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Vogel Canyon spring in the Purgatoire River Basin, Otero County, Colorado, May 2007. Photo credit: Larry Scott for the CGS.

Surface Water Quality

As snowmelt and rain enter Colorado streams and percolate into the ground, the water picks up particles and dissolves some components of the rocks. Ordinarily, this natural process does not affect the water quality enough to be of concern. However, in some areas elements in the rocks are dissolved in high enough concentrations to adversely affect the bio-system.

Pierre Shale (gray) exposed along St. Vrain Creek in Weld County, Colorado. Photo credit: Stephen Keller for the CGS.
Pierre Shale (gray) exposed along St. Vrain Creek in Weld County, Colorado. Photo credit: Stephen Keller for the CGS.

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