City of Fountain says the water is safe to drink

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FOUNTAIN, Colo. — Water is safe to drink in Fountain, according to a video announcement during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

The meeting began with a video about water quality in Fountain, claiming that with $4.3 million from the Air Force the city now has the equipment to make water safe.

“This is just an opportunity for us to recommit to our customers that we are going to give them the good clean water,” said Fountain Mayor Gabriel Ortega. “To ensure we can get the proper tools needed, in order to clean out our water and get it the best that we can.”

The Fountain and Security-Widefield areas have struggled with water contamination for decades.

Perfluorinated Compound (PFC) contamination is a known cancer-causing agent that was found in Fountain and Security-Widefield water in 2016.

The contamination is believed to have come from firefighting foam used at Peterson Air Force Base.

Right now there is a structure holding two granular activated carbon (GAC) filtering units.

According to the EPA, GAC has been shown to effectively remove PFAS from drinking water when it is used in a flow-through filter mode after particulates have already been removed.

EPA researcher Thomas Speth says, “GAC can be 100 percent effective for a period of time, depending on the type of carbon used, the depth of the bed of carbon, flow rate of the water, the specific PFAS you need to remove, temperature, and the degree and type of organic matter as well as other contaminants, or constituents, in the water.” 

Though it works well on PFAs, the EPA does note on shorter chain PFAS like Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS) and Perfluorobutyrate (PFBA) do not adsorb as well.

Another treatment option is anion exchange treatment the EPA reports. The Ion Exchange treatment removes 100 percent of the PFAS for a time.

“What we found is that the substrate [on the GAC] needs to be replaced more often, so it still works it has been working but we know the Ion Exchange works better,” Mayor Ortega said.

However resident of fountain since 2007 Samuel Fortune doesn’t buy it.

“That’s like putting a Band-Aid on a broken exposed bone or something, it doesn’t work that way,” Fortune said.

Despite the announcement Fortune said he’ll continue to buy two cases of bottled water each week.

“I lost two dogs to various forms of cancer, that they never had problems before but we show up here and all hell broke loose on them,” Fortune said. “So I just don’t believe it.”

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