Peterson Air Force Base spills 150,000 gallons of PFC-contaminated water into sewage system

Posted at 3:58 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 20:14:15-04

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Roughly 150,000 gallons of contaminated water leaked from a retention tank on the Peterson Air Force Base last week into the sewage system of Colorado Springs. 

Authorities on the Air Force Base announced the leak to the public on Tuesday, however they noted the leak first had been discovered on Oct. 12. 

The water became contaminated by perfluorinated compounds when the base used fire fighting foam during emergency responses. Officials dumped the water into a holding tank as it isn't fit to be dumped into typical sewage systems. 

A routine inspection on Oct. 12 led officials to learn about the tank's leak. They then notified officials in Colorado Springs. 

An investigation is underway, officials said Tuesday.

"We take this type of event seriously, and will work diligently to determine the cause," Lt. Col. Chad Gemeinhardt, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron commander, said. "We are committed to upholding environmental stewardship policies and procedures." 

The gaffe is a the latest in a string of incidents involving PFC-contaminated water from the base. Nearby well water consumers noticed an elevated level of the chemical compound in water earlier in 2016. 

Peterson Air Force Base spent $4.3 million to filter and provide drinking water to those who had been affected. 

Authorities at Peterson Air Force Base say in addition to investigating, they're working to ensure no future mistakes are allowed to transpire. 


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