In areas where rivers are prominent, such as in Redstone, water treatment is especially important. Fluctuation in the water quality of rivers and streams can affect the water quality of our groundwater sources. Unregulated industrialization and poor sanitation practices can negatively impact ground and surface water quality by introducing impurities and pathogens. Old coal mining operations also have long-term consequences for local water quality.
Redstone, a less populated and more rural area, has fewer potential sources of contamination than other areas of the Roaring Fork Valley. In this part of the 81623, the major sources of contamination come from forestry and forest ecology, residential pollution, and road runoff. Contaminants might be most likely to include dirt and sediment, pesticides or herbicides, nitrogen- or phosphorus-based fertilizers, some toxic metals including copper, lead, and zinc, as well as E. Coli or Coliform bacteria.
Most homes in Redstone will use private or community wells. Some residents have spring water, typically monitored by HOAs. Redstone also has a small municipal water treatment plant. These water supplies come from Plank Spring (a groundwater source) and East Creek (a surface water source).
Both community wells and the municipal water supplies are treated with chlorine to kill bacteria, so residents with this water will expect chlorine residual and chlorine byproducts in their water. When chlorine injection is not properly monitored, it often exceeds national maximum limits. Long-term exposure to chlorine byproducts can irritate skin, eyes, hair, and teeth; numerous studies have also linked chlorine residuals to reactive airway disfunction and some cases of cancer. Luckily, there is an easy solution to removing the chlorine from the water in your home. Aspen WaterWise has multiple carbon-based treatment options that successfully strip chlorine and its byproducts. We recommend getting your water tested if you have any concerns about chlorine in your water.
This article by Colorado State University describes in detail how certain natural and human processes can affect our water resources. While these processes can increase the health-concerning contaminants in our supplies, there are also a number of minerals that can be classified as a “nuisance” in the home or workplace. Of course, calcium and magnesium cause frustrating hard water buildup, which can decrease the lifespan of common household appliances.
Generally, Colorado has hard water because of its rich subterranean mineral content. Water throughout Colorado is considered moderately hard to very hard. The levels of hardness can sometimes vary with the seasons; water can be slightly harder in the winter when cold temperatures freeze water supplies, allowing water to absorb more minerals. Systems that rely on groundwater (like most of the systems in Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin counties) have greater hardness than systems that rely on surface water (like much of the Front Range) because minerals will dissolve into the supply as the water moves through soil and rocks. 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.
Contaminants we detect in every Redstone water analysis include copper, lithium, silica, strontium, uranium, zinc, and sulfate. These contaminants can cause staining, scratching, foul tastes or smells, and potential heavy metal toxicity. We’ve also detected nitrate at very high levels in this area. Constant exposure to high levels of nitrates can negatively affect how oxygen is transported through the body, and could have life-threatening consequences. Levels of these metals and contaminants can fluctuate over the years, so annual water testing is advised. Contact Aspen WaterWise today to learn more about our water testing options.
A detailed water quality report for Redstone’s treated water in 2021 can be found here. More information about contaminants and their potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791) or by visiting their website.