The state says Apple Tree Park’s water quality has improved after concerns arose in the spring.

Janelle Vega resident shows light brown discoloration and sediment deposited on the bottom of a jug of water taken from the faucet at her apple tree home in March 2022.
Chelsea Independent / Post Independent

Operators of the Apple Tree mobile home park near New Castle appear to be making progress in addressing discoloration of the area’s domestic water supply, which sparked complaints from residents in the spring, state health officials said earlier this month.

Inspectors from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment visited the park with “technical assistance” in May after water quality concerns were raised with Garfield County Commissioners in late March.

Ron Falco, manager of the department’s drinking water safety program, indicated in a Sept. 1 letter to county health officials and other stakeholders that the high iron content of water has improved.

“The supplier is currently following basic drinking water regulations and the treatment and distribution system is believed to be in good working order,” Falco wrote.

Iron discoloration is not a major public health issue and is not regulated by the government, he said.

But the state has proposed several proposals to improve the appearance of the water.

“Water quality issues appear to be primarily related to aesthetic concerns related to the iron in its raw water source,” Falco wrote in a letter shared with county commissioners Ted White, the county’s environmental health officer, on Monday.

“The iron removal/filtration plant was discussed and encouraged during the site visit,” Falco said.

In addition, park owners Investment Property Group (IPG) operators have indicated they will increase the flushing of the water supply to quarterly rather than annually, and provide residents with more guidance on how to flush their homes to avoid iron deposits. ramp up.

“Regular flushing of distribution lines reduces the amount of standing water in the lines, prevents scale build-up and prevents discoloration caused by iron and other metals,” acknowledged Falco.

Commission members at Monday’s meeting noted that the park had recently installed individual water meters and expressed concern that residents are being charged individual fees during flushing operations.

“Hopefully they can solve the measurement problem when they flush the system,” said commission chairman John Martin.

Falco said park operators have also been asked to sample manganese in the system after elevated levels were noted in spring samples.

These levels improved when the sample was taken in July, but this could be due to an increase in rainfall that month, he writes.

“Overall, this information indicates that manganese levels in tap water are routinely below recommended levels for health,” Falco said. “However, additional manganese monitoring will be used to assess this in the future.

According to the EPA, elevated manganese levels can affect prenatal and early childhood learning and behavior. The EPA recommends a manganese level of 0.30 milligrams per liter (mg/L). The apple tree reading from spring sampling was 0.224 mg/L in one well and 0.230 mg/L in the other. The July value was 0.049 mg/l.

Senior Reporter/Contributing Editor John Stroud can be contacted at 970-384-9160 or [email protected]

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