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Public Health Assessment
Drinking Water Supplies and Groundwater Pathway Evaluation,
Isla de Vieques Bombing Range,
Vieques, Puerto Rico

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October 16, 2001
Prepared by:

Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Tables

Table 1.

Summary of Pathways Evaluated in this Public Health Assessment
Pathway Name Exposure Pathway Elements Comments
Potential Source of Contamination Environmental Media Point of Exposure Route of Exposure Exposed Population Time ofExposure
Potential Exposure Pathways
Drinking water from the public water supply system None None
The pipeline water supply in Vieques storage tanks is not contaminated
None None None None The source of the public water is the Rio Blanco, located on the main island of Puerto Rico.There is no reasonable pathway that would connect bombing activities at the LIA with the Rio Blanco.
Drinking water from groundwater wells in the residential area Bombing at the LIA and open burning/open detonation activities Groundwater None
Groundwater under the LIA cannot reach drinking water wells.
None None None There is no hydrogeological connection between groundwater at the LIA and the residential area of the island.
Air →
Soil →
Groundwater
None
Public and private drinking water wells show no contaminants at levels that would cause illness.
None None None Recent sampling did not detect explosives or explosive residues in the groundwater.
Drinking water from rainwater collection systems Bombing at the LIA and open burning/open detonation activities Air → deposition in rainfall collection systems Household use of water from rainfall collection systems Dermal
Contact Ingestion Inhalation
Residents of Vieques using rainfall collection systems Past, current, and future Additional information is needed on use of past and current rainfall collection systems. Potential of air transport and deposition of contaminants into collection systems is being assessed by evaluating the potential air pathway. ATSDR will address the air pathway and the potential for deposition into the rainfall collection systems in a future focused public health assessment.
Past drinking water sources Explosives potentially from military activities Groundwater or Storage tanks Drinking water Dermal
Contact Ingestion Inhalation
Residents of Vieques Past Although levels of explosives were reported in sampling from 1978, their presence was not conclusive and the data are uncertain. However, even if present at levels reported, these contaminants were well below levels considered harmful to human health.
Exposure Pathway of Health Concern
Drinking water from Well 3-7 Agricultural contamination Groundwater supplying drinking water well. Household use of water from well. Ingestion Inhalation Users of well. Past, current?, and future? Nitrates plus nitrites potentially from agricultural sources have contaminated the well. The PRDOH has advised residents of health concerns related to use of the well.

Table 2.

Chemicals Detected in the Public Water Supply
Chemical Chemical Concentration Range (ppb) Frequency of Detections Frequency above Standards Drinking Water Standards (ppb)
Metals
Aluminum a 77 1/12 0 50-200*
Barium b 16 1/12 0 2,000†
Boron 13-22 9/11 NA NA
Copper 13-45 2/11 0 1,300§
Iron 53-240 5/11 0 300*
Magnesium 3,700 1/1 NA NA
Manganese 2-20 12/12 0 50*
Potassium 1,300 1/1 NA NA
Sodium 8,800-9,900 12/12 NA NA
Strontium 47 1/1 NA NA
Zinc 9-36 5/12 0 5,000*
Volatile Organic Compounds
Chlorodibromomethane 1.0-2.8 12/12 0 80‡
Chloroform 44-74 12/12 0 80‡
Dichlorobromomethane 10-14 12/12 0 80‡
4-Methyl-2-pentanone 2.6-3.3 2/11 NA NA
Toluene 1.1 1/12 0 1,000†
Total Trihalomethanes 56-88 11/11 0 100†
Inorganics
Ammonia 19 1/1 NA NA
Chloride 20,100-25,000 12/12 0 250,000*
Fluoride 30-70 2/12 0 4,000†
Nitrate 250 1/1 0 10,000†
Nitrate plus Nitrite 50-140 6/10 0 10,000†
Sulfate 5,050-8,100 11/11 0 250,000*
Total Dissolved Solids 87,000-110,000 10/10 0 500,000*

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was reported by the lab, but quality assurance/quality control data indicted it was an artifact of the sampling process and not considered representative of the water quality.

Reference: Baker 1999; EPA 1999b; PRDOH 1999

Abbreviations:
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for drinking water (EPA)
NA = Not Available
ppb = parts per billion
SMCL = Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)

† MCL
‡ Propsed MCL
* SMCL
§ MCLG

a EPA and PRDOH sampled with detection limits higher than the concentration detected by the Navy's contractor.

b PRDOH sampled with a detection limit higher than the concentration detected by the Navy's contractor.

Table 3.

Chemicals Detected in Groundwater Wells in the Esperanza Valley Aquifer
Chemical Sun Bay Wells B Wells Navy Well 14 Drinking Water Standards
(ppb)
Range
(ppb)
Frequency of Detections Frequency above Standards Range
(ppb)
Frequency of Detections Frequency above Standards Range
(ppb)
Frequency of Detections Frequency above Standards
Metals
Barium ND 0/6 0 ND 0/4 0 210 1/1 0 2,000†
Beryllium ND 0/6 0 ND 0/4 0 0.45 1/1 0 4†
Boron 203-226 3/3 NA NS - - NS - - NA
Calcium NS - - NS - - 85,000 1/1 NA NA
Copper ND 0/6 0 ND 0/4 0 27 1/1 0 1,300§
Iron 1,060-2,150 3/6 3 ND 0/4 0 ND 0/1 0 300*
Lead ND 0/6 0 ND 0/4 0 1.9 1/1 0 15†
Manganese 60-528 5/6 5 ND 0/4 0 1 1/1 0 50*
Molybdenum ND 0/3 0 NS - - ND 0/1 0 NA
Sodium 103,000- 120,000 6/6 NA 158,000- 195,000 4/4 NA 140,000 1/1 NA NA
Vanadium NS - - NS - - 7.5 1/1 NA NA
Zinc 5-24 3/6a 0 ND 0/4 0 31 1/1 0 5,000*
Volatile Organic Compounds
Chloroform ND 0/9 0 1.3-1.6 2/8 0 1.6 1/1 0 80‡
Total Trihalomethanes ND 0/6 0 2.9 1/4 0 NS - - 100†
Semi-volatile Organic Compounds
Di-n-butylphthalate ND 0/6 0 ND 0/4 0 0.37 1/1 NA NA
Inorganics
Chloride 78,000- 102,000 6/6 0 64,000- 113,000 4/4 0 260,000 1/1 1 250,000*
Fluoride 500 1/4 0 570-670 4/4 0 150 1/1 0 4,000†
Ortho-Phosphate NS - - NS - - 720 1/1 NA NA
Sulfate 31,000- 39,700 6/6 0 48,000- 77,000 4/4 0 47,000 1/1 0 250,000*
Nitrate 1,600-2,100 3/3 0 540-1,700 5/5 0 11,000 1/1 1 10,000†
Nitrite ND 0/6 0 ND 0/4 0 50 1/1 0 1,000†
Nitrate plus Nitrite 260-1,860 3/3 0 NS - - NS - - 10,000†
Total Dissolved Solids 90,500- 1,670,000 6/6 3 534,000- 658,000 4/4 4 790,000 1/1 1 500,000*

References: EPA 1999b, PRDOH 1995a,b; Baker 1999

Abbreviations:
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
SMCL= Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
NA = Not Available
ND = Not Detected
NS = Not Sampled
ppb = parts per billion

† MCL
‡ Propsed MCL
* SMCL
§ MCLG

a Three of the six samples were below detection limits of 60 ppb.

Table 4.

Chemicals Detected in Groundwater Wells in the Resolucion Aquifer
Chemical Former Navy Wells in NASD Drinking Water Standards (ppb)
Range (ppb) Frequency of Detectionsa Frequency above Standards
Metals
Barium 130 1/1 0 2,000†
Beryllium 0.79 1/1 0 4†
Calcium 14,000-71,000 6/6 NA NA
Chromium 1.8 1/1 0 100†
Cobalt 2.4 1/1 NA NA
Iron 800-5,000 6/6 6 300*
Lead 1.1 1/1 0 15 †
Magnesium 12,000-45,000 5/5 NA NA
Manganese 32-540 6/6 5 50*
Nickel 2 1/1 0 100†
Sodium 160,000-168,000 6/6 NA NA
Vanadium 3.3 1/1 NA NA
Zinc 3.7-30 3/6 0 5,000*
Volatile Organic Compounds
Benzenea 21 1/1 1 5†
Chloroform 0.74-6.2 3/4 0 80‡
Tolueneb 0.22 1/1 0 1,000†
Semi-volatile Organic Compounds
Di-n-butylphthalate 0.56 1/1 NA NA
Siloxane 1.1-1.9 2/3 NA NA
Sanitary Analytes
Chloride 76,000-380,000 6/6 1 250,000*
Fluoride 200 1/6 0 4,000†
Ortho-Phosphate 41 1/1 NA NA
Sulfate 15,000-38,000 6/6 0 250,000*
Total Dissolved Solids 790,000 1/1 1 500,000*
Nitrate 55-1,700 6/6 0 10,000†
Nitrite 19 1/1 0 1,000†
Other
Gross Beta 5.97 pCi/L 1/1 0 15 pCi/L†

Reference: Baker 1999; USGS 1997

Abbreviations:
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for drinking water (EPA)
NA = Not Available
ND = Not Detected
pCi/L = picocurries per liter
ppb = parts per billion
SMCL = Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)

† MCL
‡ Propsed MCL
* SMCL

a One of the five wells was sampled by both the Navy's contractor and USGS; the remaining four were only sampled by USGS.

b The chemical was not detected in the duplicate of this sample.

Table 5.

Chemicals Detected in Other Groundwater Resources
Chemical Well 3-7 Well 2-3 Drinking Water Standards (ppb)
Range (ppb) Frequency of Detections Frequency above Standards Range (ppb) Frequency of Detections Frequency above Standards
Metals
Barium 267 1/1 0 ND 0/1 0 2,000†
Boron 280 1/1 NA 264 1/1 NA NA
Manganese 27 1/1 0 25 1/1 0 50*
Molybdenum ND 0/1 0 0.05 1/1 NA NA
Sodium 229,000 1/1 NA 172,000 1/1 NA NA
Zinc 6 1/1 0 14 1/1 0 5,000*
Inorganics
Chloride 242,000 1/1 0 202,000 1/1 0 250,000*
Sulfate 62,400 1/1 0 63,000 1/1 0 250,000*
Nitrate plus Nitrite 1,700-12,600 2/2 1 500-1,330 2/2 0 10,000†
Total Dissolved Solids 1,330,000 1/1 1 1,220,000 1/1 1 500,000*

References: EPA 1999b; EPA 2000

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was reported by the lab, but quality assurance/quality control data indicted it was an artifact of the sampling process and not considered representative of the water quality.

Abbreviations:
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
NA = Not Available
ND = Not Detected
NS = Not Sampled
ppb = parts per billion
SMCL = Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)

† MCL
‡ Propsed MCL
* SMCL

Figures


 
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