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Water Quality Report

PFAS INFORMATION & RESULTS

Cherokee Metropolitan District PFAS Notification Letter

PFAs Fact Sheet

What is PFAs?

PFAs is an abbreviated name for a family of thousands of chemicals more fully known as Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl compounds. This family of chemicals was first produced in the 1950’s and was used in a wide variety of consumer products, continuing into today. Some major sources include: nonstick pans and coatings, waterproofing materials, stain resistant carpets and furniture, food packaging, contact lenses, cosmetics, and thousands of other products. PFAs are found in the air, food, water, clothing and soils.

Why did I receive a Consumer Drinking Water Notice?

Cherokee volunteered to participate in Colorado State testing for PFAs. Out of the 20 compounds tested, Cherokee detected two compounds above the State’s interim lifetime health exposure limits, and only one sample that was above the EPA proposed limits. These are NEW regulatory levels that are currently being considered by the State. Cherokee sources a majority of its water from the Upper Black Squirrel Creek, a renewable alluvial groundwater aquifer in eastern El Paso County. Visit www.cherokeemetro.org for information about your water provider.

What is the detected concentration?

Cherokee detected PFOA at 8.7 parts per trillion (PPT) and PFOS at 2.8 PPT at two locations out of 15 sampled locations during one testing period. The EPA proposed limit for both is 4.0 PPT. One part per trillion is equivalent to diluting one half teaspoon into 1000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. This comparison is provided simply to give perspective on the reality of the amounts present and the challenges of measuring and treating for these compounds. The State of Colorado is considering a limit of 4 parts per quadrillion for PFOAs (4,000,000,000,000,000).  Current technology cannot measure at this level.

What is Cherokee doing about it?

  1. Cherokee is engaging in extensive testing to confirm PFAs levels and identify any major sources. The two tests that showed levels slightly higher than the proposed limits must be repeated for validation and to combine with additional data.
  2. Cherokee is using this data to change production rates at its wells to reduce PFAs entering the system.
  3. Cherokee is concurrently beginning design on a new water treatment facility, to completely eliminate the presence of any PFAs compounds, exceeding and preempting the proposed limits.

Should I drink the water?

The State confirms in the advisory letter that was sent to all customers, “People do not need to stop drinking their water” and “There is not an immediate public health risk.” PFAs exposure from drinking water can be reduced by purchasing a carbon-based filter. Many brands manufacture pitcher or refrigerator mounted filters. Colorado maintains a list of recommended filters but many other brands can also reduce PFAs levels.

Will Cherokee send more information as it becomes available?

Yes. Cherokee will always provide the most current information to its customers as it becomes available, including possible costs of infrastructure being designed to continue the uninterrupted delivery of safe drinking water. The best source of official information may be found at www.cherokeemetro.org.

Are other water providers dealing with PFAs detections in water supplies?

Yes. As PFAs compounds continue to be used in manufacturing of thousands of products, the compounds are increasingly found in more sources. The science and regulations continue to change. Water providers in the State, Nation and around the world are working hard to protect water supplies. Visit https://cdphe.colorado.gov/pfas-mapping for PFAs testing results in Colorado.

Where can I find more information?

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has detailed PFAs information at https://cdphe.colorado.gov/pfas. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has additional information at https://www.epa.gov/pfas.