Workers at Denver Water Say They Buried Toxic Waste

Heidi Hemmet, an investigative reporter for Fox31 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 Intermediate School.
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.

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