Is Aspen Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Last Update12:53 pm, April 8, 2021

User Submitted Ratings for Aspen Tap Water

  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 22% Low
  • Water Pollution 39% Low
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 78% High
  • Water Quality 61% High

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Aspen, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Can You Drink Tap Water in Aspen?

Yes, Aspen's tap water is generally considered safe to drink as Aspen has no active health based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that we are aware of. Other factors such as lead piping in a home, or low levels of pollutants on immunocompromised individuals, should also be considered, however.

According the EPA’s ECHO database, from July 30, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2021, Aspen's water utility, ASPEN CITY OF, had 3 non-health-based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. For more details on the violations, please see our violation history section below. The last violation for Aspen was resolved on Nov. 30, 2018. There has been an active violation for Lead and Copper Rule since Oct. 1, 2020. This assessment is based on the ASPEN CITY OF water system, other water systems in the city may have different results.

While tap water that meets the EPA health guidelines generally won’t make you sick to your stomach, it can still contain regulated and unregulated contaminants present in trace amounts that could potentially cause health issues over the long-run. These trace contaminants may also impact immunocompromised and vulnerable individuals.

The EPA is reviewing if it’s current regulations around pollutant levels in tap water are strict enough, and the health dangers posed by unregulated pollutants, like PFAS.

Aspen Tap Water Safe Drinking Water Act Violation History - Prior 10 Years

Below is a ten year history of violations for the water system named ASPEN CITY OF for Aspen in Colorado. For more details please see the "What do these Violations Mean?" section below.

For the compliance period beginning Oct. 1, 2020, Aspen had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring and Reporting, more specifically, the violation code was Follow-up Or Routine LCR Tap M/R which falls into the Chemicals rule code group, and the Lead and Copper Rule rule code family for the following contaminant code: Lead and Copper Rule.

From Nov. 1, 2018 to Nov. 30, 2018, Aspen had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring and Reporting, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring, Turbidity (Enhanced SWTR) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Surface Water Treatment Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Interim Enhanced Surfsce Water Treatment Rule.

From Nov. 1, 2018 to Nov. 30, 2018, Aspen had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring and Reporting, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring of Treatment (SWTR-Filter) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Surface Water Treatment Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Surface Water Treatment Rule.

From March 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018, Aspen had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring and Reporting, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring of Treatment (SWTR-Filter) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Surface Water Treatment Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Surface Water Treatment Rule.

From March 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018, Aspen had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring, Routine (RTCR) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Total Coliform Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Revised Total Coliform Rule.

From April 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013, Aspen had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring and Reporting, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring, Regular which falls into the Chemicals rule code group, and the Inorganic Chemicals rule code family for the following contaminant code: Nitrate.

From July 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2011, Aspen had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring and Reporting, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring, Regular which falls into the Chemicals rule code group, and the Inorganic Chemicals rule code family for the following contaminant code: Nitrate.

Is there Lead in Aspen Water?

Based on the EPA’s ECHO Database, 90% of the samples taken from the Aspen water system, ASPEN CITY OF, between sample start date and sample end date, were at or below, 0.0007 mg/L of lead in Aspen water. This is 4.7% of the 0.015 mg/L action level. This means 10% of the samples taken from Aspen contained more lead.

While Aspen water testing may have found 0.0007 mg/L of lead in its water, that does not mean your water source has the same amount. The amount of lead in water in a city can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, or even building to building. Many buildings, particularly older ones, have lead pipes or service lines which can be a source of contamination. To find out if your home has lead, we recommend getting you water tested.

No amount of lead in water is healthy, only less dangerous. As lead accumulates in our bodies over time, even exposure to relatively small amounts can have negative health effects. For more information, please check out our Lead FAQ page.

Are there PFAS in Aspen Tap Water?

Currently, testing tap water for PFAS isn’t mandated on a national level. We do have a list of military bases where there have been suspected or confirmed leaks. There appears to be at least one military base - Gypsum (HAATS) - near Aspen with suspected leaks.

With many potential sources of PFAS in tap water across the US, the best information we currently have about which cities have PFAS in their water is this ewg map, which you can check to see if Aspen has been evaluated for yet.

Our stance is better safe than sorry, and that it makes sense to try to purify the tap water just in case.

Aspen SDWA Violation History Table - Prior 10 Years

Compliance Period Status Health-Based? Category Code Code Rule Code Contaminant Code Rule Group Code Rule Family Code
10/01/2020 - Unaddressed No Monitoring and Reporting (MR) Follow-up Or Routine LCR Tap M/R (52) Lead and Copper Rule (350) Lead and Copper Rule (5000) Chemicals (300) Lead and Copper Rule (350)
11/01/2018 - 11/30/2018 Resolved No Monitoring and Reporting (MR) Monitoring, Turbidity (Enhanced SWTR) (38) Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (122) Interim Enhanced Surfsce Water Treatment Rule (0300) Microbials (100) Surface Water Treatment Rules (120)
11/01/2018 - 11/30/2018 Resolved No Monitoring and Reporting (MR) Monitoring of Treatment (SWTR-Filter) (36) Surface Water Treatment Rule (121) Surface Water Treatment Rule (0200) Microbials (100) Surface Water Treatment Rules (120)
03/01/2018 - 03/31/2018 Resolved No Monitoring and Reporting (MR) Monitoring of Treatment (SWTR-Filter) (36) Surface Water Treatment Rule (121) Surface Water Treatment Rule (0200) Microbials (100) Surface Water Treatment Rules (120)
03/01/2018 - 03/31/2018 Resolved No Monitoring Violation (MON) Monitoring, Routine (RTCR) (3A) Revised Total Coliform Rule (111) Revised Total Coliform Rule (8000) Microbials (100) Total Coliform Rules (110)
04/01/2013 - 06/30/2013 Resolved No Monitoring and Reporting (MR) Monitoring, Regular (03) Nitrates (331) Nitrate (1040) Chemicals (300) Inorganic Chemicals (330)
07/01/2011 - 09/30/2011 Resolved No Monitoring and Reporting (MR) Monitoring, Regular (03) Nitrates (331) Nitrate (1040) Chemicals (300) Inorganic Chemicals (330)

What do these Violations Mean?

Safe Drinking Water Act Violations categories split into two groups, health based, and non-health based. Generally, health based violations are more serious, though non-health based violations can also be cause for concern.

Health Based Violations

  1. Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) - maximum allowed contaminant level was exceeded.
  2. Maximum residual disinfectant levels (MRDLs) - maximum allowed disinfectant level was exceeded.
  3. Other violations (Other) - the exact required process to reduce the amounts of contaminants in drinking water was not followed.

Non-Health Based Violations

  1. Monitoring and reporting violations (MR, MON) - failure to conduct the required regular monitoring of drinking water quality, and/or to submit monitoring results on time.
  2. Public notice violations (Other) - failure to immediately alert consumers if there is a serious problem with their drinking water that may pose a risk to public health.
  3. Other violations (Other) - miscellaneous violations, such as failure to issue annual consumer confidence reports or maintain required records.

SDWA Table Key

Field Description
Compliance Period Dates of the compliance period.
Status Current status of the violation.
  • Resolved - The violation has at least one resolving enforcement action. In SDWIS, this indicates that either the system has returned to compliance from the violation, the rule that was violated was no longer applicable, or no further action was needed.
  • Archived - The violation is not Resolved, but is more than five years past its compliance period end date. In keeping with the Enforcement Response Policy, the violation no longer contributes to the public water system's overall compliance status. Unresolved violations are also marked as Archived when a system ceases operations (becomes inactive).
  • Addressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and is addressed by one or more formal enforcement actions.
  • Unaddressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and has not been addressed by formal enforcement.
show details
Health-Based? Whether the violation is health based.
Category Code
The category of violation that is reported.
  • TT - Treatment Technique Violation
  • MRDL - Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level
  • Other - Other Violation
  • MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level Violation
  • MR - Monitoring and Reporting
  • MON - Monitoring Violation
  • RPT - Reporting Violation
show details
Code A full description of violation codes can be accessed in the SDWA_REF_CODE_VALUES (CSV) table.
Contaminant Code A code value that represents a contaminant for which a public water system has incurred a violation of a primary drinking water regulation.
Rule Code Code for a National Drinking Water rule.
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rule
  • 121 - Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 122 - Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 123 - Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Ground Water Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 331 - Nitrates
  • 332 - Arsenic
  • 333 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 111 - Revised Total Coliform Rule
show details
Rule Group Code Code that uniquely identifies a rule group.
  • 120 - Surface Water Treatment Rules
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Groundwater Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 330 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rules
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
show details
Rule Family Code Code for rule family.
  • 100 - Microbials
  • 200 - Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 300 - Chemicals
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
show details

For more clarification please visit the EPA's data dictionary.

Can You Drink Tap Water in Aspen?

We don't have enough information to make a specific recommendation about the safety of drinking tap water in Aspen, Colorado.

However, based on information from nearby locations, the average water score in Colorado is a out of 100.

Tap Safe includes data from many publicly available sources, including the WHO (World Health Organization), CDC (Center for Disease Control), and user submitted databases, but unfortunately there's not enough data about Aspen.

To see user submitted ratings of the water quality for Colorado, see the "User Submitted Ratings" box on this page.

Click here to check out the water quality for Colorado

Contaminants


City of Aspen

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility details

  • Serves: 31100
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Surface water
  • Total: 17

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Nitrate
  • Radium%2C combined (-226 & -228)
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Uranium

Other Detected Contaminants

  • Barium
  • Chlorate
  • Fluoride
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Molybdenum
  • Monochloroacetic acid
  • Strontium
  • Vanadium

Reminder

Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources

Check tap water safety for other popular destinations

Check tap water safety for other cities in Colorado

Check tap water safety for other countries in North America

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: