Security’s water district is installing two new pipelines to make it easier to draw water from the district’s share of the Southern Delivery System — and eliminate use of well water until chemical contamination problems are solved.
Security’s water system, along with systems in Fountain and Widefield, were among 94 in the nation identified with high levels of perflourinated chemicals — most likely from Air Force fire fighting training at Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases.
The chemicals have been linked to cancers and birth defects. In some parts of the nation, communities have entered into a class action suit against DuPont, who makes the chemicals for use in Teflon-coated items and Scotchgard.
Only one area of the district receives well water, and two pipelines will eliminate that use until the water can be cleared of chemical contamination.
“What we’re doing now is to push as much surface water from zone two and zone three into zone one [the only area that gets its water from wells along Highways 85 and 87],” said Roy Heald, general manager of the district. “With the water restrictions we have — people minimizing water use — we can avoid well water that is contaminated.”
Locally, the U.S. Air Force has promised $4.1 million for a long-term solution — one that Heald said will allow the district to use well water in the future.
Until then, the district has short-term solutions to protect residents from contaminated water. The mainline pipes will allow distribution of surface water into the system that relies on well water.
“The construction will allow us to bring surface water into different locations in zone one and circulate the water better to further eliminate PFCs from the tap water,” Heald said.
The pipes will be installed under the roads and construction is near the intersections of Bradley Road and Cody Drive, as well as Monk Street and Watson Boulevard. Some of the work is going on behind Pinello and Venetucci elementary schools. It will be finished before school starts. Both schools will be served with surface water by September, according to the water district.
Historically, about half of the Security water district’s water came from contaminated wells. When PFCs were reported to be in the water, Security curtailed its use of well water and enacted its first voluntary water restrictions. In recent months, surface water use has averaged about 96 percent, according to the district.
“Once the summer demand is over, we have enough surface water to supply the entire district and no customers will be exposed,” Heald said. “We’ve reached an agreement with Colorado Springs for an additional line into the Southern Delivery System to eliminate our use of well water.”
Those are the short-term solutions, Heald said.
“The Air Force has indicated they will help use with the cost of treating the wells,” he said. “We still have an extensive supply of well water, so if we can assure that PFCs are removed, it’ll be a great advantage to our customers in their monthly water bills.”
Read initial stories about the contamination here: