Jefferson County, Colo. — Do you know where your water comes from before it leaves the water, showerhead or hose? There’s a good chance that it comes from the ground beneath your feet. One-third of the water supply for all U.S. municipalities comes from groundwater, and in Jefferson County, many residents get their water from groundwater wells. This Groundwater Awareness Week (March 8-14, 2020), Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is encouraging residents who rely on well water to learn ways to keep their families safe and healthy.
Though it doesn’t always feel like it during the cold, snowy winters, Colorado’s climate is a relatively dry one, with limited water resources. When it rains or snows, the precipitation replenishes the groundwater supply, but it’s not a one-to-one match. Less than one inch of the annual average 15 inches of precipitation goes back into the groundwater system, for a variety of reasons, including the nature of our mountain geology, the actual water content of snow, evaporation, what is absorbed by vegetation among many other factors.
Because our groundwater supply is limited, it’s important to protect it from contamination from chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides, as well as from onsite wastewater treatment, or septic, systems. There are also many ways we can all use less water to conserve what we have.
In addition, to help residents take steps to learn and improve the quality of their water, JCPH is offering a free private well water quality test (while supplies last) to Jeffco residents — just contact Audra DeVault at [email protected] or Roy Laws at [email protected] or 303-271-5734.
“Coloradans know never to take water for granted. We can’t control how much water we’ll be adding to our system in any given year, but we can do our best to protect what we have,” said Jim Rada, Director of Environmental Health Services at JCPH. “By regularly testing your well water, you can do your part to ensure our community’s water supply — and your family’s drinking supply — is safe.”
To learn more about groundwater and well water systems, please visit our website at https://www.jeffco.us/2401/Well-Water-Systems.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.