By Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017
© Tara Moore/Getty Images

Being able to sip THC-infused water from your faucets might sound like some stoner’s silly dream. But for a small town in Colorado it’s been a real public health nightmare after field tests showed that a public well was testing positive for THC.

The well has since been sealed off, according to the Denver Post, but the 720 or so residents of Hugo were told to avoid the town’s water for at least 48 hours while the possibly contaminated water flushed its way out of the system – meaning no consuming the water or even showering in the water. Now, officials, residents and experts are trying to determine not only how this may have happened but if it’s even possible to taint water with THC.

The prevailing theory seems to be that someone may have sabotaged the well after Captain Michael Yowell of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office told reporters that the well had signs of forced entry. But those in the science community are wondering whether sabotage by THC is even feasible. “The one thing that bothers me about this story from a scientific perspective is that THC is so insoluble in water,” Joseph Evans, lab director at a marijuana testing lab, was quoted as saying. “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.” Even if you could make THC soluble, Lincoln County’s health officer Dr. John Fox pointed out that doing so would still be impossible from a practical standpoint. “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,” he said.

Still, despite the science, Yowell said the field tests meant some sort of action had to be taken. “When you have a presumptive positive of THC in our water supply, we take that very seriously,” the Post quoted him as saying.

Interestingly, the THC-tainted water first came to light after a Hugo-based company found irregularities in test results when drug testing its employees. Thus, my theory: Someone was willing to go to any extreme necessary to keep his job. The old “it’s not me; it’s the water” routine never fails.