Drugs Found In Tap Water

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email

Forty-one-million Americans in twenty-four major metropolitan areas are drinking water with traces of drugs in it. That's according to an Associated Press investigation. What about Southern Colorado's water?

The water in Southern Colorado was not tested according to the AP but antibiotics were said to be found in Denver's tap water, according to the AP.

Just to be sure, 11 News spoke with Colorado Springs Utilities. They tell us, we're very lucky because most of our tap water comes straight from the mountains.

Peggy Sue Piedra, who's from Chicago said, "We'd like to think we know what we're eating and drinking and apparently we don't."

Especially when researchers are saying that some of us are drinking water with medicine in it.

Manitou Springs resident Jannine Scott said, "Daunting is an understatement. It's shocking, it's obnoxious and I can't even believe that."

The level of pharmaceuticals detected in tap water across the country is so small it's being measured in parts per billion or trillion. So, perhaps you can look at it this way. "Parts per trillion would be like one second in 32 thousand years," said Colorado Springs Utilities Spokesperson Steve Berry.

Every month CSU runs hundreds of tests on our water. However, they don't test for things like prescription drugs. But if they did, "You would find very minuscule amounts, if any," said Berry.

Ninety-percent of Colorado Springs' tap water is fresh, being used for the first time. "Other major metropolitan areas are getting their water 2ND, 3rd, 4Th hand," said Berry.

Like Chicago. That's where Peggy Sue Piedra is from and she's hearing about the study for the first time. "Oh wow. That's kind of not a surprise," said Piedra.

The thing that scientists say they are most interested in finding out, is if long term health effects are possible.

Scientists also say there are two ways medicines end up in tap water. People naturally discharge them or people throw their pills down the drain. Water treatment specialists say you should never do that.

Also, if you start drinking bottled water because of this story, be careful. Some bottled water companies just use tap water.

As for folks in Pueblo, they get most of their drinking water from the Arkansas River. Workers at Pueblo's Board of Water Works say Arkansas River water is also mostly first hand water.

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