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Family without water says new well could cost more than their home, due to state regulations

Posted at 10:29 PM, Jul 18, 2018

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FORT LUPTON, Colo. -- So many communities in our state rely on well water, but a Fort Lupton family is depending on friends to bring them water after the well on their property broke down. They tell Contact7 new construction regulations are making it impossible to afford a fix.

Jennifer Whiting had to learn to conserve water fast on her Fort Lupton farm when the pump on her water well broke.

"This goes down a thousand feet into the aquifer,” said Whiting. “Shortly after Mother's Day, we woke up to no water."

But they found out it was a lot worse and would need to dig a brand new one.

"This is what we used for any dishes, washing dishes, washing our hands and flushing the toilet," said Whiting.

Whiting said she called every licensed well drilling company in the state and the costs were unbelievable.

"....bids ranged from $77,000 to $135,000 which was shocking to us. I mean, that's almost the value of the land. That's a lot of money," said Whiting.

In 2016, the state passed new regulations for water well construction that would include deeper digs and more expensive materials like concrete to encase the entire well and steel to encase thicker pipes. Sediments contaminating the Laramie Foxhills Aquipher Jennifer's well pulls from were corroding the pipes. Whiting said that’s unclear to her and wonders if everything possible was done to minimize the economic impact on the community. She showed Contact7 several documents with quotes from different contractors.

"Did they do a fair economic impact study before they put it into place to understand this impact on families? I don't know how they can expect a family to pay this much," said Whiting.

Contact7 contacted the Division of Water Resources and asked about the increased costs.

An employee answering the information line said the costs should not be that high and there was only an expected increase of 20 to 30 percent. Contact7 has reached out to state lawmakers who are aware and are looking into possible solutions. A spokesperson with the State’s Department of Natural Resources is gathering information to answer Contact7’s questions.

"And if we're wrong, and somebody knows some big secret. This would be great," said Whiting.

In the meantime, friends and family have started raising money to help her family through a GoFundMe page. The Whiting family has had to get creative by hauling in water, storing it in large containers and creating a system that connects the water to the plumping of the home. But if they don’t find a solution soon, it might mean a drastic move ahead.

"This was our dream to live out here with our houses. We ride our horses in the mountains and raise our daughter in the country. It may force us to leave Colorado. I mean, that's what it comes down to," said Whiting.