Residents of a small Colorado town were told not to drink or use the local well water because THC (the psychoactive agent in marijuana) was found in the supply.
Officials are still testing the levels of THC in the water. Officer Michael Yowell of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference Thursday, the “contaminated well has been closed but preliminary tests suggest the entire water supply has been affected,” according to CNN.
The problem was discovered after a local company was testing its own water supply and found the chemicals presence, according to ABC News. After notifying law enforcement of the issue, further testing found six out of 10 wells tested positive for THC.
Yowell said there were signs of forced entry at one of the wells, and that “nothing is being taken off the table” in their investigation as to how this happened.
The town is now shipping water in and has set up screening stations for residents, according to The Denver Post. Officials told residents to avoid the town’s water for at least the next 48 hours and report any problems to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center.
While residents are concerned over adverse effects from the THC-laden water, at least one medical professional thinks the worry is much ado about nothing.
“It would take more product than any of us could afford to contaminate a city water supply to the extent that people would suffer any effects,” Lincoln County Health Officer, Dr. John Fox, said in a statement.
Peter Perrone, owner of cannabis-testing facility Gobi Analytical, doesn’t think this is an issue either. Perrone told The Denver post that THC is “in no way soluble in water. There is zero possibility that there’s anything like THC in the Hugo water.”
Perrone’s sentiments were corroborated by a former Environmental Protection Agency scientist. Joseph Evans, who now runs the marijuana testing lab Nordic Analytical, does not see any potential for a health hazard due to the compounds insolubility in water.
“The one thing that bothers me about this story from a scientific perspective is that THC is so insoluble in water,” Evans told The Denver Post. “I can’t even fathom the idea that THC would be in water at any type of solubility to create any kind of health hazard.”
Not everyone was fearful of the contamination. “I might have to go drink some water,” former Hugo Mayor Patsie Smith said.
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