impact your daily life, and to learn ways to monitor and control which minerals you allow into your family’s household or your company’s workplace.
New Castle’s municipal water comes from the Colorado River and East Elk Creek, both surface water supplies. East Elk Creek is the primary source, since the associated transportation and treatment costs are higher with the Colorado River intake. Other unincorporated communities, such as Talbott Enterprises, pull water from shallow wells. Potential sources of contamination include existing and abandoned mining operations, agricultural and livestock practices, forestry, septic system leakage, transportation, and wildfires. All the water under the municipality’s protection is chlorinated.
Private wells are not regulated by municipalities, as they are not protected under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This means that the minerals and contaminants that compromise your well are unknown until it’s tested – and like municipalities, your water should be tested regularly. Aspen WaterWise is here to help make sure your water is safe for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
New Castle has a history of coal mining and railroad operations that have long-lasting effects on our water supplies. Sources note that there are at least 25 coal fires burning near the town, most of which are confined underground but have potential to cause harm or pollute waterways.
Aspen WaterWise has detected toxic and carcinogenic contaminants around New Castle that are not noticeable by taste or smell alone. One contaminant we’ve detected at levels two times higher than the national standards is dichloromethane, and it’s likely in the water because of the old coal mining operations. This flammable substance is a serious health hazard, as it reacts vigorously with active metals such as lithium, sodium, and potassium – all of which naturally occur in New Castle water. It can corrode iron, stainless steel, copper, and nickel, which many of our fixtures and appliances are made from. Dichloromethane is irritating to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. It can negatively affect the nervous system and can have adverse effects on our body’s major organs. It is absorbed through inhalation, ingestion, and through the skin, so whole-home water treatment systems are extremely important to ensure no contaminants are found in drinking, bathing or cooking water.
Primary present-day industries are hunting, fishing, and agriculture. These activities contribute heavily to our area’s fluctuating water quality. Bacteria levels can change with animal activity and snow melt, so coliform and E. Coli testing is advised annually. Residents might notice increases of nitrates throughout the year, especially near farming or livestock operations because of fertilizer applications and animal waste. Luckily, Aspen WaterWise has solutions for all your water-related issues.
A copy of New Castle’s 2022 Drinking Water Consumer Confidence report can be found here. Contact Aspen WaterWise to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.