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Contaminants of Emerging Concern

Household wastes contribute to contaminant levels.


The Emerging Contaminant Program is a collaborative monitoring program initiated by Northern Water in 2008 that monitors more than 150 contaminants in source water supplies. Fort Collins Utilities' Source Watershed Program has been involved since inception and helps fund monitoring efforts, along with numerous other entities. 

Study sites are mostly located within the Colorado-Big Thompson system, including Fort Collins' Horsetooth Reservoir and Poudre River drinking water supplies. Check out this infographic for more information.

Emerging contaminants are trace concentrations (at the nanogram/L or part per trillion level, or less) of the following types of chemicals:

  • personal care products (fragrances, sunscreens, insect repellents, detergents, household chemicals)
  • pharmaceuticals
  • endocrine-disrupting chemicals
  • pesticides and herbicides

Reports for the Emerging Contaminant Program are produced annually by Northern Water.