Contamination of well water in Boulder big concern for residents

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BOULDER, Colo. --A new concern many residents and health officials have in Boulder is contamination of well water following the floods. Their concerns are well-founded.

“This whole section was under water to the street, and the street was like a river,” said Will Rios who walks his property every day. He squishes around it anxiously starting at his water well.

“You could smell all of the stuff that came out of the septic tanks. We knew right away our well was shot,” he said.

While his dogs feast on just about anything, his family must be much more careful.

“We can't use the shower because if you get it in your mouth you get sick.”

Thirty feet down, Rios' well is one of thousands in Boulder County that may be contaminated. When the rushing water flowed onto his property, the sewage came with it.

“We became concerned right out after the first rain,” Rios said.

The Boulder County Health Department sampled 127 wells finding alarming but expected results.  Sixty-seven percent of the wells failed, testing positive for coliform which can be a measure of contamination. Over half tested positive for E. coli.

Officials advise to have the well professionally pumped and then tested.

The state of Colorado has put more information on their website. Fox31 Denver spoke with one well decontamination company that said they are running about a week's waiting time and the average cost is about $300.

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