Health advisory prompts water worries south of Colorado Springs

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SECURITY, Colo. (KKTV) A health advisory that's been put in place in some areas south of Colorado Springs after chemicals were found in the water have left many worried.

Concerns over drinking water

Perflourinated chemicals, also known as PFCs, were found in wells in Security, Widefield and Fountain.

"All of our water meets all federal and state drinking water standards," said Roy Heald, general manager of Security Water and Sanitation Districts. "In other words, it meets all the regulations. This is an EPA health advisory, so it doesn't rise to the level of a regulation. It just advises us and the public to be cautious."

Heald said if you're concerned, you "may want to consider a different source."

In light of the advisory, Security has closed seven of its wells. One of them tested at a level of 1,300 parts per trillion of PFCs.

The Environmental Protection Agency's new regulation is 70 parts per trillion.

However, Heald said residents never got that amount because the water was diluted.

Security also gets its water from surface water in the Pueblo Reservoir, which is what Heald said the community is mainly relying on for now.

However, only certain residents are affected. The area is split into three regions. You can view the map of the areas here.

When asked if the water there was safe to drink, Heald said "I drink the water, but the health advisory is generally focused towards the sensitive population of pregnant women, women that are intending to become pregnant, and for the protection of...infants that are breastfeeding or bottle feeding."

Despite that, some residents told 11 News they wouldn't drink it.

"I bought a water dispenser," said Julia Hart. "I go and buy the jugs at Walmart and fill them up. I don't touch this water."

Latisha Mapu, also a Security resident, said, " It made me immediately stop using everything — ice included. I don't want another Flint happening here."

Security's water department didn't say when the problem would be fixed, but said it could take a long time before the chemicals are out of the system.

“We’re looking at treatment over the long term because I think over the long term it’s going to be decades or maybe even generations before these chemicals work their way through the aquifer," said Heald.

Water bills will likely go up for customers there beginning next year.

For more information:

To learn more about PFCs, find information here. To learn more about what they are specifically, click here.

To contact Security Water, call 719-392-3475.

More information from the EPA can be found here.

More information from the El Paso County Health Department can be found here.