What is the Water Quality in Aurora, Colorado?
[Updated: June 13, 2023]
Compared to other US cities, Aurora water quality ranks in the high-middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of the 28 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 106x health guidelines.
- Chloroform is at very high levels: 22x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 154x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 361x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Aurora water.
What’s in Aurora water?
Here are the top 7 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chlorite – Potential effect: Change in blood chemistry
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
- Uranium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are seven of the 28 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
17 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Aurora water have Lead contamination?
Yes, Aurora has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2018 showed concentrations up to 2.7 parts per billion (ppb).
The legal limit for lead is 15 parts per billion. Being well-below this level is a good thing.
- Concentrations between 3.8 ppb and 15 ppb put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels. Read more about the symptoms of Lead in water.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
- The good news is that 99.99% of the lead can be removed.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Aurora’s water come from?
Aurora’s water comes from the Toll Gate Creek watershed.
3 of the 4 EPA assessed water sources in the Toll Gate Creek watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Cherry Creek Reservoir – Impaired
- Lakes and reservoirs in the watershed’s tributary to South Platte River – Unknown
- Lakes and reservoirs near Cherry Creek within the city and county of Denver – Unknown
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. West Toll Gate Creek, East Toll Gate Creek, and the mainstem of Toll Gate Creek are in Good condition. These run northwest to southeast through Aurora.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Aurora’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Aurora can be surprising.
But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.
- Test Your Water using Varify Home Test Kits or similar.
- To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
- Use Activated Carbon filters to remove most contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out even more contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- 1,4-Dioxane – “Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.”
- Arsenic – health effects in water
- Barium – In low doses, barium ions act as a muscle stimulant, and higher doses affect the nervous system, causing cardiac irregularities, tremors, weakness, anxiety, shortness of breath, and paralysis.
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Selenium – toxicity
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Our recommendation: APEC Reverse Osmosis Systems
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: https://www.auroragov.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.