Air Force deal to help with contaminated groundwater gets underway in Fountain

After tanks are installed, special filters will be put inside to try and clear up contamination -- FOX21 News

FOUNTAIN, Colo. — There’s a possible solution to the groundwater contamination in Security, Widefield and Fountain.

As part of a $4.3 million deal with the Air Force, new water tanks are being installed near Fountain’s library. They’ll work to filter out toxic chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs.

In early 2016, the chemicals tainted Widefield’s aquifer, possibly from firefighting foam used on Peterson Air Force Base for decades.

For Albert Vialpando, who has lived in Widefield for more than 40 years, it’s a scary reality.

“There’s a lot of cancer going around Security, Widefield and Fountain and I’m kind of worried,” said Vialpando.

The Air Force is hoping to purify the situation, providing Fountain with granular activated carbon or filters.

According to Fountain Utilities, they did a pilot test back in December which showed the filters were effective.

“So it’s kind of a tried and proven technology and it’s in place across the United States in many different applications,” said Curtis Mitchell, Utilities Director for the City of Fountain.

On Thursday and Friday, Fountain Utilities will be getting step one of the process done, which includes installing the water tanks. The next process will come next week, when the filters are put inside.

A testing phase will follow that, and if all goes as planned, operations are slated to begin in late July or early August.

Two more units will be delivered at the end of July, with hopes of starting operations in September.

While surface water is not affected and can still be used, Fountain Utilities is still asking people to participate in voluntary water restrictions.

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