Air Force: Wastewater likely evaporated from pit

DENVER (AP) — The Air Force doesn't think wastewater tainted with toxic chemicals was released from a base in Colorado after all.

Col. Douglas Schiess said Wednesday that 20,000 gallons of wastewater held in an open pit disappeared, but evaporation in hot weather was determined to be the likely culprit, rather than a discharge.

Officials originally said that 150,000 gallons of water contaminated by chemicals used in firefighting foam disappeared from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, flowed into the city's wastewater treatment system but didn't get into drinking water.

Schiess says that firefighters overestimated how much wastewater was in a storage tank and that, along with miscommunications, led commanders to believe that 150,000 gallons were missing.

The water is moved back and forth between a tank and an open pit as part of fire training.


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