State issues water advice for people living near the Air Force Academy after tests

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado health officials say people living south of the Air Force Academy should switch to bottled water if they rely on wells with elevated levels of a toxic chemical the military used in firefighting foam.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Saturday the advice also applies to people who haven’t yet tested area wells for the presence of chemicals called PFAS, short for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Tests showed elevated levels of PFAS in groundwater beneath the academy campus. The academy gets its water from Colorado Springs Utilities, but the state identified about 30 domestic wells near the school.

The chemicals were used in nonstick cookware and stain-resistant carpet as well as in firefighting foam. They’re sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they’re expected to take thousands of years to degrade.

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