Index: Environment / Subcategory: Quality of Environment

Public Drinking Water Quality

Date updated: 06/19/2013

Drinking water quality is determined by the level of contaminants found in public water systems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the Safe Drinking Water Act, has established contaminant level standards for 90 chemical, microbiological, radiological, and physical contaminants in public drinking water. Public water systems systematically sample and test drinking water and provide those results to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). CDPHE then aggregates and reports those data to the EPA. Any health violations (not meeting EPA standards) or monitoring violations (failure to comply with testing procedures) are made available to the public through the EPA's Envirofacts database.

A community water system is defined as a facility that provides drinking water to the same population year-round (as opposed to a campground water system, which may supply water to a changing population for only part of the year). The data below concern only medium to very large (serving 4,000+ residents) community water systems. Information on water quality in smaller water systems can be found in the Envirofacts database, which contains data on all public water systems in Larimer County and the United States, including those serving campgrounds.

Larimer County's large water systems are owned either by towns and cities, or by water districts. Water districts are independent (proprietary or semi-governmental) entities that provide water to County residents who live outside the bounds of city and town water systems.

What this chart shows: Total Health and Monitoring Violations in Medium to Very Large (4,000+ Residents) Larimer County Community Water Systems, 2003-2012

Data Source: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Envirofacts Data Warehouse

See data table

What the above data tell us:

The water quality in medium to very large Larimer County water systems is generally good. The Town of Berthoud had the most monitoring/ reporting violations (35) between 2003 and 2012. There were five water systems that had health violations during this time period: Berthoud, East Larimer County Water District, Fort Collins-Loveland Water District, Little Thompson Water District and West Fort Collins Water District.

Smaller water systems are generally more likely to have health and/or monitoring violations. For information on water quality in Larimer County's smaller water systems, see the EPA's Envirofacts database.

Additional Information:

Ownership of Medium to Very Large Larimer County Water Systems

Water system facilities in Colorado may be owned by individuals, cities, or other entities. The large water systems in Larimer County are owned either by towns, or by independent water districts. Water systems owners are responsible for meeting quality and monitoring requirements enforced by the EPA. The ownership of the water systems shown on this page is as follows:

A map [pdf] of the water districts above outlines their boundaries.

Related Information on COMPASS:

Other Resources:

Industry Standards or Targets:

For a table of currently regulated contaminants, their potential health effects, and their sources, read the National Primary Drinking Water Standards on the EPA website.

Data Tables:

Population Served, and Health and Monitoring Violations for Medium to Very Large (4,000+ Residents) Larimer County Community Water Systems, 2003-2012

Community Water System

Population Served

Water Source Type

Health Violations Since 2003

Reporting/ Monitoring Violations Since 2003

Violation Years

Violation Type(s)

Contaminant(s)

Berthoud

4,919

Surface water

1

35

2005 2010

MCL*, Monthly (TCR), Monitoring and Reporting Stage 1

See EPA Website

CSU Housing Campuses

20,607

Purchased surface water

0

4

2009

2011

2012

Monitoring and Reporting

Coliform;

Chlorine;

Lead & Copper Rule

East Larimer County Water District

16,974

Purchased surface water

1

2

2011

MCL*, Monthly (TCR),

Monitoring and Reporting

Coliform;

Chlorine

Estes Park

16,022

Surface water

0

2

2006

2007

Monitoring, Regular

Fluoride;

Carbon, Total-Organic

Fort Collins-

Loveland Water District

39,547

Purchased surface water

1

0

2008

MCL*, Acute (TCR)

Coliform

Fort Collins

125,500

Surface water

0

4

2006

2010

Monitoring and Reporting Stage 1

Chlorite; Chlorine; Dioxide;

Lead & Copper Rule

Little

Thompson

20,001

Purchased surface water

1

0

2005

MCL*, Monthly (TCR)

Coliform

Loveland

61,871

Surface water

0

4

2003

2006

Monitoring and Reporting Stage 1

Carbon, Total-Organic; Chlorite; Chlorine dioxide

Northern Colorado Water Association

4,550

Ground water

0

33

2005

Monitoring, Routine (Minor)

See EPA website

Wellington

6,250

Surface water

0

2

2004 2006

Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling; Treatment Technique Precursor Removal

Lead & Copper Rule; Carbon, Total-Organic

West Fort Collins Water District

4,000

Purchased surface water

3

0

2006

2009

2012

MCL*, Monthly (TCR); Monitoring, Routine Major (TCR)

Coliform

* Maximum Contaminant Level

See chart