Study finds cancer-causing chemicals in Mesa County water

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)-- The non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested more than 60,000 samples of drinking water across America. Their study finds Mesa County water may be unhealthier than previously thought.

The study shows a cancer-causing chemical, Chromium-6, was found in a majority of samples of Mesa County water.

“It's really worrying, considering especially the little kids, you want to get them to drink water all the time, stay hydrated and its seems like If you drink more it will be worse for you, all things considered,” said one local mom, Cassidy Palmer.

"Everybody has the right to clean water, it’s kind of a basic necessity you have to have it,” said Palmer.

Others said it’s a luxury, especially after traveling abroad.

“Coming back to the U.S. and knowing that your drinking water is safe, that you can get free water out of the drinking fountain, and feel good about it because it's healthy,” said traveler Krystal Trejo. “If that changed and we didn’t trust the water it would be a big change for our lifestyles.

Managers at Ute water -- which serves about 85,000 customers in the Grand Valley – said the drinking water is absolutely safe.

"Any municipality or domestic water has to follow very stringent restriction form both national and state organizations," said Joseph Burtard, External Affairs Manager for the Ute Water Conservatory District. "So each year we send our test result out to those agencies, and we are held accountable for those results."

Burtard said results came back negative.

“The past three consecutive tests that we've done, show zero detection of Chromium in our source water, we are really fortunate that we get our raw water from the grand mesa because we are the first users of that water,” said Burtard.

“I’ll opt toward bottle water instead of tap water, other than that, I probably wouldn't make a huge efforts to change things, everything we do has potentially damaging effects,” said Trejo.

Burtard explained that switching to bottle water, won’t necessarily solve the issue because most bottled water comes from other municipalities across the nation.

According to the EWG, Montrose County water tested negative for any levels of Chromium-6, unlike multiple counties on the Front Range.

If you want to know how more about the quality of your drinking water, Ute water encourages customers to contact them or see the report linked on the right side of this screen.

If you’d like to see the full EWG and compare other counties tested, click on the full report also on the right of this screen.

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