"Concerns about the water were first raised by a Hugo company using quick 'field tests' to check employees for THC," Ingold writes. "The simple tests are similar in function to home pregnancy tests in that they can return only two results: positive or negative." The company conducting the tests "had been getting inconsistent results and decided to test a vial of tap water, expecting it to be negative. Instead, the test came back positive, and the company called authorities."
"Lincoln County officials conducted 10 other field tests, using two different types of test kits, on the town’s water and six came back positive," Ingold writes. "Authorities later isolated the positive results to a single well—well No. 1, about a mile south of Hugo’s small downtown." The well showed signs of forced entry, but officials said it was unclear when the damage occurred.
The source of the chemical remains a mystery, on more than one level. THC is not soluble in water.