Nitrates in water bring bottled water advisories

MEEKER I Residents of the Love subdivision, west of Meeker, are advised to use bottled water for drinking and cooking until a nitrate problem is resolved.
High levels of nitrates in the water were recently discovered, leading to the recommendation residents use bottled water for drinking and cooking.
“We’re going to have to use bottled water until we determine exactly what is going on,” said Ginny Love, who, along with her husband, Sam, developed the subdivision. “We still don’t know what the cause is and why it (the nitrate level) would skyrocket. That’s something we don’t know.”
Ginny Love said the bottled water notice was circulated to the dozen residents of the subdivision Monday.
“Because we haven’t been able to figure out what’s going on, everybody it’s suggested, at this point, do the bottled water,” Ginny Love said. “They can use (the regular water) for everything else, except for drinking and food. Then it’s suggested they use bottled water.
“The original notice was for pregnant women and children under 6 months (to drink bottled water),” Love added. “From what I understand, it is safe to drink; however, for the period of time this is taking and may take to either find the source or to correct it by the nitrate system, we all feel it would be best to use bottled water for everyone.”
The high nitrate level was discovered only recently.
“It’s been within just like the last two weeks,” Ginny Love said. “We have to keep monitoring all the time, once a week, sometimes twice a week, just to see what it’s doing. We thought it was a fluke at first, then we tested again, and it was still there, so we notified the state. (High nitrate) levels show up more in the fall, from what I understand. It evidently is not uncommon, especially in rural areas.”
The Loves are working with a company called Treatment Technology of Evergreen, as well as Rio Blanco County and the state, to identify and fix the nitrate problem.
Benson Smith, an operator with Treatment Technology, said, “There are a lot of things that (can cause high nitrate levels). It’s hard to say. We continue to investigate and see where the nitrates are coming in. The investigation entails a lot of different things, certainly getting with the state and county to see if they know of anything going on.”
Added Ginny Love, “What we’re looking at is (installing) a nitrate processing unit … a system built specifically for this. You have to add it to the water system. It processes and monitors and adjusts the water.”
Ginny Love was optimistic the situation would be resolved soon.
“We’re all working together on this to get something in place as quick as we can,” she said.