Water Quality

Contact Info

Ryan Thompson

Water Superintendent
970-668-9156
Email

The Town of Frisco Water Division which is part of the Frisco Public Works Department performs constant monitoring and regular testing of all Town water sources and systems to provide all water customers with the cleanest, best-tasting water possible. Latest information about water testing results, what they mean, and the steps the Town will take, as well as what water customers can do to achieve the highest possible drinking water quality will be outlined below.

Drinking Water Quality Report

The 2023 Drinking Water Quality Report is for calendar year 2022, and this report is not mailed to water customers. Copies are available at Town Hall front desk, as well as the Visitor Information Center.

Lead and Copper Testing Results

Since the beginning of 2022, Frisco Water has been compliant with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) lead and copper levels in the testing results.

In early 2019, lead levels were found to exceed the maximum allowable levels, as six (6) homes/buildings out of 40 sampled were found in exceedance. All subsequent testing in 2019 did not indicate lead levels in exceedance of the maximum allowable limit for Frisco’s water system. Then in 2022, Frisco’s Water Division was informed by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) that there were lead levels in exceedance of the maximum allowable limit, as five (5) homes/buildings out of 40 homes/buildings tested in Frisco were found to have lead levels at or in exceedance of 15 parts per billion (ppb).

Source Water Found Not to Be the Origin of Lead Levels

Due to the lead level exceedance in six homes in 2019, Frisco tested its four (4) water sources multiple times, and testing found that three of Frisco’s water sources had lead levels registering at below detectable levels (BDL). The fourth source of Frisco’s water tested at 1 part per billion (ppb). The maximum allowable level is 15 parts per billion (ppb). These results therefore indicated that Frisco’s water sources were not the cause of the elevated lead levels in the six to five homes shown to have elevated lead levels in 2020 and 2019. Subsequently in June 2019, Frisco Town Council approved the Start at the Tap fixture rebate program to encourage the replacement of old fixtures which might contain lead in individual homes and buildings.

New Corrosion Control Systems Required in 2020 Due to Lead Levels in Some Homes

Due to the exceedance of lead levels in five to six homes in 2019 and 2020, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) required the Town of Frisco to install corrosion control treatment (CCT) systems at the Town’s four water sources to adjust the pH of the water by adding small, metered amounts of sodium hydroxide into the system. This CCT, installed by 2022, has been shown to make Frisco’s water more neutral to slightly alkaline in order to prevent the lead and copper from dissolving into the water when in contact with fixtures and/or pipes in individual buildings; the Town’s targeted operating pH range was determined to be a pH of 7.3 to 7.7.

Sodium hydroxide (being used in the CCT systems) is used in a variety of manufacturing processes for many products, including, medicines and pharmaceutical products like aspirin, anticoagulants, and cholesterol-reducing medications. Sodium hydroxide is also used in several food-processing applications, such as curing foods, removing skins from fruits and vegetables for canning, or as an ingredient in food preservatives that help prevent mold and bacteria from growing in food.

Free Frisco Lead Testing Program for Homes & Businesses

The Town offers free lead and copper testing for homes/buildings built on and before 1987 in the Town of Frisco, as some individual homes in Frisco have tested in exceedance of the maximum allowable limits for lead, which is in exceedance of 15 parts per billion (ppb).

  • Frisco has four (4) water sources which have consistently had lead levels registering at below detectable levels (BDL), which means that source water is not the cause of lead levels in individual homes/buildings.
  • All of Frisco’s main water lines are constructed out of ductile iron, and all service lines (from the main line to homes) are either copper or galvanized and not lead, indicating that water lines from the water sources to individual buildings/homes are not the source of lead either.

Please email Town of Frisco Water Supervisor Ryan Thompson to request a lead sampling kit for your home.

New State and Federal Laws Require Service Line Inventory

New state and federal laws require that water providers inventory all water service lines in their service area. A service line is the underground pipe that carries water from the main water pipe, usually in the street, into your home or building. These new laws require that water providers determine and confirm the material that your service line is made of, which means that we will need your help.

Service Line Types

Service lines are often copper, plastic, lead, or galvanized iron or steel and are owned by and serviced by the homeowner and not the water service provider. Older homes and buildings may have a lead service line, although this is very unlikely in Frisco, as the Town banned lead in service lines starting in 1968. Frisco’s drinking water leaving our treatment plants and main water lines have been determined free from lead, and Frisco’s water mains do not contain lead. However, water can absorb lead as it travels through lead service lines on its way to your faucet, and lead has been found to potentially cause serious health problems.

No Indication of Lead in Service Line But an Inventory is Still Required by Law

The Town does not have any reason to believe that there are lead service lines in Frisco based on testing and years of experience with the whole water system, but state and federal laws are requiring confirmation of service line materials from homeowners which is why you are receiving this request to fill out the attached survey and provide photographs of your service line. Although it is unlikely, if it is determined that your residence has a lead service line, then we will need to work together to take steps to reduce your lead exposure risk. Knowing your service line material is very important for your health, safety, piece of mind, and to the Town’s ability to comply with state and federal laws. We thank you for taking this request seriously and partnering with the Town on this survey project.


PFAS & the 2020 Voluntary Sampling Program

In 2020, the Town of Frisco took part in Colorado’s 2020 PFAS Voluntary Sampling Project by sampling drinking water at three source locations where treated water enters the network of pipes in town. The 2020 Colorado Sampling Project was in direct response to an emerging public health challenge from a group of chemicals scientifically called per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances or “PFAS.” These chemicals are found in certain classes of firefighting foam as well as in many consumer products and may cause various health impacts.

To help communities learn if their residents are at risk, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) offered free testing to public drinking water systems serving communities.

Voluntary Testing, Well 7 Shutdown, & the Pilot Testing Timeline

  • All three of Frisco’s voluntary rounds of testing in 2020 and 2021 showed that one water source, Well 7 (first used as a water source in March 2018), had combined levels of PFOA and PFOS between 17.2ppt (parts per trillion) and 16ppt; at that time, those levels were well below the EPA health advisory for these substances, which was then 70ppt and above for PFOA and PFOS combined. In July 2022, the EPA revised their health advisory recommending that PFOA and PFOS levels be at below detectable levels- close to zero.
  • In 2021, the Town made the decision to voluntarily pursue and budget for a design of a PFAS water treatment system for Well 7, despite the levels being well below the EPA health advisory levels at that point.
  • In July 2022 after receiving a revised health advisory from the EPA recommending (not requiring) levels below detectable limits, Frisco decided to stop pulling water from Well 7, as infrastructure improvements to other Town water sources had just been completed so those sources were able to produce needed water in the short term, and to continue working through treatment design. Well 7 is still not being used as a water source and will remain offline as long as conditions allow and until the PFAS treatment system is installed. In addition, water customers would be informed if Well 7 is ever needed in the general water supply before PFAS treatment can be installed.
  • In 2022, the Town of Frisco received a $50,000 grant from CDPHE to help fund the pilot testing needed to design a removal system, and the Town will continue to pursue grant funding for implementation of treatment.
  • In February 2023, Frisco Water started pilot studies at Well 7 which have continued into 2024 to assess two treatment options, a granular activated carbon filtration process and an ion exchange resin filtration process. These are the best treatment options available at this time and have been rigorously vetted by the Town’s engineering partner. During this assessment and pilot testing period, water from Well 7 has not been in the general water supply and has been contained to Well 7, where the sampling and testing has been occurring. This pilot program has been done in consultation with CDPHE, and this will continue to be the case.
  • In 2025, the Town of Frisco expects to install a PFAS treatment system on Well 7 which will necessitate an additional building at Well 7 to house whichever treatment process is found to be most effective in bringing all PFAS levels to below detectible levels during the pilot test.

In 2020, the Town of Frisco took part in Colorado’s 2020 Sampling Project by sampling drinking water at three source locations where treated water enters the piping network in town. The 2020 Colorado Sampling Project was in direct response to an emerging public health challenge from a group of chemicals scientifically called per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances or “PFAS.” These chemicals are found in certain classes of firefighting foam as well as in many consumer products, and may cause various health impacts. To help communities learn if their residents are at risk, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) offered free testing to public drinking water systems serving communities. The State of Colorado is one of 12 states which has decided to go beyond the guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by establishing their own regulations at the state level, testing chemicals at their source, and setting limits on various contaminants before they threaten public health.

2020 First Round Voluntary Testing Results

  1. The first Frisco testing location did not show any PFAS at all.
  2. The second location did not show any PFOA or PFOS, but had a total PFAS level of 1.3ppt of other PFAS substances tested.
  3. The third location had a combined PFOA and PFOS level of 17.2ppt, well in compliance of the CDPHE and EPA health advisory limits, however had a total concentration of 75.4ppt. This included 58.2ppt PFAS compounds that are currently not under the EPA health advisory.

2021 Second Round Voluntary Testing Results

During the first round of voluntary testing with the State of Colorado, three of Frisco’s sources of raw (untreated) water were tested. During a second round of voluntary testing in spring 2021, the water source, Well 7, (raw/untreated water) where PFOA and PFOS levels of 17.2ppt were found was once again tested, along with treated water at two town buildings and one town residence to better understand levels in treated water that has been distributed throughout the water system.

  1. Well 7- raw/untreated water tested- This location was tested during the first round of voluntary testing as well.
    • First round testing results – 17.2ppt combined PFOA and PFOS levels -EPA health advisory is for levels of 70ppt and above for combined PFOA and PFOS levels.
      – 58.2ppt of PFAS compounds that are not under an EPA health advisory
    • Second round testing results – 16ppt combined PFOA and PFOS levels -EPA health advisory is for levels of 70ppt and above for combined PFOA and PFOS levels.
      – 42.6ppt of PFAS compounds that are not under an EPA health advisory.
  2. Frisco Adventure Park Day Lodge- treated water tested from the tap; this location was not tested during the first round of voluntary testing, as only raw/untreated water was tested then, and this site was chosen due to the ease of testing in a public building and proximity to Well 7.
    • 12ppt for PFOS levels and not detectable levels of PFOA -EPA health advisory is for levels of 70ppt and above for combined PFOA and PFOS levels.
    • 45.2ppt of PFAS compounds that are not under an EPA health advisory.
  3. Town Hall- treated water tested from the tap; this location was not tested during the first round of voluntary testing, as only raw/untreated water was tested then, and this site was chosen due to the ease of testing in a public building and location in the core of town.
    • 10.1ppt combined PFOA and PFOS levels -EPA health advisory is for levels of 70ppt and above for combined PFOA and PFOS levels.
    • 25.1ppt of PFAS compounds that are not under the EPA health advisory.
  4. Private residence on Hawn Drive- treated water tested from the tap; this location was not tested during the first round of voluntary testing, as only raw/untreated water was tested then, and this site was chosen due to a desire to test a private residence in the core of town.
    • No detectable levels of PFOA or PFOS levels -EPA health advisory is for levels of 70ppt and above for combined PFOA and PFOS levels.
    • 2.66ppt of PFAS compounds that are not under the EPA health advisory.

2021 Third Round of Testing Results

  • In August 2021, the Town of Frisco tested Town drinking water for a group of unregulated chemicals commonly known as PFAS as follow-up to two previous rounds of voluntary testing as part of  Colorado’s 2020 Sampling Project .
  • The water sample results from these voluntary tests received on August 30, 2021 showed that certain PFAS chemicals, PFOA, PFOS, GenX, or PFBS, are present in the drinking water.
  • Results:
    • Source (Well #7) PFOS=11ppt, PFOA= 4.5ppt;
    • Distribution system testing- Tubing Hill PFOS=10ppt, PFOA=4.6;
    • Town Hall PFOA & PFOS= non detect
    • 11 Hawn Drive (private residence)= PFOA & PFOS= non-detect.

What the Results Mean

  • During the first two rounds of voluntary water testing, Frisco’s water did not test above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for the two chemical compounds, PFOA, and PFOS, which the EPA has guidance for at that time. The MCL was based on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health advisory issued in May 2016, which an (MCL) of 70 parts per trillion(ppt) for two chemical compounds in the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) family, PFOA, and PFOS. PFAS were and still are widely used in various industrial settings, and the full extent of their long-term environmental and health implications is still being studied. The EPA’s health advisory specifically applies to PFOA and PFOS compounds, two compounds out of the 18 PFAS compounds tested for in drinking water.
  • In June 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released interim health advisories for PFOA and PFOS and final health advisories for PFBS and GenX. This new guidance indicated that the EPA is advising that levels for these chemicals to be below detectable levels- basically at zero. This was recommended and not required at that time

Ongoing Steps

  • Even though Frisco’s PFOA and PFOS levels were well below the maximum set by the advisory for the first two rounds of testing in 2020 and 2021, the Town of Frisco partnered with the EPA and the CDPHE to further evaluate PFAS levels and increase frequency of testing to see if they change over time.
  • In 2022, the Town of Frisco received a $50,000 grant from CDPHE to help fund the pilot testing needed to design a removal system. With the assistance provided by CDPHE, it is the Town of Frisco’s goal to have a treatment system installed and operating in late 2025. The Town will continue to apply for grants to help offset the cost of installing the treatment process.
  • In Febuary 2023, the Town started four pilot studies to determine the best option to treat Frisco’s water based on its chemistry.
    • The two technologies that the Town is testing are an ion exchange resin and granulated activated carbon (GAC). These pilot tests will go on until PFAS is detected to “break through” the treatemtn media and have been done simultaneously. Once all the results of these tests are known, the Town will finalize the design of the treatment system using one of these technologies. Two studies ended in late 2023 and two are continuing into 2024.
  • The CDPHE is continuing to evaluate all results from the 2020 Sampling Project and considering areas where PFAS releases may have originated and will determine if private wells or additional public water systems that were not originally sampled could be at risk for water with levels above the EPA health advisory. During the 2020 State Sampling Project, 400 out of the 895 eligible Colorado water systems participated, including Frisco.
  • The Colorado State legislature passed several laws regarding these chemicals in 2020. There are now restrictions related to the use of firefighting foam that contains these chemicals. There is also a fee structure to fund further sampling and provide support to impacted communities. The fees will also provide money to start a takeback and disposal program for materials with these chemicals. As new studies become available, the understanding of the health and environmental impacts of these chemicals in humans will continue to grow and may influence the EPAs and CDPHE’s response protocol, and the Town of Frisco will closely follow this evolving knowledge about PFAS and monitor and treat Frisco’s water to continue to provide safe and delicious water for Frisco residents and visitors.

Resources

Below is a list of resources to learn more about PFAS and their use, impacts, prevalence, monitoring, and legislation.