What’s with local water?
March 18, 2014
Question: Why does the water taste so bad in Edwards? It is perfectly fine in Vail and Eagle. The water just has a very unpleasant taste compared to the other towns in the valley.
Answer: The short answer — the taste of your water is based on a number of factors and can change depending on the time of year. We asked Diane Johnson, of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, to explain the intricacies of our local drinking water.
Tap water in the upper valley comes from two sources, she says — underground aquifers and the Eagle River. Depending on the time of year and river levels, the water that comes out of your faucet can be varying combinations of underground and river water, or is maybe coming from only one of those sources. The water is treated so it's safe to drink, which can alter the way it tastes.
Eagle, Gypsum and Red Cliff operate their own water treatment systems separate from Eagle River Water and Sanitation District. Areas served by the town of Eagle, including all areas within the town of Eagle, Eby Creek Mesa, Upper Kaibab and parts of the Brush Creek valley, draw water from Brush Creek approximately 8 miles upstream of town.
"Water has a taste based on where it comes from," said Johnson. "The local geology has a lot of naturally occurring minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, so our local groundwater is mineral rich."
That's the source of the white stuff that appears on your dishes, and it can affect the water's taste.
As of the beginning of February, local water was 72 percent from the Edwards Drinking Water Facility (which treats surface water) and 28 percent from a Berry Creek well (groundwater).
Beyond that, what happens between the water facility and your home or office can also change the taste. Your pipes might have mineral residue, your house's internal filters might need maintenance or the water might have been sitting in a pipe or dispenser line for a while.
Johnson said the facility doesn't get too many complaints about water taste, but within the Edwards area, they've gotten the most comments from Arrowhead, Singletree, The Reserve and Homestead.
"We take every one seriously, and encourage people to call our customer service department (970-477-5451) as they can problem solve with customers," she said.
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Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.