The PFAS Project Lab

Studying Social, Scientific, and Political Factors of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

El Paso County, Colorado

Suspected contamination source: Firefighting foam used at Peterson Air Force Base and Colorado Springs Airport (Brownell, 2016)


Military airfields are suspected to be the source of PFAS contamination in the Fountain Creek watershed north of Widefield, Fountain, and Security, Colorado.

The situation reached the point where the water in all 32 of the Security Water and Sanitation District’s municipal wells measured PFAS contamination at levels exceeding a 2016 EPA chronic health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). At one well, federal data showed PFASs levels at 1,370 ppt— nearly 20 times higher than the advised level of exposure. EPA officials recommended that pregnant women and small children should not drink local water.

Utility crews were trying to blend well water as much as possible with water piped 45 miles from Pueblo Reservoir.

El Paso County, with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) help, tested 16 private wells south of Peterson Air Force Base. The results provided to The Post showed PFAS contamination in 13 of those wells at levels ranging from 100 to 260 ppt.

Hannon Law and McDivitt Law filed class action suits against six companies, including 3M, that made fire fighting foams used at Peterson Air Force base.

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