WELD COUNTY, CO – When Weld County Chemist Mark Thomas speaks about his office’s newest instrument, there is a tinge of excitement in his voice. “We are talking about testing parts per billion,” Thomas said. “That is like saying we can measure something that is as small as one eyedropper drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.”
Thomas, who works in Weld County’s Department of Public Health and Environment laboratory, is referring to the county’s new gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer instrument which will enable the county to provide free ground-water testing for individuals concerned about potential impacts to their wells from oil and gas activity near their property.
“This instrument will analyze a water sample for volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs, and will produce a report as to what level those compounds exist – if they exist at all,” said Thomas.