Lakewood, CO

Lakewood, CO

The City of Lakewood is home to an estimated 154,958 residents, and it’s located in Jefferson County, CO.

This report will help you become better acquainted with Lakewood and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:

  • Are there any hazardous sites in Jefferson County, CO?
  • How clean is the air in Jefferson County, CO?
  • What’s the average radon level for homes in Jefferson County, CO?
  • Is the water in Jefferson County, CO safe to drink?

Hazardous Sites near Lakewood, CO

There are two Superfund sites in Jefferson County, CO. Superfund sites, like Rocky Flats Plant (USDOE) in Golden, CO, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.

The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.

Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.

For more information about the Superfund sites located in the Lakewood, CO area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:

Map Legend:


A. Rocky Flats Plant (USDOE) (HRS Score: 64)

The Rocky Flats Plant (USDOE) site, the former home of a nuclear weapons facility, is located in Golden, CO.

Contaminants found at the Rocky Flats Plant (USDOE) site include:

  • Americium-241
  • Arsenic
  • Plutonium-239
  • Plutonium-239/240
  • Plutonium-240

B. Air Force Plant PJKS (HRS Score: 43)

The Air Force Plant PJKS site is located in Littleton, CO.

Contaminants found at the Air Force Plant PJKS site include:

  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Trichloroethene
  • N-Nitrosodimethylamine
  • Trans-1,2-Dichloroethene
  • Aroclor 1260

Air Quality in the Lakewood, CO Area

The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.

Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:

  • Ozone
  • Short-term Particle Pollution
  • Year-round Particle Pollution

In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in Jefferson County, CO as follows:

Ozone Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail

DNC (Data Not Collected): Data on associated pollutants were not collected in this county or county equivalent.
INC (Incomplete): Associated pollutants are being monitored in this county or county equivalent, but data were insufficient to assign a grade.

Radon Levels in Lakewood, CO Area

Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.

To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:

  • Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
  • Zone 2 (moderate levels)
  • Zone 3 (lower levels)

The average indoor radon reading in Jefferson County, CO is predicted to be higher than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 1.

EPA Radon Zone

The EPA Recommends acting to reduce your home's radon level if it's measured at 4 pCi/L or greater. So, if you're thinking about purchasing a home in Lakewood, CO, you should strongly consider having a radon test performed.

Water Quality in Lakewood, CO Area

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.

The following Jefferson County, CO water provider(s) violated the maximum allowable level for one or more regulated contaminants:

Filter ValueWater SystemContaminantHealth Effects
08059Evergreen MdChloriteAnemia; infants, young children, and fetuses of pregnant women: nervous system effects 
08059Genesee WsdTTHMLiver, kidney, or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer 
08059Hidden Valley Mutual WCCombined Radium (-226 and -228)Increased risk of cancer 
08059Hidden Valley Mutual WCCombined UraniumIncreased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity 
08059Hidden Valley Mutual WCGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer
08059Hidden Valley Mutual WCNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 
08059Homestead WCCombined UraniumIncreased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity 
08059Homestead WCGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer
08059Ken Caryl West Ranch WDCombined Radium (-226 and -228)Increased risk of cancer 
08059Ken Caryl West Ranch WDGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer
08059Mountain WsdCombined UraniumIncreased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity 
08059Mountain WsdGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer
08059Park WC WonderviewGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer

In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.

To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.

Sources and Methods

Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019.  The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.  All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.

Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.

Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).

Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA.  The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.


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