Pueblo County testing drinking water for harmful chemicals

Concerns arise there are PFAS in private water wells along Interstate 25 and Highway 50
Posted at 10:36 AM, Dec 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-21 12:44:52-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE) is starting to test private water wells for PFAS.

These chemicals are used in many products like cookware, shampoo, dental floss, makeup and drinking water, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Long-term exposure has been connected to immune system diseases, birth defects and various cancers.

There may be some concern about PFAS coming from El Paso County, PDPHE leaders said, especially in industrial areas along Interstate 25 and Highway 50.

PFAS from firefighting foam, used by Peterson Space Force Base, has been found in groundwater in Security-Widefield. Steps have since been taken to mitigate that contamination.

"The water doesn't stop flowing at the county line and so we definitely were excited for this chance," project manager for PDPHE, Scott Cowan, said.

Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment helped fund Pueblo's PFAS testing program. Up to 165 private water wells in Pueblo County are expected to be tested by June.

Testing for PFAS in Pueblo County water