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Summary of the water contamination situation at Camp Lejeune

  • 8 water treatment plants serving the base
    • Hadnot Point (HP)
      • Began operation in 1942
      • Areas served:
        • Mainside barracks
        • Hospital Point family housing
        • Family housing at Midway Park, Paradise Point, and Berkeley Manor until June 1972
    • Tarawa Terrace (TT)
      • Began operation in 1952
      • Shut down in March 1987
      • Areas served:
        • Tarawa Terrace family housing
        • Knox trailer park
    • Holcomb Boulevard (HB)
      • Began operation in June 1972
      • Areas served:
        • Family housing at Midway Park, Paradise Point, Berkeley Manor, and Watkins Village
        • Tarawa Terrace family housing after March 1987
    • Courthouse Bay
    • Rifle Range
    • Onslow Beach
    • Montford Point/Camp Johnson
    • New River

  • VOCs detected in HP and TT wells during 1980-85 sampling program
    • Samples collected by Camp Lejeune staff
    • Chemicals detected included TCE, PCE, benzene, DCE
    • Contamination of wells began many years before detection
    • Other on-base treatment plants were not contaminated

  • Contamination of HP and TT drinking water systems was intermittent
    • Wells rotated in and out of service
    • Each system had more wells than necessary to supply water on any given day

  • Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant
    • PCE (perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene) was the main contaminant
    • Maximum level detected in drinking water was 215 parts per billion (ppb) in February 1985
    • Source of contamination was ABC One-Hour Cleaners, an off-base dry cleaning firm
    • The most contaminated wells were shut down in February 1985
    • ATSDR used water modeling to estimate past exposure levels
      • PCE concentration exceeded the current EPA maximum contaminant level of 5 ppb in drinking water for 346 months during November 1957-February 1987

  • Hadnot Point Treatment Plant
    • TCE (trichloroethylene) was the main contaminant
    • Maximum level detected in drinking water was 1,400 ppb in May 1982
      • The current limit for TCE in drinking water is 5 ppb
    • Other contaminants detected included PCE, DCE, vinyl chloride and benzene
    • Multiple sources of contamination
      • Leaking underground storage tanks
      • Waste disposal sites
    • The most contaminated wells were shut down by February 1985
    • ATSDR used water modeling to estimate past exposure levels
      • At least one VOC exceeded its current EPA maximum contaminant level in drinking water during August 1953 and January 1985

  • Holcomb Boulevard (HB) wells were generally not contaminated
    • Contaminated water from the Hadnot Point (HP) water treatment plant supplied the HB drinking-water system when the HB plant was shut down during January 27-Febraury 7, 1985
    • Contaminated water from HP water treatment plant was used intermittently to supplement the HB drinking-water supply during dry spring and summer months when demand was high


     
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