Tests showed perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, in certain groundwater wells that supply drinking water to north metro Denver, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced July 12. PFCs are toxic chemicals used in a variety of products, including firefighting foam, that have contaminated water supplies near military bases around the world — including in El Paso County.
So far, South Adams County Water and Sanitation District officials have detected PFCs in 12 municipal wells along Quebec Parkway near Interstate 270, The Denver Post reports. Those wells supply water to 50,000 residents across 65 square miles.
The District's water system manager is quoted in the Post's article as saying that the wells' PFC levels ranged from 24 parts per trillion (ppt) to 2,280 ppt. That's up to 32 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's current acceptable limit for PFCs, which is 70 ppt. A study released June 20 by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry suggests that safe drinking water should contain less than 12 ppt.
"We are working with our partners at EPA and local governments to address this issue and protect public health," Ron Falco, safe drinking water program manager for the Water Quality Control Division, is quoted in the CDPHE's statement.