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El Paso County reschedules town hall to discuss water contamination

El Paso County canceled a town hall Thursday night intended to discuss the chemical contamination possibly affecting the water supply near the Air Force Academy.

According to El Paso County staff, the venue was unable to accommodate the expected crowd. The meeting will be rescheduled.

You may remember, officials say they found contamination from PFAS at the Air Force Academy. Now, they’re testing selected private water wells in the Woodmen Valley area to see if that water has also been tainted. Those test results won’t be available for the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the El Paso County Department of Public Health and Environment is urging anyone with well water who lives in Woodmen Valley to consider drinking something else.

The groundwater contamination would only impact people who get their water from wells. Anyone connected to Colorado Springs Utilities, including the water supply at the Air Force Academy is in the clear.

The groundwater at the AFA is contaminated with PFAS, or per- and polyflouroalkyl substances, the same toxic chemicals polluting groundwater by the Peterson Air Force Base, and more than 400 other military bases across the country.

Officials believe the contamination came from PFAS in firefighting foam used during training exercises, and to extinguish petroleum fuel fires.

PFAS are also found in household non-stick cookware, but at a much lower level that has been determined to be safe by the EPA.

PFAS have been linked to cancers and problems during pregnancy.

The Air Force has already spent nearly 50 million dollars to try to fix the problem at Peterson, after levels of contamination that were more than 1,000 times the health advisory limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency were detected in 2016.

Construction for a new water treatment plant in Fountain started in July, paid for by the U.S. Air Force.

The Security Water District and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation have sued the Air Force over the contamination. There’s also a class-action lawsuit in progress, led by McDivitt Law Firm, against several firefighting foam companies.

KRDO

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