Colorado faces an emerging public health challenge from a group of chemicals scientifically called per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances or “PFAS.” These chemicals are found in toxic firefighting foam and consumer products and may cause various health impacts. To help communities learn if their residents are at risk, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment offered free testing to public drinking water systems serving communities, schools, and workplaces and also to fire districts with wells. This project tested for PFAS throughout the state in treated drinking water from public water systems, groundwater and surface water sources used for drinking water, and wells serving fire districts. A better understanding of PFAS levels in water will help citizens know whether or not they need to take action to reduce exposure when levels are found above health advisory guidelines.
The department encourages water systems to share their test results with their customers. The department is currently following the EPA health advisory so if testing shows levels above the identified level of 70 parts per trillion, the department will coordinate with the water system to promptly notify the public and identify options to reduce exposure. As new studies become available, our understanding of the health impacts of these chemicals in humans will continue to grow and may influence our response protocol.
See PFAS resources webpage to learn more about the health advisory, health effects, and information about PFAS in water.
See test results for all of the public water systems and fire districts that participated in the 2020 PFAS sampling project in the dashboard link below that will be available towards the end of June, 2020. Note, this dashboard only reflects public water systems that signed up to take advantage of this funding. Systems without test results on this dashboard may have previously sampled for these chemicals or plan on doing their own sampling. If you have questions about a specific public water system sampling effort, please contact the system directly. The department also encourages systems to contact us if they have sampled for PFAS recently or plan to sample for them soon.