For years, Jackson Hole’s declining water quality has been making local and regional headlines. As pressure increases on our streams and aquifers, the topic is more newsworthy than ever. Luckily, these alarm bells have not fallen on deaf ears, and many Jackson locals have started a concerted effort to understand the issue and respond effectively to the ongoing threat of water quality impairments. The Teton Conservation District, along with other local organizations, has been leading the charge to study the sources of water contamination. TCD released data from their “Drinking Water Quality Mapping Project” last month, making the most up-to-date water quality information available to the public for the first time in a consolidated report. This is an invaluable resource to stakeholders in the Valley who are concerned about water quality and the resulting consequences for themselves and their neighbors.
The Report collected data on eight water quality parameters from sources throughout the county. Water was sampled from public sources and private drinking wells. The spatial analysis maps, which detail the concentrations of Nitrate, Chloride, Fluoride, Sodium, Sulfate, and Total Dissolved Solids, as well as pH and Total Hardness, show the enormous range of drinking water quality that Teton County residents can access. While population centers tended to have higher levels of each parameter, Hoback stood out as being well above desirable or acceptable levels for most parameters, especially Nitrate.
According to EPA guidelines, Nitrates in drinking water sources can have serious health consequences for humans at concentrations above 10 mg/L, as the element blocks the body’s ability to absorb oxygen into the blood stream. New research indicates that there can also be negative health impacts at nitrate concentrations from 3-10 mg/L. While local environmental organizations, including the TCD, have been working to identify sources of nitrates, there has been an increasing focus on human wastewater, which is a major contributor to the issue.
Luckily, here at SOSystems, we have made it our mission to help combat nitrogen pollution from wastewater! LooLoop, our advanced treatment septic system, is certified to drastically reduce nitrates before the effluent is reintroduced to the groundwater. LooLoop protects the environment, keeps your backyard clean, and keeps your neighbors safe and healthy. Join us in the fight to protect our treasured valley, and upgrade your septic system to a LooLoop today!
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Click here to read the full report from TCD.