WELL AND AQUIFER CORRUPTION IN THE WVFPD NEIGHBORHOODS
The United States Air Force
Academy (USAFA) recently disclosed that fire fighting chemicals may have leached
into the water table and aquifers feeding homes in the Woodmen Valley, Pine
Creek and Thunderbird Estates neighborhoods. The latest updates on this
issue appear below.
--- New ---
USAFA Well Testing
The local branch of Public Employees for
Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has released additional data
from the USAFA test results. Their overview along
with the test results are available below:
Good News! The USAFA tested 43 wells
across our neighborhoods and 40 of the did not show any
contamination. Three has less than 20 parts per trillion, which
is much lower than the EPA limit of 70 parts per trillion.
The USAFA will continue to test, but at this point, it appears
this is NOT an issue for our neighborhoods. The press
release from the Academy is
available here. You can
also find other articles below.
information, testing and assistance is available from the
Fountain Valley Water Project. Contact them by emailing
Updated Letter from
Colonel Brian Hartless to the WVFPD neighborhoods dated 9/18/19 can be viewed and
His original 8/30/19 letter can be viewed and
Additional resources from the USAFA have been
added to the references section below.
The USAFA confirmed that fire fighting foams
and liquids containing a variety of synthetic fluorinated
chemicals may have leached into the surrounding water table and
The chemicals are in a class called PFAS and
are commonly used for nonstick cookware, food packaging,
waterproof clothing, lubricants, paints and more. PFOA, PFOS and
PFBS compounds are most common in the firefighting foams.
The affect of PFAS on the human body are not
known and the are no published Federally-established maximum
contaminant levels for them, but the United States Environmental
Protection Agency has issued drinking water health advisories
for PFOS and PFOA.
Because they are used in so many products, we
all have some level of these chemicals in our bodies, but those
who have consumed contaminated well water may have significantly
The USAFA has expressed commitment to resolve
the issue and wants to immediately start testing wells that are
actively being used for drinking water, bathing and food
products as soon as September 4. Wells currently being used for
drinking water will be tested first.
Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) water is
unaffected by this incident and is totally safe.
Colorado House Representative Terri
is leading resolution efforts and is working
directly with USAFA representatives now. Woodmen Valley
resident Jeanne Marsh email@example.com
has agreed to be the
point person for the Woodmen Valley, Pine Creek and Thunderbird
Estates neighborhoods. A Big Thanks to each of them!
The Woodmen Valley Fire Department never used
firefighting foam when it was an active fire department, so you
are not at risk from its former equipment or responses. We
don't believe Colorado Springs Fire Department has ever used
these products in our neighborhoods either.
August 30, 2019 Letter from Colonel Hartless
to WVFPD Neighborhoods is
in .PDF form.
Next steps and reference materials follow.
At this time, it does not appear that we have
an issue in the Woodmen Valley, Pine Creek Estates and
Thunderbird Estates neighborhoods. 43 wells were tested.
40 did not have measureable contaminants. The remaining three
had less than 20 parts per trillion (ppt) which is well below
the EPA limit of 70 ppt for household drinking water. For
more information, contact USAFA Public Affairs at the phone or
Marsh at firstname.lastname@example.org
has graciously volunteered to be the point person for th all
three neighborhoods as we sort out the damage and risks of the
situation. Colorado State House Representative Terri Carver at
has championed our cause and handling communications with the
USAFA and the health departments. Feel free to send any
questions to Jeanne.
This website will be updated as we learn
more. We will also be issuing a limited number of updates
via the WVFPD Email list. If you are not currently on that
list, you may sign up here: SignUp.
Site Assessment Report prepared for the USAF:
El Paso County Water Testing (you can get
your water tested here, but we don't know if you will be
reimbursed for the expense):
EPA Advisories on PFOA/PFOS Contamination
(contains basic fact sheets and multiple technical articles) :
Environmental Working Group (EWG) Drinking
Water Report (for USAFA grounds only, does not necessarily
involve our neighborhoods):
New York State Q&A on PFOA (indicates
that fruits and vegetables are safe):
Air Force Civil Engineer Center PFOS/PFOA
Air Force Civil Engineer Center PFOS/PFOA
Frequently Asked Questions
(click on the Frequently Asked Question box at the top/center of
US Air Force Academy Environmental Management
(please see PFOS/PFOA resources block in