Where Does Your Drinking Water Come From?
Public Water Systems
In Teton County, the water you get from your faucet can come from several different places. Many people are connected to public water systems, such as the one that supplies much of the Town of Jackson. Public systems are required by the Environmental Protection Agency to be routinely monitored and tested for many contaminants. What is more the operators of these systems are required by law to publish a yearly Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) that informs their customers about the status of their water and the system. You can find information about your public water system by calling them or searching for them on these websites:
EPA Region 8
Private Wells and Springs
While much of Teton County is connected to public systems, many people rely on their own private well or spring for their drinking water. Private water sources such as these require proper installation and routine maintenance to ensure they are safe.
Private wells and springs are also not required by law to best tested and the government does not have the authority to ensure the water is safe for drinking. This means that it is the sole responsibility of the homeowner to test their well or spring to make sure they have clean water.
The CDC recommends people on privately owned systems test their water at least once a year for coliform bacteria, nitrate, pH, and total dissolved solids. Depending on factors such as the age of your system and proximity of your well to sources of potential pollution such as industrial facilities, you may want to consider testing for other contaminants such as lead or arsenic. You should also have your water tested if any of the following have recently occurred:
- There are water quality issues in the surrounding area.
- Events such as flooding or land disturbances have recently occurred near your well or spring.
- You repair or replace any part of your water system.
- You notice a change in your water quality (e.g. taste, smell, clarity, color).
Babies, small children, and pregnant woman may be particularly vulnerable to certain contaminants such as bacteria and nitrate. If you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or have small children, strongly consider testing your well.
Where to Test Your Well Water in Teton County
In Teton County, testing is offered in a couple locations. For more in-depth testing, the Teton Conservation District offers test kits that check for coliform bacteria, sulfate, total hardness, nitrate, nitrite, sodium, total dissolved solids, pH, fluoride, and chloride. You can buy a kit from the for $50 at 420 W Pearl Ave, Jackson, WY 83001 (open M-F, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm). Lead and arsenic testing is offered there for an additional $15.
The Teton County Health Department also offers bottles used to test for only coliform bacteria for $20 at 460 E Pearl Ave, Jackson, WY 83001 (open M-F, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm).
For additional information, call or stop by the following locations:
Teton Conservation District
420 W Pearl Ave, Jackson, WY 83001
Teton County Health Department - Environmental Health Division
460 E. Pearl Ave, Jackson, WY 83001