Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Mike Stag, Esq.
The Fort Carson Water Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
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Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Established in 1942 during World War II, Fort Carson was a prominent military training site near Colorado Springs, Colorado. It supported around 125 military units, including the 10th Mountain Division and a range of personnel including nurses, cooks, tank battalions, and more. The site’s geographical location was instrumental in training troops for deployment in mountainous regions. It has played a role in training troops, housing military units, and supporting overseas initiatives during the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, and in conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s currently home to the 10th Special Forces Group, 4th Infantry Division, and a variety of other units and their families. 

Those stationed at Fort Carson have faced exposure to harmful toxins in the water. The Department of Defense (DoD) has used firefighting foam (Aqueous Film-Forming foams or AFFF) to extinguish fires during training exercises for more than 50 years. This foam contains cancer-causing chemicals called per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that can seep into the ground when the foam is used, contaminating soil and groundwater. Those on and near the base may then be exposed to PFAS as they drink and use the water. PFAS can cause a series of conditions including testicular cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer. For those affected, a water contamination lawsuit may help them recover compensation.

Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

March 2024 – Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawsuit Status

Veterans who were stationed at Fort Carson, exposed to contaminated water, and have since developed a related illness may be eligible for compensation. Attorneys like those at King Law can help review your case and determine if you can file a lawsuit against the chemical companies deemed responsible for PFAS contamination. 

July 2023 – Study Highlights Direct Link Between PFAS and Testicular Cancer at Higher Rates for Service Members

In July 2023 a federal study identified a direct correlation between PFAS and testicular cancer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) also found elevated levels of these chemicals in the blood of Air Force servicemen who were firefighters. At King Law, we have experience representing veterans who now face life-threatening conditions as a result of their exposure on military bases. 

February 2022 – State of Colorado Files Lawsuit Against PFAS Manufacturers

In February 2022, the State of Colorado filed a lawsuit through the Colorado Department of Law against PFAS manufacturers. The lawsuit sought damages “for harm to Colorado’s residents, lands, and natural resources, including water supplies.” Colorado seeks compensation to help with PFAS cleanup efforts in the state. This highlights the dangers of PFAS and efforts to hold chemical manufacturers responsible for toxic contamination.

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Historical Background of Toxic Exposure at Fort Carson

Firefighting foam containing PFAS has been used at Fort Carson for decades. The Army Corps of Engineers directed Fort Carson officials in 1991 to replace toxic AFFF use with a safer alternative, though use continued for years after. As more information has emerged regarding the dangers of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” officials have conducted testing to monitor PFAS levels in drinking water. 

June 2023 – Fort Carson PFAS Remediation Efforts Unstarted

A DoD report from June 30, 2023 notes that preliminary assessments and site inspections for PFAS at Fort Carson are complete with remedial investigations underway. This process seeks to identify the extent of the issue and create a remediation plan. The estimated end date listed isn’t until September 2027, leaving many concerned about when the base will be a priority for cleanup efforts. 

2022 – Colorado Conducts PFAS Sampling Project

After recognizing how prevalent PFAS was in the state of Colorado, state officials conducted a PFAS sampling project in 2020 where 25% of participating drinking water systems had detectable levels of PFAS, including in counties where Fort Carson is located. According to DoD records, as of March 31, 2022, Fort Carson PFAS efforts were listed as: preliminary assessments and site inspections completed with remedial investigations planned. 

2019 – EWG Contamination Map Shows High Levels of Groundwater Contamination 

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) maintains a PFAS contamination map regularly updated based on data from official records and testing of public drinking water. Fort Carson is listed on the map with reports of numerous PFAS chemicals found in on-base groundwater in 2019 with levels reaching as high as 156,000 ppt. The suspected source listed is firefighting foam.  

October 2016 – PFAS Levels Tested Above Lifetime Health Advisory

Testing of groundwater wells at Fort Carson revealed PFAS levels above the lifetime health advisory (LHA). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) originally set their PFAS guidelines to 70 parts per trillion (ppt) in 2016. Maximum concentrations of PFOS/PFOA included 94,000 ppt, 41,000 ppt, and 4,300 ppt.

Fort Carson Water Contamination Map

Reference the Fort Carson contamination map to understand the extent of PFAS concerns at the base. You can identify the source of PFAS in areas where firefighting foam was used, as well as its spread through groundwater. Affected areas include landfills, foam storage areas, sewage treatment plants, fire training areas, nozzle testing areas, and more. 

Contaminants Found in Fort Carson’s Water

PFAS is just one contaminant found in Fort Carson drinking water. Other cancer-causing agents have been identified through ongoing water testing. Each poses its own set of risks. Typically, longer exposure duration and higher concentrations present the most risk, as can be the case with those stationed at military bases. 

Per- and Poly-Fluorinated Substances (PFAS) 

PFAS has been detected at Fort Carson for close to a decade. PFAS can cause or increase the risk of bladder cancer, breast cancer, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, kidney cancer, leukemia, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, and ulcerative colitis. Bladder, kidney, thyroid, and testicular cancer have been particularly prevalent among members of the military. 


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to benzene can cause a decrease in red blood cells, a negative effect on the immune system, and leukemia. Benzene has been detected in Fort Carson groundwater at levels exceeding Colorado’s groundwater standards. 

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

The EPA has deemed PCE a carcinogen. Exposure to PCE is associated with bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. PCE was first detected in Fort Carson groundwater in 2006 but was not actively addressed until 2017. The military was often exposed to PCE through the use of industrial solvents, such as degreasing agents used on aircraft and other machinery. 

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

The CDC notes evidence connecting TCE to kidney cancer, liver cancer, and lymphoma. Groundwater testing at Fort Carson has shown the presence of TCE with “wide spatial distribution” that required remediation efforts. 

Vinyl Chloride (VC)

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has linked exposure to VC with a higher risk of liver cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma. Vinyl chloride has been found in groundwater at Fort Carson through testing. 

Other cancer-causing contaminants 

According to the EWG’s Tap Water Database, Fort Carson has tested positive for several other contaminants that exceeded guidelines, including bromodichloromethane, chloroform, dibromoacetic acid, dibromochloromethane, dichloroacetic acid, haloacetic acids, radium, trihalomethanes, trichloroacetic acid, and uranium. Keep in mind: guidelines and advisories are not regulations, so they are not legal, enforceable limits.

Current Water Quality at Fort Carson

The most recent quality report, the 2023 Drinking Water Quality Report for CY 2022, notes that National Primary Drinking Water Regulations don’t apply to PFAS. Colorado Spring Utilities tested for 18 PFAS compounds (including PFOA and PFOS) with none detecting above the reporting limit (1.9 ppt). However, the EPA has provided Interim Updated Health Advisories that are 0.004 ppt for PFOA and 0.02 ppt for PFOS. This indicates levels could still be unsafe but undetectable. 

In addition, veterans and their families faced exposure for years and may have developed or be at risk of developing serious illnesses. The latest records regarding PFAS suggest officials have yet to establish a cleanup plan with efforts focused on bases with higher contamination levels. 

Water Treatment Efforts at Fort Carson

According to the U.S. Army website, remedial investigation is planned but not yet underway. Currently, Colorado Springs Utilities follows what may be considered a standard five-step filtration process that involves coagulation/flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, and corrosion control.

Health Risks Linked to Fort Carson’s Drinking Water

Fort Carson water contaminated with PFAS can pose a plethora of health risks and symptoms, including: 

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Bladder cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Male breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Liver cancer

Seek care immediately if you experience symptoms related to drinking water contamination. Ensure your healthcare providers are aware of your exposure history to monitor for these conditions and identify them as soon as possible to improve treatment efficacy.

King Law is currently reviewing cases with victims who have been diagnosed with: 

    • Bladder Cancer
    • Breast Cancer
    • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    • Kidney Cancer
    • Leukemia
    • Liver cancer
    • Multiple-Myeloma
    • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    • Pancreatic Cancer
    • Prostate Cancer
    • Testicular Cancer
    • Thyroid Cancer
    • Thyroid Disease
    • Ulcerative Colitis

Contact us today for more information on your eligibility for compensation.

Eligibility for Filing a Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawsuit

You must consult with an attorney to pursue a water contamination lawsuit. King Law has experience representing those exposed on military bases and can help eligible claimants build a strong case against chemical manufacturers. There are two key factors in determining your eligibility: 

  1. Duration of exposure: You must have been exposed to contaminants like PFAS to file a PFAS lawsuit. The dangers of PFAS often increase with exposure duration because the chemicals can build up in the body over time. Typically, we look for at least six months of toxic exposure.
  2. Diagnosis: We represent individuals who have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, testicular cancer, bladder cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, and other illnesses. Along with details of your exposure, your diagnosis can help us understand the strength of your case and potential for compensation.

Our law firm is currently evaluating cases where individuals have been diagnosed with:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple-Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Fort Carson Water Contamination Settlement and Payout Amounts

The amount of compensation you can receive from a Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit varies. An attorney will review your case to provide a better understanding of your payout potential. Some ranges to consider include: 

  • $30,000-$75,000 for cases with weak evidence 
  • $100,000-$300,000 for average cases 
  • $500,000-$1,000,000 for cases with prolonged exposure and severe illness

The number of contamination lawsuits continues to grow across the country, including those related to PFAS. Lawsuits against chemical manufacturers may result in multi-million dollar settlements.

How to File a Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawsuit

To file a Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit, consider the following steps: 

  1. Reach out to an attorney experienced in environmental law and toxic torts for an initial consultation. We can review your case and guide you through the process and what to expect. 
  2. Provide your attorney with as much evidence as possible, including medical records documenting any contamination-related illnesses or health issues, military service records from your time at Fort Carson, and any relevant documentation to prove exposure and illness.
  3. Your attorney will draft a complaint that details your case, including who you deem responsible for toxic exposure and how you have suffered. Your attorney will then file your complaint in the appropriate court. 
  4. Your attorney will fight to get you compensation through a settlement or trial. Cases can take months or more to resolve, so ensure you contact a law firm as soon as possible and are readily available to support your attorney throughout the process. 
  5. In many cases, you can reach a settlement and gain compensation related to your toxic exposure claim. Compensation can help with medical bills, treatment expenses, lost wages, and more. 

Evidence to Gather for a Fort Carson Claim:

The more evidence available to support your claim, the better. This can include: 

  • Proof of contamination and exposure at Fort Carson 
  • Details surrounding the duration of exposure such as military directives proving your time stationed at Fort Carson 
  • Proof of a related diagnosis including medical records

Expert testimonies, environmental studies, and other information substantiating the connection between your toxic exposure and development of a related illness 

Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawyers

Our attorneys at King Law have handled environmental and military-related litigation, giving us the background and expertise needed to advocate for you and your right to compensation. We know the prevalence of toxic exposure on military bases and the associated risks veterans and their families face. Rest assured that we will review your case and support you throughout the entire process. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Explore additional commonly asked questions and information regarding Fort Carson water contamination.

Is Fort Carson water safe to drink?
Current U.S. Army status updates state Fort Carson drinking water “does not contain PFOS/PFOA above the EPA 2016 health advisory levels.” However, the EPA has recommended much lower levels that may be deemed unsafe through more extensive testing.
What are the toxins in Fort Carson?
Fort Carson water has been contaminated with PFAS, benzene, TCE, PCE, vinyl chloride, and other cancer-causing chemicals.
Is Fort Carson a Superfund site?
There are three Superfund sites associated with Fort Carson including the Fort Carson Maneuver Area, HQ Fort Carson 7th ID Decam, and Fort Carson Tire Fire.
What is the lawsuit on Fort Carson?
Individuals who lived on or near a series of military bases with known PFAS water contamination are now filing lawsuits. If you were exposed to contaminated water at Fort Carson and developed a related illness, you may be eligible for a lawsuit.
What are the environmental issues in Fort Carson?
Fort Carson military base has dealt with toxic environmental and human exposure to materials and chemicals such as fuel, oil, lubricant, paint, pesticides, herbicides, radioactive substances, explosives, industrial chemicals such as PFAS-containing firefighting foam, and more.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the Fort Carson lawsuit?
State-specific statutes of limitations may affect your deadline to apply for a Fort Carson lawsuit. It’s crucial to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
What types of health problems are linked to the Fort Carson water contamination?
PFAS-contaminated water has been linked to many different cancers and illnesses, including bladder cancer, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, and thyroid disease.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the Fort Carson lawsuit?
To file a claim for a Fort Carson lawsuit, you must have proof of your exposure and time at the base (usually at least six months of exposure). You must also have a related diagnosis, such as testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, and bladder cancer.
How long will the Fort Carson lawsuit process take?
Water contamination lawsuits can last several months or longer. Timelines can vary from case to case, but you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your best chances at eligibility.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Fort Carson contamination?
If you were affected by Fort Carson contamination, you should reach out to an attorney experienced in environmental law to schedule a consultation. You should also gather any documentation proving your diagnosis, time at Fort Carson, and toxic exposure.
What kind of compensation can I expect from the Fort Carson lawsuit?
Fort Carson lawsuit compensation amounts can vary by case. Cases with limited evidence may result in $30,000-$75,000, average cases may range from $100,000-$300,000, and cases with prolonged exposure/severe illnesses may extend toward $500,000 or even $1,000,000.
What is the average payout for the Fort Carson lawsuit?
Fort Carson lawsuit payouts can range from $100,000-$300,000. However, actual amounts may be higher or lower based on the details of your case.
How much is the Fort Carson settlement per person?
There is not one set settlement amount per person for Fort Carson settlements. Details such as the duration of exposure and severity of illness can impact settlement amounts with many resulting in $100,000-$300,000.
Is PFAS in Fort Carson water?
Yes, Fort Carson is one of many military bases in the United States that  has tested positive for PFAS.
What steps has Fort Carson taken to address the PFAS contamination?
There have not been ongoing active efforts to address PFAS contamination at Fort Carson. Records indicate remedial investigations are underway with estimated completion in 2027. 
What are the main contaminants found in Fort Carson's drinking water?
Contaminants found in Fort Carson’s drinking water including PFAS, TCE, PCE, benzene, vinyl chloride, and other cancer-causing agents.
Who is eligible for the Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit?
You may be eligible for a Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit if you lived on or near the base, were exposed to contaminated water, and developed a related illness.
How can individuals affected by the Fort Carson water contamination file a lawsuit?
Individuals eligible for a Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit can schedule a consultation with an attorney to start building their case. Claimants may be able to sue the chemical manufacturers responsible for creating products with PFAS.