Heidi Hemmet, an investigative reporter for Fox31 KDVR.com reported March
17, 2010, retired workers at Denver Water in Colorado say they buried
hazardous waste near several homes and schools 20 years ago. One former
worker says he and a number of his co-workers were ordered by the Denver
Water manager to bury “cement asbestos, radiation asphalt”
and other toxic chemicals at the Foothills Water Treatment Facility near
Titan Road and Santa Fe in Douglas County.
The workers claim they “crushed the asbestos piping, spread it out
on the land and covered it with dirt. It was never properly capped.”
The workers also say they suffer from a wide range of illnesses believed
to have been caused by exposure to asbestos. They are concerned that digging
at the site could be releasing asbestos particles into the air and contaminating
the soil and groundwater.
Some homeowners in the area said they thought they were buying homes near
open space, and that if they knew about the contamination they never would
have purchased property in that area. Workers say a drain flushes ground
water from the site past dozens of houses and empties out just below Roxborough
A statement by Denver Water to Fox31 says in part that “burying
of CA (cement-asbestos) pipe may have occurred, but if it did, it was
per standard practice at the time.” In 2008, when workers first
raised the issue with Denver Water, a company spokesperson advised they
would conduct a thorough investigation if and when the workers brought
forth specific details about alleged activities. The Denver Water Board
says it will investigate the allegations. The state health department
advises it may be prompted to investigate if it receives enough complaints
from the community.
Those wishing to file a claim should call 303-692-3322.