Casper area drinking water got a clean audit in the Central Wyoming Regional Water System’s latest water quality report.
The public utility supplies water to Casper, Midwest, Wardwell, Bar Nunn, Edgerton and the Mile-Hi, Poison Spider, Pioneer, 33 Mile Road, Sandy Lake and Lakeview service districts.
The federal Safe Drinking Water Act, originally passed by Congress in 1974, gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to set and enforce standards for drinking water — including concentration limits for various contaminants.
Under the EPA’s rules, drinking water must tested for different contaminants at certain frequencies. In other words, Casper water might be tested for some chemicals every day and others every few years.
The Central Wyoming Regional Water System’s 2022 report includes results for 83 contaminant tests. Of those, 18 were detected in the water system’s supply — though none at concentrations exceeding federal limits.
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To view the full report, visit wyowater.com.
Roughly two-thirds of the water supplied by the public utility comes from groundwater pumped from the North Platte River alluvial aquifer, a kind of sediment deposit created by running water. The other third or so is surface water drawn from the Platte itself.
Federal standards for drinking water are expected to tighten soon. The EPA in March announced it would start limiting legal contamination levels for six so-called “forever chemicals” in drinking water.
Forever chemicals refer to a group of manmade chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (usually called PFAS) that often originate from industrial sites and can pose serious health and environmental risks when they leech into water supplies.
Wyoming water managers previously told the Star-Tribune they’re not worried about the new regulations, and that most of the state’s drinking water is already within the limits floated by the EPA.
“Our drinking water is under the reportable limit,” Tom Edwards, manager of the Central Wyoming Regional Water Treatment Plant, said in March. “There isn’t any, really, industrial waste upstream of us.
Still, Wyoming stands to receive $18.9 million from the federal agencies to help remove forever chemicals from its water.
According to a graphic published by the city of Casper, local residents can help prevent water contamination by:
- properly disposing of pet waste and litter;
- minimize the use of weed killers and fertilizers;
- washing water-based paints in the sink;
- disposing of harmful chemicals at the city’s special waste facility across from the landfill on Station Road;
- reporting all hazardous materials spills (like chemical and gas leaks) to the city of Casper’s Solid Waste Division at 307-235-8246; and
- disposing of unwanted medicine in the drop box located in the lobby of the Casper Police Department.
Wyoming is a headwater state, meaning many U.S. river systems start within our borders. Feeder rivers for the Missouri-Mississippi, Green-Colorado, Snake-Columbia and the Great Salt Lake all start in Wyoming. A lot of our water originates as runoff from snowpack in the mountains and rainfall.