El Paso County awarded $20.9 million to continue providing clean, drinking water

In total, El Paso County plans to use the $20.9 million grant on 16 projects. This includes upgrades to drinking water and wastewater systems in El Paso County. Some of the communities benefiting from the grant include Security-Widefield, Ramah and Fountain, for starters.
KKTV 11 News at 4 (Recurring)
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 4:56 PM MDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 6:32 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - El Paso County say it is taking more steps to make sure people in our area have access to clean, safe drinking water.

The county announced it plans to use COVID relief funds on several projects across the county. Many local leaders say they would not be able to complete some of these projects without the grant.

In total, the county plans to use the $20.9 million grant on 16 projects. This includes upgrades to drinking water and wastewater systems in El Paso County. Some of the communities benefiting from the grant include Security-Widefield, Ramah and Fountain, for starters.

These projects are essential after forever chemicals like PFAs were found in the Widefield Aquifer back in 2013. This is according to the CDC. Those were linked to firefighting foam from Peterson Air Force Base. The Air Force already spent millions of dollars there to make sure the water is safe to drink today.

El Paso County Commissioner from District 4 Longinos Gonzalez, Jr. tells 11 News their plan on how they will continue to prevent these issues moving forward.

“We wanted to make sure as we have been working with federal agencies to address the situation and provide some funding to water districts,” said Longinos, Jr. “We want to make sure that we have resources for any of the water projects that might be related to PFAs mitigation in our communities.”

The money from this grant is from the American Rescue Plan Act. This is a one-time payment from the U.S. government to communities across the nation to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.