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Brighton Residents Worried Oil Wells Are Contaminating Their Water

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The yellow water the the Hertz's home in Brighton (credit: CBS)

The yellow water the the Hertz’s home in Brighton (credit: CBS)

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Homeowners in Brighton worried about their water are now looking across their street for answers.

It’s a dirty water mystery. No one seems to know what is causing the well water to turn yellow. Since early March the homeowners have been looking at the color of water in their bathtubs, sinks, washers, and their drinking glasses. Right now they’re doing everything they can to get to the bottom of the issue.

Christina and Karl Hertz point to the oil and gas wells across the street from their home. They believe there’s a possibility the wells could be linked to the murky water.

“We can’t use it for cooking, I can’t use it for drinking,” Christina Hertz said. “It makes me feel dirty … and I don’t sleep at night.”

She says the dirty water has stained their clothes and ruined their sinks and bathtubs since March. Both she and Karl worry fracking from the nearby Bayswater Exploration oil and gas wells could have contaminated their well water.

“Two days after they started we had problem with the water. So whether it’s coincidental or whether it’s the cause, I don’t know,” Christina said.

Hoping to clear up the problem, the couple replaced their water heater and well water pipes. About $4,400 later the dirty water continues to pour in.

The couple has filed a complaint with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, who are now running a series of tests looking for chemicals and bacteria that may be contaminating their water well.

Bayswater Exploration told CBS4 the nearby oil and gas wells have never been used for fracking and they are fully cooperating with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

The Conservation Commission also told CBS4 the test results from the Hertz’s water supply will take two more weeks, and the bacteria tests could take even longer.

Until the dirty water mystery is solved, the Brighton family will have to continue to live with the water they’ve been told by experts is not safe to drink.

“So far no one has been able to help us. All we want is clean water again,” Christina said.

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