PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Colorado Springs Utilities supplies drinking water to Peterson. Base personnel can get the facts about the water they drink from the recently released CSU — 2014 Water Quality Report. This report (reporting period 1 Jan — 31 Dec 13) 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 ten 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 2013 were analyzed by El Paso County Public Health laboratory and reported safe.
In August 2013, bioenvironmental engineering collected annual lead and copper drinking water samples from the Peterson child development centers and youth activities center using Environmental Protection Agency protocols. All lead and copper results were well within EPA standards.
The 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act require that EPA establish criteria for a program to monitor unregulated contaminants and to identify no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored every five years. Unregulated contaminants are those contaminants that do not have a drinking water standard (maximum contaminate level) established by EPA. The purpose of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation is to assist EPA in determining the occurrence of unregulated contaminants in drinking water and whether future regulation is warranted. The third round of the UCMR required monitoring for 28 contaminants. CSU was required to monitor for these contaminants for four quarters, starting in July 2013. Results for any contaminants detected in 2013 can be found at www.csu.org or by calling (719) 668-4560.
Nearly 75% of the water provided by CSU originates from 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.
CSU purchases treated surface water from the Fountain Valley Authority. 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 2014 Water Quality Report, visit www.csu.org, and click on Community/Water Quality/ 2014 Water Quality Report (reporting year 2013). 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 provided to all base dormitory residents.
For questions concerning water quality issues in the Tierra Vista Community distribution system, please 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 Bioenvironmental Engineering)