July 11, 2020

Report on Colorado Flooding and Water Safety

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has released more information about water safety and quality after severe flooding last month. Sampling shows no evidence of pollutants from oil and gas spills in rivers and streams affected by the flooding.

The department collected samples at 29 sites in eight different rivers. They showed high levels of E. coli in some areas of the South Platte Basin. The highest concentrations were found in Boulder Creek and Big Thompson River watersheds.


The presence of E. coli indicates that human and animal bacteria from untreated sewage is in the water in those areas. Thankfully, outbreaks of communicable diseases or E. coli illnesses have not been reported. Five public drinking water systems are still on no boil and/or bottled water advisories, including Jamestown, Lyons, Mountain Meadow Water Supply, Lower Narrows Campground and Sylvan Dale Ranch.

The government is also testing for metals that could have been released into the water form mining areas. That analysis is ongoing and results have not yet been released. Public health officials are continuing to sample the water to determine changes in pollution and bacteria levels.

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