Science project creates stir in Basalt |

Science project creates stir in Basalt

Aspen Times Staff

An elementary school student’s science project put a temporary scare in Basalt officials last week.One of several exhibits at Basalt Elementary School’s annual Science Fair featured a water sample from a drinking fountain there. The young scientist’s experiment concluded that the sample lacked chlorine and possibly contained bacteria.Someone pointed out the results to Basalt Mayor Leroy Duroux, who regularly attends the event and often helps judge. He passed the word to Basalt Town Manager Bill Efting the next day, and Efting had the water department staff investigate.A town water technician, certified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, collected samples at the same drinking fountain, Efting said. Using state approved testing methods and a state certified laboratory, the technician found sufficient levels of chlorine residual and no bacteria.Efting decided to get the word out, even though alerting the media meant creating an issue that might not have otherwise existed. Efting noted hundreds of people attend the Science Fair and some potentially saw results of the water quality experiment.The town government decided to put out a news release describing the incident and assuring residents the water quality is high.”I’d rather error on the side of letting the public know,” Efting said.As for the young scientist’s results, Efting said, results apparently became skewed as the water sample sat.Anyone with questions about the town’s water quality can contact a technician at 927-9013.