Town of Hugo told not to drink water after pot chemicals found

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HUGO, Colo. (KKTV) An entire town in eastern Colorado is being told to not drink its water after it was found contaminated with THC — the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Law enforcement stand in front of a Hugo well after it tests positive for THC.

Hugo is located about 90 minutes northeast of Colorado Springs.

Investigators say they believe someone broke into the well, although officials are unsure how much THC is in the water.

Other wells in town are OK, but since the well in question mixes with all the town's water, it feeds into all 720 people that live there.

The FBI, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office are investigating.

Bottled water is en route to the people that call Hugo home and will be available soon, the sheriff's office said late Thursday.

Authorities originally urged residents not to bathe or shower in the water, but later walked back on that after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment gave the OK.

"Be calm, we've got it under control," said Hugo Mayor Tom Lee. "There'll be bottled water coming. You can bathe in it if you want, just don't drink it for now. We feel like within 48 hours we'll have this flushed out of the system."

As of now, officials say no one has gone to the emergency room showing signs or symptoms of THC.

"We've purchased a bunch of bottled water and we're going to just continue doing that until we find clarification that the water's good to go...we've got family members about 20 miles out, or even further; if we need to we'll travel to their houses to do laundry and bathe and so forth," said Jessie Kirby of Hugo.

We talked to other residents in town who tell us they are surprised, to say the least.

"Normally we have good water. I've been drinking it since 1948, everyday. As a matter of fact, I drank some about 2 o'clock today so maybe if my eyes look a little funny or something, haha," Maye Gene Lee joked.

"There's always somebody out to get their kicks," she added.

The town was tipped off to the situation after a company that drug tests employees was doing a demonstration and randomly used water to show how the test works in general. You can imagine their surprise when the test came back positive.

"It's hard to fathom, but you also know all the things you hear going on in the United States are hard to figure out too so....but we'll figure it out," Mayor Lee added.

Late Thursday, the sheriff's office tweeted if you cannot pick up water in the morning, call 719-743-2485 and it will be arranged to be delivered at Town Hall on 522 2nd Ave. in Hugo.


"Be calm, we've got it under control," said Hugo Mayor Tom Lee. "There'll be bottled water coming. You can bathe in it if you want, just don't drink it for now. We feel like within 48 hours we'll have this flushed out of the system."

As of now, officials say no one has gone to the emergency room showing signs or symptoms of THC.

"We've purchased a bunch of bottled water and we're going to just continue doing that until we find clarification that the water's good to go...we've got family members about 20 miles out, or even further; if we need to we'll travel to their houses to do laundry and bathe and so forth," said Jessie Kirby of Hugo.

We talked to other residents in town who tell us they are surprised, to say the least.

"Normally we have good water. I've been drinking it since 1948, everyday. As a matter of fact, I drank some about 2 o'clock today so maybe if my eyes look a little funny or something, haha," Maye Gene Lee joked.

"There's always somebody out to get their kicks," she added.

The town was tipped off to the situation after a company that drug tests employees was doing a demonstration and randomly used water to show how the test works in general. You can imagine their surprise when the test came back positive.

"It's hard to fathom, but you also know all the things you hear going on in the United States are hard to figure out too so....but we'll figure it out," Mayor Lee added.

Late Thursday, the sheriff's office tweeted if you cannot pick up water in the morning, call 719-743-2485 and it will be arranged to be delivered at Town Hall on 522 2nd Ave. in Hugo.

The Health Department has tested the water and is expected to release the results of the test Friday afternoon.