Schlage Lock Community Involvement Web Site
Questions & Answers About The Remediation Effort

What is PCE?
PCE, also known as tetrachloroethene, tetrachloroethylene, perchloroethene, "perc", and "perchlor", is present throughout our environment. It is a commonly used solvent and it is also found in many household items such as insecticides, adhesives, aerosols, paints, and coatings. PCE also is used in the dry cleaning process and is found in carpet and drapery cleaning fluids and in household spot removers. It is present in outside air as well as in the air inside our buildings.
Is the PCE causing health problems in the community?
No. The El Paso County Health Department stated in a flyer mailed to residents in Security and Widefield that "to date, no health problems have been linked to the PCE groundwater contamination in the Security/Widefield area."
Is it safe to drink the water?
Yes, it is safe to drink the water. Schlage Lock routinely tests the well water at municipal and residential wells to ensure the water is safe to drink. In fact, the El Paso County Health Department mailed a flyer to Security and Widefield residents that made the point, by stating: "The water from these community water systems is safe." People are not drinking contaminated water.
Is it safe to breathe the air?
Yes, it is safe to breathe the air. As required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, we tested the indoor air in some homes located over areas of affected groundwater. Here's what we found. The levels of PCE found in the indoor air are similar to or lower than normal background levels measured in houses around the country. The levels we found are well below those levels believed to cause health problems and below residential risk criteria used by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
In fact, based on all the studies conducted, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment concluded in an February 15th, 2002, letter that "the studies did not find any impact, above residential risk concentrations, to residents by tetracloroethene (PCE) vapors coming off the Schlage Lock ground water contamination." The letter further concludes "we would expect that no residents within the Schlage ground water contamination plume would be exposed to indoor-air contamination at a level of concern."
What is Schlage doing about Willow Springs Ponds?
Schlage Lock has been operating surface water aerators in Willow Springs Pond 1 since 1999 and is maintaining the PCE concentration in the ponds below the State's "fish plus water" standard. Schlage Lock is also treating groundwater before it enters Willow Springs Pond No. 1. The ponds have been open to fishing since May 2007.
How do I know if my well water is safe?
If your house is located over or in the vicinity of the groundwater affected by PCE, we will test your well water, as we've done for a number of homes in the community. If necessary, we will install a filtration system to clean the well water.
How do I know if my home is over the affected areas?
You may call the Schlage information line (303-850-9200) and ask one of our staff to confirm the location of your home in relation to the affected groundwater.
Will the affected areas of groundwater expand?
We closely monitor the affected area of groundwater and have not observed any change in its geographic extent in the last several years. However, our monitoring has indicated that levels of PCE have decreased in the last several years in areas of affected groundwater, especially the area south of Bradley Road.
When will the cleanup be done?
While we cannot provide you with a firm date, we are working to complete the cleanup as quickly as possible. We are working closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to ensure the technologies we use are the most appropriate.

If you have any questions or would like to be added to the project mailing list, please send us an email or call Paul Monteleone, Plant Manager for Schlage Lock, at (719) 896-3002.