Air & Water
Having clean pure air is important to the residents of the Delta County. Of 250 Delta County residents surveyed by phone, 97 said that they highly value living in a community with a clean environment, free of air pollution.
The Delta County Environmental Health Division operates air pollution sampling devices. A PM-10 Sampler is located atop the Health Services Building in Delta. Particulate matter (PM) is the term used for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. The PM-10 standard includes particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less (approximately 1/7 the width of a human hair).
Currently, Delta County is in compliance with all State and Federal standards for air quality. Studies and reports from the monitoring program may be found on the Colorado Air Pollution Control Web site.
The Colorado Smoke Outlook details Wildfire Smoke Health Advisories throughout the state of Colorado. During the active wildfire season, it is important for citizens and communities to be aware of potential smoke issues in their area. Select the link below to get up-to-date information:
You can also check out the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit Facebook page for up-to-date fire information in the Delta when something is happening: https://www.facebook.com/UCRFireManagementUnit
For more information regarding air monitoring data, read the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission Report to the Public. For more information, see our open burning tab above.
The State of Colorado and Delta County have restrictions on burning unwanted waste materials.
All persons conducting open burning, other than agricultural burning (as defined by the State of Colorado Air Pollution Control Division Regulation #9), are required to obtain an open burning permit from the Air Pollution Control Division, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Information regarding State open burning permits may be found at the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division website
If you are planning to conduct any open burning, you must first contact the Delta County Dispatch (399-2955) on the day you plan to conduct the burn. (See our Burning Restrictions web page for more information.)
The burning of household trash and other dense smoke-producing materials is prohibited in Delta County. The Delta County Environmental Health Division enforces the Open Burning Regulations.
Call the 24-hour indoor burning hotline: 303-692-3280
If the state has jurisdiction, they'll contact the suspected violator. If a local municipality has jurisdiction, they'll pass along the information you report to us and we will follow up on the complaint.
- Open Burning Algorithm, a guide to know what, when, and where you can burn
- Agricultural and Open Burning Information
- Opening Burning Permit Application, for submission to Delta County Environmental Health
- State of Colorado Air Pollution Control Division Regulation Opening Burning
- Colorado Open Burning Fact Sheet
Water is an extremely valuable natural resource of Delta County. Delta County Environmental Health program partners with private and local, state, and federal entities to maintain and improve water quantity and quality in the County. The Delta Board of County Commissioners is dedicated to preserving the quality and quantity of the water resources of Delta County and has therefore entered into a long-term research project to study the hydrology and science of water in the County.
If you are interested in learning more about getting a permit for a new well- contact the Colorado Division of Water Resources first! New wells, and those in submitting subdivision applications will need to submit water sample reports to Environmental Health.
A Delta County groundwater planning area map was created to classify groundwater resources.
GIS-Based Hydrological and Environmental Systems Analysis (HESA) studies
Phase l - Oak Mesa Report, Oak Mesa Presentation
Phase 2 - North Fork Report, North Fork-Gunnison River Presentation, North Fork-Terraces Presentation
Phase 3 – Surface Creek
Phase 4 – Uncompahgre River Valley
Colorado Water Data Sharing Network
Rogers Mesa Groundwater Report
Rainwater Collection in Colorado- Can I capture rainwater?
- Most homeowners in Colorado are now allowed to use rain barrels to collect rainwater.
- A maximum of two rain barrels with a combined storage of 110 gallons or less are allowed at each household.
- Collected rainwater may be used to irrigate outdoor lawns, plants or gardens.
- Untreated rainwater collected from roofs is not safe to drink
The purpose of this factsheet is to provide information about the regulatory and health aspects of rainwater collection in Colorado. The information provided in this factsheet is based primarily on language in Colorado House Bill 16-1005 and is intended to inform citizens on how to properly use rain barrels in accordance with Colorado law.
What about Graywater?
At this time "Graywater" systems are NOT allowed in Delta County. All wastewater must enter a septic or sewer system. Runoff from storm drains, french drains, etc. is not allowed in septic systems. Learn more about greywater in Colorado, or download our Graywater FAQ's at Delta County Graywater FAQ's
Colorado Water Quality Control
The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission is the administrative agency responsible for developing specific state water quality policies of the State of Colorado Water Quality Control Act. The Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regulates and implements the standards for surface and ground waters of the state set forth by the Commission and State Legislature.
- Questions about Foam? It is a naturally occurring phenomenon.
- Concerned about Blue-green (Toxic) Algae?
Colorado Division of Water Resources
The Colorado Division of Water Resources (Office of the State Engineer) is an agency within the Department of Natural Resources providing administration of Colorado's water resources to meet the demands of today, and to provide for the needs of tomorrow. The agency works on basin of origin issues, issues involving federally-reserved water rights, wetlands, and endangered species recovery, as well as interstate water issues. Look up a well permit.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Resources Division
The USGS has been studying our nation's water resources for the last century. Their webpage can give you historical, periodic, and real-time information on many of the streams and rivers in the United States. They also have many water-related studies and reports available for viewing.
Multiple efforts to address elevated selenium concentrations in the Lower Gunnison and Colorado Rivers with Colorado are ongoing.
The most active effort is related to the Selenium Management Program (SMP) facilitated by the US Bureau of Reclamation. Learn more at Gunnison River Basin website.
Public Drinking Water
Safe clean drinking water is one of the foundation stones for a healthy community. Large community and small non-community systems serving such places as towns, drinking water systems, pipelines, summer camps, restaurants, campgrounds, and motels in Delta County are inspected and regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Water Quality Control Division Drinking Water Program. If you have concerns, visit: https://cdphe.colorado.gov/laboratory-services/water-testing/water-testing-frequently-requested-information
If you are interested in learning more about getting a permit for a new well- contact the Colorado Division of Water Resources first!
For more information, visit the US Environmental Protection Agency Colorado Drinking Water information site.
Private Drinking Water
We do not regulate the water quality for private water wells (they are not included in the Safe Drinking Water Act). Only those that meet the definition of a Public Water System are regulated. You can order water tests through the state health department by clicking on the links below:
For more on testing your water go to: https://cdphe.colorado.gov/laboratory-services/water-testing/homeowner-water-testing
Private drinking water sources are supplied by groundwater wells or springs. The quality and safety of the water supplied from these sources vary greatly depending on geology, aquifer depth, well construction, spring collection, and other factors. The West Central Public Health Partnership has gathered groundwater quality data from private drinking water samples collected in the Region 10 Counties through a Safe Watch grant from the Centers for Disease Control. This grant has ended (September 2020) and samples can no longer be submitted, however maps of water quality from groundwater wells and spring water compared to drinking water standards in Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel Counties can be found here: Safe Watch results in dashboard.
Private well water quality is not regulated, so providing safe drinking water from a private well is the responsibility of the well owner. Two helpful publications are:
• “Drinking Water from Household Wells”, from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
These publications address the following topics:
- Groundwater quality and potential contaminants
- Naturally occurring sources of pollution
- Installing a new well
- Well location and setbacks
- How to protect your groundwater supply
- Well-construction and maintenance
- Abandoned wells
- Water testing
- Interpreting your water test result
- FAQs about well water quality
It is possible to check your private drinking water to determine if it is safe for drinking. Bacteriologic testing sample containers are available at the Delta County Environmental Health Division offices to sample your water for bacteriological contamination. Samples will be sent to the Grand Junction Regional Laboratory for testing.
Western Slope Laboratories Certified to Test Drinking Water
Enviro-Chem Analytical, 685 West Gunnison Avenue, Suite 108, Grand Junction, CO
City of Gunnison Wastewater Treatment Plant
524 County Road 32, Gunnison, CO
510 29.5 Road, Grand Junction, CO
Radon is an odorless and colorless radioactive gas that forms through the natural breaking down of uranium in soil, water, and rocks. Colorado is known as zone 1 when it comes to the presence of high radon gas levels. Nearly 73%, or every 3 out of 4 homes, in Colorado have high levels of radon gas.
- For health information regarding radon from the CDC visit https://www.cdc.gov/radon/awareness.html .
- For more information on the health impacts of radon visit https://www.thewhiteribbonproject.org/.
As of July 1, 2022 all contractors conducting radon measurement and/or mitigation in Colorado must be licensed by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).
To search for certified radon professionals or verify the contractor you have selected is licensed by DORA, utilize DORA's professional or business license search engine.
CDPHE Low Income Radon Mitigation Assistance program
The CDPHE low income radon mitigation assistance program's purpose is to provide financial assistance to low-income individuals for radon mitigation services. The intent of the program is to enhance a safe living environment for low-income homeowners in Colorado.
Remodeling, Renovating or Demolishing?
You may be subject to State and Federal Regulations requiring an inspection for asbestos. Avoid penalties and delays: If you are impacting greater than the trigger levels of suspect asbestos-containing materials (“ACM”) – you must have your project inspected for ACM by a Colorado-certified asbestos building inspector before commencing work.
- CDPHE FAQ'S regarding Asbestos and renovation or demolition
- NOTIFICATION application-DEMOLITION
- ABATEMENT PERMIT application. Click here for the Word Version of the renovation abatement form.
- General Information on Asbestos
- Who can do testing? The state maintains a list of certified testing and abatement contractors on their website: https://cdphe.colorado.gov/indoor-air-quality/asbestos
For ALL Renovation Projects:
- Buildings of any age may contain ACM; even those newly built may have ACM.
- Inspection: If the structures/components to be disturbed exceed the trigger levels, they must be inspected for asbestos by a Colorado-certified asbestos building inspector, unless the building was built after October 12, 1988, AND the architect or engineer who built it signs and submits documentation showing that no ACM was specified or used in the construction of the building – then no inspection is needed. Asbestos Consulting Firms and asbestos building inspectors can be found in the yellow pages of most telephone books under the heading “Asbestos Consulting and Testing” or go to our web site for a current list: www.colorado.gov/cdphe/asbestos.
- If the amount of ACM to be disturbed exceeds the following trigger levels, then an asbestos abatement contractor must remove the material:
- Single-Family Residential Dwellings (“SFRD”) - the trigger levels are: 50 linear feet on pipes; 32 square feet on other surfaces; or the volume equivalent of a 55-gallon drum.
- Public and Commercial Buildings (other than SFRDs) - the trigger levels are: 260 linear feet on pipes; 160 square feet on other surfaces; or the volume equivalent of a 55-gallon drum.
- Notification: A written application to CDPHE for a notice/permit may be required, along with payment of a fee and a ten (10) working-day notification period (emergencies may be excluded) before the removal (abatement) of regulated asbestos-containing materials. ALL ACM waste must be disposed of at an approved asbestos waste disposal site – regardless of the quantity or the necessity for a notice/permit.
For ALL Demolition Projects:
- Inspection: the building or area of the building to be demolished must be inspected for asbestos by a Colorado-certified asbestos inspector. Asbestos Consulting Firms and asbestos building inspectors can be found in the yellow pages of most telephone books under the heading “Asbestos Consulting and Testing” or go to our website for a current list:
- Asbestos Removal (if necessary) may have to be performed by a Colorado-certified GAC. Removal, in accordance with Regulation No. 8, Part B, is required if the amount of asbestos-containing material that is friable or will become friable during demolition exceeds the trigger levels.
- A Demolition Notification Application Form must be submitted to the CDPHE, even if no asbestos was found during the inspection, along with payment of a notification fee and a ten (10) working-day notification period that is required before the demolition can commence.