Colorado Town Finds THC In Drinking Water, Warns Residents Not To Use It

Image courtesy of MeneerDijk

If you take a trip to a Colorado dispensary you’re likely to find marijuana in a variety of forms, including lollipops and gummy bears. But health officials in one small town say the psychoactive chemical in marijuana has turned up in the wrong place: the town’s water supply.

Authorities in Hugo, CO warned residents on Thursday not to drink, cook, bathe, or feed their pets with the city’s water for at least 48 hours after finding evidence of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the active ingredient in cannabis — in the water supply, The Denver Post reports.

Issues with the water first cropped up when a Hugo company used quick field tests to check employees for THC. After getting “consistent results” the company decided to test a vial of water, expecting it to be negative. It wasn’t and the company called authorities.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Michael Yowell tells the Post that county officials have conducted 10 the field tests on the city’s water using two different kinds of test kits, and six have returned positive results. After further testing, the county was able to pinpoint the results to a single well.

When sheriff’s deputies investigated, Yowell tells the Post, they found signs of forced entry at the well. However, it was unclear when the damage may have occurred.

While authorities have sealed and secured the well in question, it will take time to flush the lines and rid the supply of THC.

For now, water is being trucked into the city from other areas, and residents concerned about contamination can visit screening stations.

Agents from the FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the investigation, Yowell said.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is assessing what kind of health effects the potential contamination could have, but notes that reactions would likely vary depending on how much water was consumed.

However, some health professionals questioned whether the water would cause any harm to those who drank it.

“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,” Dr. John Fox, Lincoln County’s health officer, told the Post.

Colorado town finds THC in its water, warns residents not to drink or bathe in it [The Denver Post]

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