Important Information About Your Drinking Water
Broomfield’s water fell below the required corrosion control silica levels from February 19 to March 18, 2020.
A clog in the chemical feed line reduced the amount of sodium silicate added by Broomfield and caused the corresponding drop in silica levels. Broomfield upgraded the chemical feed system at the WTP to eliminate future clogging issues, and installed redundant chemical feed pumps to improve overall performance and reliability. Sampling routines, data analysis, and operating procedures have also been modified to identify and respond to potential problems more quickly in the future.
The silica is added as a corrosion inhibitor for lead and copper. Lead and copper samples taken during the time of the silica violation met safe drinking water requirements and the water was safe to drink.
More information about silica, lead, and your water can be found below, or you can read the notification mailed to all Broomfield water customers. You can also review the violation notice from the state.
- Is my tap water safe to drink?
- Yes. In order to ensure that water is safe to drink, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment prescribes regulations limiting the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Broomfield continually tests the water to make sure it meets or exceeds EPA and Colorado health standards for drinking water.
- What is silica?
- Silica is a hard, unreactive, colorless compound which occurs as the mineral quartz and as a principal constituent of sandstone and other rocks. All-natural water supplies contain some level of suspended or dissolved silica. Silica can also be found in certain foods including cucumbers, oats, brown rice, wheat, strawberries, onions, avocados, and root vegetables. As part of our state-approved treatment process, Broomfield has used silica for corrosion control since 1997. The addition of silica promotes the formation of a barrier on pipe walls, thereby reducing the potential for elements such as lead to leach into the water.
- Why do we test for lead?
- Prior to 1986, lead was included in the solder used to join copper pipes together. Also, most faucets purchased prior to 1997 were constructed of brass or chrome-plated brass, which contain up to 8 percent lead (the main metals in brass are copper and zinc). Due to the known health effects of lead, public drinking water systems are required to provide treatment to minimize the levels of lead at customer’s faucets.
- How does lead get in drinking water?
- Lead, as well as copper, typically enters into the water from corroded fixtures and outdated plumbing. Homes built before 1986 will likely have plumbing with copper pipes and the solder used to join the pipes may contain lead.
- Is this related to oil and gas?
- No, we had a mechanical failure of our silica feed system.
For more information about water quality, please call Laura Hubbard, Environmental Services Laboratory Supervisor at 303.464.5606, or Rick Bednar, Water Treatment Superintendent at 303.464.5600.