Contaminated well water detected in Security-Widefield

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Environmental Protection Agency periodically requires water systems that serve more than 10,000 people to be sampled for any possible contaminants. In October 2015, a report indicated a certain type of man-made chemical was affecting the water in southeast Colorado Springs.

The report released by the EPA found perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in the drinking water in Security-Widefield and Fountain, and now several tests are being conducted to not only find answers but a solution.

A handful of public wells have been turned off after PFCs were found in the water.

“They are products used in a variety of settings in the industry to prevent stain, grease and heat damage such as on carpet, scotch guard, or on pans and utensils for food and for firefighting retardant material,” said Tom Gonzales, deputy director of El Paso County Public Health.

Officials said it’s too early to speculate exactly how the chemicals got into the Widefield aquaphor or how long they’ve been there.

“EPA, state health and El Paso County Public Health are working on a sampling plan that we’ll send to EPA to begin the assessment of where may this product be coming from,” said Gonzales.

A majority of the water that goes to Security-Widefield and Fountain comes from the Pueblo reservoir, which does not contain PFCs, meaning it’s okay to drink.

However, if you rely on a private well for water, you’re encouraged to get it tested.

“It’s like anything when we talk toxicology,” said Gonzales. “It’s the amount and how long you’ve been exposed to this, so it’s too early to say what those health effects are.”

If you own a personal well or have any concerns about your water, you’re urged to call the El Paso County Public Health Department or your local water provider.

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