Well Water Testing
Private wells supply water to many households in the county. Sampling for safety and health of this water falls solely on the home owner or tenants shoulders. Your well could be adversely affected by the geologic formations in the county that yield acidic water, and water containing excessive levels of constituents such as fluoride, copper, radionuclides, or arsenic. It could also be impacted by fire, power outages, equipment failure from fire damage, or contamination from sewer systems due to loss of water pressure in water distribution systems. Be prepared, and have plenty of bottled water available for drinking and cooking. It is important to have your well tested on an annual basis.
Why should I test my well water?
- While most private wells provide a clean, safe supply of water, contaminants can pollute private wells. Because you can't see, smell or taste most contaminants, you should test your water on a regular basis. The types of land uses near your well determine which tests you need to have performed on your water supply. The test results allow you to properly address the specific problems of a water supply.
When should I test my well water?
- A coliform test should be performed annually
- If there’s farming or livestock ranching nearby, nitrates can be found in areas where fertilizers have been applied or livestock waste is found.
- If children are drinking the water on a regular basis, fluoride levels should be between 1 and 2 milligrams per liter (mg/l). Fluoride levels of less than 1 mg/l may prevent the proper development of teeth, and supplements may be needed. Fluoride levels greater than 4 mg/l can lead to a pitting and staining of the teeth caused by fluorosis.
- If the bathroom fixtures are stained by the water, check for the following metals:
- Blue or green stains indicate the presence of copper.
- Red or rust-colored stains indicate iron is present.
- Black stains indicate the presence of manganese or zinc.
- Uranium is naturally occurring in granite formations, which are found throughout Colorado, especially in the foothills. It can be found dissolved in the water of wells in these areas.
How do I test my well?
Please contact Grand County Environmental Health who can facilitate assisting with getting your well water tested. Grand County Public Health offices have the sample bottles for testing for coliform bacteria and nitrates. If you are interested in other tests they can help order the correct sample bottles from CDPHE (free of charge).
Well Permitting and Augmentation Plans
Permits for wells in Grand County are obtained through the Colorado Department of Natural Resources in Denver. For more information review the Beginner's Guide to Well Permits or visit the DNR's website.
For more information on augmentation plans review the Beginner's Guide to Augmentation Plans for Wells.
Grand County Water Commissioners
- East Grand (includes Hot Sulphur Springs), contact Sue Avre at (970) 531-2696
- West Grand, contact Tim Ritschard at (970) 319-5291
- Lead Water Commissioner: Neal Misbach (970) 531-1159
A lender may require that a well be inspected for the purposes of real estate transaction. These inspections include testing of the water for coliform bacteria and nitrates as well as a visual inspection of the well head and surrounding area.
For more information on private wells check out the following links: