Air Force Academy: Drinking Water South Of Academy Is Safe

Nov 20, 2019

Drinking water near the U.S. Air Force Academy has tested safe from potentially toxic chemicals. 

In a press release Wednesday the Academy says 40 water wells in the Woodmen Valley Fire Protection District had non-detectable levels of PFOA and PFOS. That includes the Woodmen Valley and Thunderbird Estates neighborhoods in El Paso County.

Three wells were under 20 parts per trillion. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets an advisory for the chemicals at 70 parts per trillion.

The Air Force began testing drinking water in the area in September after an inspection on Academy grounds detected levels of the chemicals above the EPA's limit. According to the release, the Academy will continue to monitor PFOS and PFOA levels periodically at a number of locations along the facility's southeastern border.

The United States Air Force Academy says the facility used firefighting foam containing PFOS and PFOA for more than a decade until 1990. The chemicals are part of a larger group known as PFAS. The same group of chemicals was previously found in drinking water in Security, Widefield and Fountain in Southern El Paso County.

The chemicals have been linked to health issues, including kidney and testicular cancer and thyroid disease.