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The mellow waters of the Springs

tap waterLast week the Gazette reported that Colorado Springs had been found to have methadone and Valium in our tap water, making us one mellow city indeed. Drugs found in Springs water This news was reported in the Denver papers, too, but nobody mentioned where the drugs were coming from?

You probably thought it was coming from drug addicts in their private castles, right? Well… wrong. And don’t look for investigative reporting from the local papers to correct your lack of info either. From the national AP we learn from where these drugs were most likely released into our tap water, and it may surprise you, or not? Tons of Drugs Dumped Into Wastewater

The drugs probably came into the Colorado Springs water supply by way of the local hospitals, Penrose and Memorial? Hey, they wanted the waters to be mellow in the Springs! Don’t grow old waiting for The Gazette to do some follow up reporting on this one. It most likely just won’t happen…

2 thoughts on “The mellow waters of the Springs

  1. I’d be curious to know more about why and how the hospitals are introducing these drugs into the water supply. It’s not like they take a bunch of Valium pills and flush them down the toilet, do they? If so, why would they?

    I know plenty of mommies who’d be happy to help keep the waters pure.

  2. Marie, they waste drugs all the time in US medical facilities and often what they do is, in fact… just flush them down the toilet. And even if they don’t waste the medicines, many drugs are secreted in urine, so that patients ‘waste’ their prescribed meds too, when they pee.

    The question is though, why is the waste water not having more pesticides and drugs removed when the water is re-treated? Somehow the treatment process is defective here in Colorado Springs as it is in many other places in the US. Probably the standards are just too loose to adequately do the job. I don’t know for sure. Perhaps the standards in treating waste water are just too loose, like with ‘standards’ that allow BPA into our food supply.

    The other question is, like with food, why do so many meds get thrown as waste? I would answer that it is in the factory-like process of delivering medical care in the US where the problem lies. This factory-like model of processing patients is extremely wasteful of all resources, human and otherwise. Once those meds are packed onto paper individualized sheets, they often finally just get tossed by medical facilities if the patient leaves the facility. And they get sent back to the pharmacy and who knows what is done with them if they arrive there? Maybe they get incinerated, and maybe they get flushed.

    Here is an analysis in ‘US Pharmacist‘ of the problem of American pharmaceutical waste disposal and in it I read the following…

    “The FDA has recommended that certain unwanted medications be flushed down the toilet (TABLE 1), primarily due to their high abuse potential.15 While these practices may reduce the chances of drug diversion, they still may add to the environmental impact of unwanted PPCPs.”

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