After preliminary tests revealed possible marijuana ingredients inside their water supply, officials in a Colorado town are warning residents to stay away.
Authorities explained they may have found THC inside the city of Hugo’s water supply, which is the primary psychoactive compound found in marijuana, the Denver Post reports.
Not only are residents advised not to drink the water, they are warned they should not bathe or cook with it, either. Pets should also stay away.
Officials are performing further tests to confirm whether or not the water is actually contaminated with THC and, if so, to what extent.
“We are checking to make sure this isn’t because of the field test kit -- that it isn’t a false positive,” said Capt. Michael Yowell of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Still, he says, while results are as of yet uncertain, there are enough signs to trouble authorities.
“I wouldn’t be doing my job for my community if we just wrote this off,” Yowell said.
Officials say they grew suspicious of the water after a local company received inconsistent, unusual results following a drug test of their employees.
When the company decided to test the water just in case, they promptly informed officials when the results came out positive for THC.
Adding to their concern, authorities found signs of forced entry when investigating the source well.
However, some experts say they don’t believe there is likely much to worry about.
Dr. John Fox, a health officer, says it “would take more product than any of us could afford to contaminate a city water supply to the extent that people would suffer any effects.”
Joseph Evans, a former Environmental Protection Agency scientist, agrees there isn’t much danger.
“The one thing that bothers me about this story from a scientific perspective is that THC is so insoluble in water,” said Evans. “I can’t imagine, I can’t even fathom the idea that THC would be in water at any type of solubility to create any kind of health hazard.”
Yowell says that while they are aware of these facts, they're still being careful.
“... when you have a presumptive positive of THC in our water supply, we take that very seriously,” he said.
Officials are distributing thousands of water bottles to residents in the meantime, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office announced on Twitter.