Water and Well Systems in the Mountains
- As of August, 2016, up to 110 gallons of rainwater is permitted to be collected of residential rooftops- for more information: Rainwater Collection in Colorado
- Information on the rainwater collection bill passed in 2009 and also here: FAQs on water rights/SB2009 for people with household-use only wells
- Mountain water is a tricky subject to understand. The Jefferson County Planning Department has produced some excellent information about mountain water – where it comes from, what the issues are. Click to read Water Smarts: A Homeowner’s guide to Mountain Ground Water.
- Most mountain wells tap into water-filled fractures in the bedrock.
- Information regarding private wells for home use.
- Drinking water quality and health.
- Unlike public water supplies, which are regularly monitored, the responsibility for assuring a safe supply of private well water rests solely with the homeowner. Regular testing of your well is necessary to determine whether your water is safe to drink. You can get it tested at the CSU Soil, Water and Plant Testing lab. You can choose to the routine test and/or also test for heavy metals (a good idea if you live near mine tailings). The Colorado State Department of Public health also has a water testing lab, and they can also do bacteria and radon tests in addition to the tests available at CSU.
- Wells used for drinking water should be tested for the presence of coliform bacteria every one to two years. The best time to test is after the water clears following spring runoff, Click here to read more information about bacteria in water wells. You can get your well tested for bacteria at the Gilpin Public and Environmental Health Department.
- For more information, read the Guide to Well Permits, Water Rights, and Water Administration, or contact the Ground Water Information Desk at (303) 866-3587.
- Septic system guidelines & records
- Septic do’s and dont’s
- Top Tips for Your Well and Septic
- One-hour webinar on wells and septics
- Taking Care of Your Groundwater: A homeowner’s guide to well and septic systems
- If you are wondering about the current snowpack, streamflow and moisture
conditions in Colorado and the Intermountain West, take a look at this
document from the Western Water Assessment: Intermountain west climate summary
- Check out the latest drought map from NOAA.
- The seasonal drought outlook map looks at the likelihood of drought developing or continuing over the next few months.
- More seasonal precipitation and temperature predictions
- Snotel data for Colorado
- In the mountains, we depend on precipitation to recharge our ground water and our wells. Click for more information on soil moisture.
- Practice water conservation in and around your home to prevent your well or your neighbor’s well from going dry. Although much water from wells is returned to recharge the system, this recharge rate is often very slow. Therefore, it is better to be conservative with the water already in your well.
- More information on drought from Colorado State University Extension.
- Interested in weather? Join CoCoRahs – the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. CoCoRaHS is a grassroots volunteer network of backyard weather observers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow) in their local communities, to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. Call the office for more details.