Group works to educate community about Fountain water crisis

Posted at 10:44 PM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-17 00:44:46-04

Students at Colorado College are working to help homeowners affected by contaminated water in Security, Widefield and Fountain nearly two years after the tainted water was discovered.

This group of Environmental Science students have created a new website consolidating all of the research and resources homeowners might need in the aftermath of this water crisis and they’re holding a series of public meetings this week to get the word out.

"The main thing that we have realized is that the issue is no where close to being over unfortunately and a lot more attention needs to be given to this issue," Kelsey Maxwell, a senior said.

Maxwell says while contamination from possible firefighting foam was discovered in Fountain, Security and Widefield water back in the summer of 2016, this crisis is far from over.

"Right now, there’s a huge knowledge gap going on between just community members struggling to have access to accurate and comprehensive information and what exactly these chemicals are," she said.

That lack of information, hand-in-hand with health effects, and how to properly filter these contaminents out, is why they’ve created a website with the Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition, consolidating all information and resources every community member needs to know.

"There’s a lot of potential for collaboration for other people around the country to make sure that these chemical corporations are being held accountable," she said.

Even holding two public meetings, calling in an expert, Robert Bilott, a Cincinnati attorney who has handled water contamination lawsuits for the past two decades, most notably against the DuPont chemical company for their use of PFAS which has also been found in the local water.

"Unfortunately, I don’t think this is an isolated, unique situation, there are communities all across the country that are facing contamination from similar chemicals," Bilott said.

He’s here to help share the information he spend decades collecting, to make things easier for everyone else.

"There’s resources available, the community out there in West Virginia and Ohio did a lot of work to try to make sure the other communities that get exposed to these chemicals don’t have to go through that all over again," he said.

Bilott will be continuing this conversation in a community meeting on Tuesday with homeowners in these affected areas at Mesa Ridge High School at 7 p.m.