Carbon filter installed in Fountain to remove toxic chemicals

Carbon filter installed in Fountain to r

FOUNTAIN, Colo. - The first of two $400,000 carbon filters are being installed in Fountain to remove toxic chemicals.

It attaches to the city's water supply well, aimed at killing PFCs or perfluorinated chemicals, which are dangerous compounds that were detected in the ground more than a year ago.

The two wells took a crane to lower them into the ground outside a public library in Fountain. It's courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

Here's how it works:

"Basically, the water filters through and the contaniments stick on the carbon," said Justin Moore, with the City of Fountain Water Department.

The effects?

"It allows another million gallons of water a day," said Moore.

But many questioned why it took so long?

I asked: "Is it true city officials knew about this contamination right up to a year ago?"

Moore: "Yes, up to a year ago we were aware of the pre-fluorinated compounds in the water."

I asked: "So why did it take so long to get help in?"

Moore: "Well...we chose to take a slower approach with this, we're not as desperate for our groundwater usage for our wells here in Fountain."

This is because Fountain predominantly uses surface water. So there hasn't been a huge need for well water. 

"We were not using any well water at that time," Moore said.

However, it still raises questions for some. 

"You'd want to be a little more proactive about it if it can be harmful to our health," said Denise Wallace, who lives in Fountain. "I don't know what I would of done if we hadn't been able to drink the water."

So what's next?

Come August, if there's a significant need for well water the two filters will be filled up with carbon to help remove the pre-fluorinated chemicals.

That process, will be ready to test in late July. Until then: safety and sampling procedures continue.

If the testing is successful, it will provide a back-up source of water for the city.

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