HAS THE AQUIFER BEEN CONTAMINATED?
The 2013 East Laramie Waste Water Feasibility Study evaluated 115 private wells and found that “approximately 65% of the East Grand area wells that were sampled show nitrate contamination, with 4% of the wells exceeding the EPA Drinking Water Standard for nitrates which is 10 mg/l.” [link]
Background nitrate concentrations fall between 0 and 2 mg/l. Recent monitor well data on the east side of Laramie encountered concentrations as high as 8.7 mg/l, but there are very few wells specifically designed to monitor aquifer contamination.
Regular sampling of the Laramie municipal supply wells has shown little indication of contamination, although an increasing trend in nitrates has been suggested [report link] and comprehensive sampling for the full suite of possible contaminants is quite rare.
ACCWA has concluded that historical aquifer contamination is largely confined to local areas of septic system recharge, but does not accept “barely legal” as an acceptable drinking water quality goal. We recognize the great value of the present, generally high quality of the Casper Aquifer, and seek to maintain that quality through appropriate preventative management strategies.