Many homeowners in central Longmont found rectangular blue forms and clear plastic containers hanging in bags off of their door handles Thursday and Friday.
“CLEAR WATER RESEARCH,” the blue form read followed by a Loveland address and phone number. “For the next two weeks, we will be conducting water tests for residents of the district. So there will be no inconvenience to you, please follow the instructions below.”
At the bottom of the form, after questions on the household’s water use there’s a line that reads partly in all capital letters “There is no charge to resident. Not affiliated with city water, county health departments, or fracking agencies. May result in a review of our environmental products.”
Brian Maness, who lives on Sharp Place in Longmont, said he found the form on his door Friday morning and figured it was from the city. He answered the questionnaire, signed the form, filled the small vial from his tap and put the bag back near his door like the instructions said.
“It sounded like a good idea, I mean we’ve never had any problems with our water, but if the city wanted to test it, I wanted to make sure there isn’t anything in it,” Maness said.
When told that Clear Water Research LLC is a private company and not affiliated with the city, Maness read through the form again, noticing the disclaimer at the bottom for the first time.
“Yeah, absolutely that’s misleading,” Maness said. “Absolutely it should say somewhere that it’s a private company … This morning I saw a woman putting them on door and she was talking to my neighbor, I didn’t talk to her. She wasn’t in a city vehicle but she looked very professional. When they come back in the morning to pick this up, I’m going to ask them a few questions about why they’re doing it.”
Clear Water Research LLC Manager Jeremy Pfohl said the company isn’t trying to do anything nefarious. The Loveland-based company, started in May of last year, is a marketing service, Pfohl said.
“We provide complimentary water testing to the district,” Pfohl said. “Then we come back, and we bring the sample back after we do our testing for mineral hardness and chlorine and things like that. If we find results that we think people might be interested in, we ask if they would like more extensive analysis of their water.”
Pfohl said that after testing the company, which is a marketing service for water additives and filters, will discuss with a homeowner “solutions to a problem they see they have.”
“We are just trying to give people accurate water tests at the point of consumption,” Pfohl said.
Rademacher said the city doesn’t believe the service is necessary.
“The city runs literally thousands of water quality tests every year and the reality is that our watershed is high up in the Rocky Mountain National Park and the St. Vrain watershed and our water is very pristine and very good,” Rademacher said, adding that Longmont water is not unusually hard and doesn’t need to be softened.
“It seems like a fairly aggressive marketing ploy,” Rademacher said.
Pfohl said the door hangers are in no way meant to be misleading.
“We’re not trying to hide anything, that’s why we have our name and address and phone number to contact us,” Pfohl said. “Completely full disclosure, if anybody had any questions comments or concerns about the marketing program, we’re happy to answer those questions anytime. We’re not here 24 hours a day, but leave a message and we’ll be happy to call them back and fill them in on anything they’d like to know.”
This article was written by Karen Antonacci from Daily Times-Call, Longmont, Colo. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.