Northern Colorado town grapples with ‘disgusting’ drinking water – Colorado News

Northern Colorado town grapples with ‘disgusting’ drinking water – Colorado News


We conducted a blind taste-test of Wellington water versus other municipalities’ water.
Jacy Marmaduke

Kelly Nehls knew something was wrong the first time she turned on the shower.

“I called (my fiancé) into the bathroom and I was like, ‘Smell this. Am I crazy?’ ” she said. “It was pretty potent.”

“Potent” is one of the kinder descriptions of water in Wellington, a burgeoning Northern Colorado town that has tripled its population since 2000. 

Here are a few descriptions from Wellington residents interviewed by the Coloradoan: “Disgusting.” “Pond scum.”


“It tastes like dirt, and it smells like a lake,” said Nehls, who moved to Wellington from Fort Collins in 2016 in search of affordable housing.

Wellington’s water is safe to drink, but it tastes bad in the summer because algae takes over the town’s main water source as temperatures climb, officials said. 

A recent reservoir treatment beat the algae down, but fighting it to the death could cost the town hundreds of thousands of dollars and take years.

That leaves the town’s 8,000-some residents in a bind when the algae booms — buying bottled water by the case, pinching their noses at piles of freshly laundered clothes and grimacing at the taste of their morning coffee.

Meanwhile, the gap keeps widening between the town’s water infrastructure and the demands of its ever-growing population.

It’s a hard reality…

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