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Reply to Read This: More on C&O Water
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Adama from DC on 9/27/2020 3:33:16 AM:
Hi everyone...I just read this on Reddit. It helps explain my observation Last week about the removal of handles from a bunch of pumps...Get your filters!!... Important info for folks who ride the C & O After a trip for the last few days on the towpath and finding the wells shut off again (although they were on last week), I bumped into a ranger who gave me some info that folks might want to know. Apparently a few stretches of the wells came back with E. Coli so many need to be shut down. While the wells are technically supposed to be ground water at 100 feet, the Potomac is inevitably leeching in and contaminating the wells often. Understandable. But the important info he gave me: Spring of 2021 the entire C and O well system is going to become non-potable water. So the pumps will be on, but any water coming out will have to be treated. The long and short is that they used to treat with iodine, but due to that not being good for everyone, and a chlorine system is too expensive for the park service to absorb, the water next year will need to be treated before using. He said it will be on the NPS website when the time comes, and signs and info will be at each pump. Unfortunate, but good to know.

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 9/28/2020 11:15:31 PM:
Geez, I hope this doesn’t come to fruition. I love the drinking water availability along the C&O and will be sad to see it go away. Yes, we’ll still be able to rinse off or dunk our heads in the water but being able to drink it is what made it great. I just wonder if they let them go for a long period of time, could they ever revive them? Oh well, we’ll just have to carry our own water or bring a filtration system.

MfromHouston from Houston on 2/10/2021 9:13:09 AM:
Does anyone know the status of NPS not treating water along GAP trail? The NPS cutting something out that affects .5% at high doses (source Canada Allergy Institute) of the population is not tolerable. Seems like another way they trim expenses.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 2/10/2021 2:40:14 PM:
I’m guessing we’ll know sometime in March or April when everyone’s first planning their trips and the NPS makes a decision to treat them or not. I know everyone here is hoping they continue it. Someone on here made a good argument....can’t recall the exact details....but they said it’s actually cheaper for the Park Service to treat the wells with iodine as the these water sources are life savers for people who misjudge their water situation and might get caught between towns. Cheaper than getting billed for ambulance bills retrieving people in dire straits. That said, if E. Coli becomes an issue, hopefully they’ll just mark the bad ones as non-potable and keep the iodine treated ones active. I can’t imagine all of them are being leeched by the Potomac. Hope not anyways! John