Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Bioenvironmental Engineering reports water quality

By 21st Medical Group Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Colorado Springs Utilities supplies drinking water to Peterson AFB. Base personnel can get the facts about the water they drink from the recently released CSU — 2012 Water Quality Report. This report (reporting period Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2011) informs the public about the water quality and services CSU delivers to the base every day.

CSU staff, as well as the 21st Medical Group’s Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight, test the water consumed throughout the base. Throughout the process of collection, treatment and distribution, certified water treatment plant operators and laboratory staff monitor the water quality for its chemical and biological content. Some of these analyses are required to meet state and federal standards, while others are part of ongoing testing to assure a continual supply of high quality drinking water. CSU employees test the water at treatment plants and throughout the CSU water distribution system. Bioenvironmental engineering tests water at 12 different sampling locations per month for microbiological contamination that could occur in the Peterson section of the distribution system. The Peterson sample sites include the dining facility, base exchange food court, aircraft watering points and the child development centers. All microbiological samples collected in 2011 were analyzed by El Paso County Public Health laboratory and reported safe.

In August 2011, bioenvironmental engineering also collected an annual lead and copper drinking water samples from the Peterson AFB child development centers and youth activities center using Environmental Protection Agency protocols. The sample results indicate the water is safe to drink; lead and copper results are well within EPA standards.

Nearly 75 percent of the water provided by CSU originates from many mountain streams (surface water). Water from these streams is collected and stored in various reservoirs along the Continental Divide. The collection systems in this area consist of the Homestake, Fryingpan-Arkansas, Twin Lakes, and Blue River systems. The majority of this water is transferred to Colorado Springs through pipelines that protect the water from contaminants, such as, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals and other chemicals. Water delivered to Colorado Springs is stored at Rampart Reservoir and at the Catamount reservoirs on Pikes Peak, which then supply the CSU water treatment plants.

Local surface water sources are from the north and south slopes of Pikes Peak, North and South Cheyenne Creeks, Fountain Creek, Monument Creek/Pikeview Reservoir, and the Northfield Watershed. Local ground water sources consist of four wells (900-1000 feet deep) pumped from the Arapahoe aquifer, one well (700 feet deep) pumped from the Denver aquifer, and one well (1700 feet deep) pumped from the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer.

CSU purchases treated surface water from the Fountain Valley Authority (PWSID # CO0121300). FVA receives water from the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. The Fryingpan-Arkansas Project is a system of pipes and tunnels that collects water in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness Area near Aspen. Waters collected from the system are diverted to the Arkansas River, near Buena Vista, and then flow approximately 150 miles downstream to the Pueblo Reservoir, and then on to the water treatment plant. The source water may vary during the year and may be a blend of surface water and purchased water.

To view the complete water quality report, go to www.csu.org, and click on Residential/Services/Water/Water Quality Report (reporting year 2011). The report is also available on the Peterson AFB website under 21st Space Wing news. Customers without web access can obtain a hard copy of the report at the bioenvironmental engineering office located in building 1246. The report will also be available in all base dormitory facilities.

For questions concerning water quality issues in the Tierra Vista Community distribution system, call the TVC Facility Maintenance Department at 597-5950.

For more information about Peterson Air Force Base water quality, call Michael Puleo at 556-7721.

(Water quality information courtesy of Colorado Springs Utilities and 21st MDG Bioenvironmental Engineering)

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