Forgotten: Did the State of Colorado Leave Residents with Bad Water?

Forgotten: Did the State of Colorado Leave Residents with Bad Water?

Gas drilling arrived in southern Colorado’s Raton Basin in the late 1990s, and along with it came heavy traffic, noise and what many locals say is contaminated water.

Numerous residents discovered they had a chemical in their water called “tert-Butyl alcohol” or “TBA.”

The state investigated the matter and published a report suggesting TBA was naturally occurring, among other explanations. Now the case is closed and the report not only leaves more questions than it answers, but it resigns residents to living with water they dare not drink.

This investigative report is in two-parts below.

Part 1

Part 2


Photo credit: Frani Halperin

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About the Author

H20 Radio

H2O Radio is journalism about water. Executive Producers Frani Halperin and Jamie Sudler create programs to raise awareness about water—a vital resource on which all life depends. Learn more at

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