Unless you are from either Leadville, Colorado or Northern Chile, you may not know what molybdenum is. It's probably a word you are not only unfamiliar with, but also don't care about! However, if you are part of the mining industry, you definitely know what molybdenum is, and if you are in the municipal water treatment world, you also have some knowledge on this particular chemical element. Mining and water treatment are quite different occupations, but they do interconnect quite often for obvious reasons. This is a water-related blog, so you might be asking yourself, Why in the world should I care about an element in the world of mining?
This is why: molybdenum is a very important element in the creation of alloy, and is used in various forms of steel. It is fantastic for its durability and non-corrosive features, and it's a dream when used in extreme environments such as extremely hot temperatures. That's the good news for mankind—and for construction progress.
The bad news is that this element can be harmful at levels deemed unsafe if it seeps into our groundwater and reservoirs used for drinking water. At the present time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate molybdenum so it is left up to local and state regulations. This is where the story begins here in Colorado.
Freeport-McMoRan subsidiary Climax Molybdenum wants to revise the standards regarding molybdenum pollution in Colorado waterways. According to the Denver Post, "Freeport-McMoRan has asked the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to relax water quality limit for molybdenum in streams used for domestic water statewide to 9,000 parts per billion from 210 parts per billion. Denver Water is concerned because, if this is approved, it could require a massive upgrade to its existing water treatment plant, to the tune of between $480–$600 million.
Freeport-McMoRan has submitted new studies (which they funded), resulting in findings they feel supports their request for these relaxed regulations. On the other hand, the Denver Post reports, "The CDPHE water quality scientists have determined that molybdenum pollution at the proposed new limits would kill fish and could hurt people." Yikes.
The final decision will not be made until later this year. In the meantime, educating yourself about the water you drink is becoming increasingly more important. In this blog, we hope to inform and educate in order to help you make better decisions about your health and well being. Yes, we are a bit biased because we offer the finest spring water in this great state of Colorado. And yes, our water is molybdenum free—and delivered straight to your doorstep.