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Bioenvironmental Engineering reports Water Quality

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Colorado Springs Utilities supplies drinking water to Peterson Air Force Base. Base personnel can get the facts about the water they drink from the recently released CSU - 2018 Water Quality Report. This report (reporting period Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2017) 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 nine 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 2017 were analyzed by El Paso County Public Health laboratory and reported safe.

With no major source of water nearby, CSU relies on a raw water collection system that delivers water to Colorado Springs from nearly 200 miles away. The headwaters, or sources, that supply these systems originate in wilderness areas near Aspen, Leadville, and Breckenridge.

Nearly 75% of our water 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 help to protect the water from contamination, 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 CSU water treatment plants.

CSU also uses local surface water sources to supplement the water received from the mountain sources. Sources include water from the north and south slopes of Pikes Peak/Catamount Reservoirs, Crystal Reservoir, and South Slope Reservoir, North and South Cheyenne Creeks, Fountain Creek, Monument Creek/Pikeview Reservoir, Northfield Watershed/Rampart and Northfield Reservoirs, and the Pueblo Reservoir.

Additionally, 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 Pueblo Reservoir. From Pueblo Reservoir, the water travels through a pipeline to the CSU water treatment plant before being delivered to Colorado Springs. The water source may vary during the year and may be a blend of surface water and purchased water.

To view the complete water quality report, visit www.csu.org, and click on Residential/Check out the 2017 Annual Report. The report is also available on the Peterson AFB web site under 21st Space Wing news and is provided to all base dormitory residents, child development centers, and the base Dental Surgeon.

Customers without web access can obtain a hard copy of the report at the Bioenvironmental Engineering office located in building 1246.

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 719-556-7721.

Water quality information courtesy of Colorado Springs Utilities and Bioenvironmental Engineering