Air Force accidentally releases 150,000 gallons of PFC-contaminated water into Colorado Springs sewer system

This story has been updated. 

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Air Force accidentally released about 150,000 gallons of PFC-contaminated water into a Colorado Springs Utilities sewer system last week, according to Air Force officials.

The water came from a retention tank. The tank is part of a system that recirculates water to the fire training area. The water contained an elevated level of PFCs from a firefighting foam historically used on the base, according to Air Force officials.

Authorities at Peterson discovered the breach during a routine tank inspection on October 12. They said they reported the discharge to Colorado Springs Utilities within 24 hours, and made an official report within five days.

Utilities officials said the breach happened sometime between October 10 and 12.

Investigators are working to determine how the breach occurred and whether there are any gaps in procedures or training.

According to Colorado Springs Utilities, the spill had no impact to drinking water, as it went straight into the wastewater system. By the time they were notified, the water flow had already passed through their system, which treats about 30 million gallons a day.

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