Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Water Flushing Update (9/21):
Water in housing has been tested and is safe to drink. Public Works Utility crews have now completed flushing the water lines in Geiger Ridge, Thomason Park and Lyman Park. Public Works will continue with its semi-annual flushing plan for the remainder of the base. The schedule for the remaining flushing throughout the base will be published shortly.
To report water discoloration in housing, call Lincoln Military Housing via Lincoln At Your Service at 1-888-578-4141. Base Public Works will respond to LMH/resident concerns passed about the water.
Water Flushing Update (9/19): Water in housing has been tested and is safe to drink. Public Works Branch crews have finished flushing the water lines in Geiger Ridge and Thomason Park housing areas and started in Lyman Park. Due to the size of the neighborhood, flushing is anticipated to take three days. Once flushing is complete in Lyman Park housing, Public Works Branch will continue with its semi-annual flushing plan for the remainder of the base, starting down Russell Rd. The schedule for the remaining flushing throughout the base will be published shortly.
Over the last three days, Public Works Branch (PWB) has received numerous calls regarding water discoloration in base housing. Public Works' crews are continuing to conduct a uni-directional flush throughout housing, along with additional water quality testing and monitoring as we try to determine the exact cause. Aside from the discoloration, recent water quality tests indicate the water is safe to drink. Indications include discoloration which may be from higher than normal concentrations of manganese.
Our number one goal is public health and we want all our customers to know that MCBQ water is safe. But from an aesthetic standpoint, the water is unacceptable and we sincerely apologize to our customers impacted by this discolored water. Our customers should not have to think twice about their drinking water when they turn on their taps.
Over the last three months PWB switched water from our primary source, Breckenridge Reservoir, to our secondary source at Grey Reservoir, while work was being done on the dam a Breckenridge Reservoir. This past week construction reached a point where water could be switched back to Breckenridge. However, upon doing so water plant operators noticed high organic material in the water and switched back to Grey until the cause could be determined. Organic material comes from decayed leaves, tree debris and vegetation. Manganese is a natural mineral commonly found in rocks and soil and thus also found in waterways. The increased levels of manganese in the treated water are believed to be causing the discoloration. During the treatment process, the MCBQ Water Treatment Plant uses chlorine to disinfect the water and control manganese levels to make the water clear and safe for drinking. These levels are being adjusted to account for the higher concentrations of manganese.
Manganese is not a health hazard and is not regulated by the EPA as a drinking water contaminant. EPA considers manganese a secondary contaminant for aesthetic reasons only. The EPA level for manganese, for aesthetic purposes, is 0.05 mg/l. Current manganese levels tested in housing this morning are around 0.002 mg/l to 0.05 mg/l for Thomason Park and Lyman Park West. Lyman Park East tested at 0.08 mg/l. The higher concentrations in Lyman Park East are above EPA's aesthetic level, but there is still no health concern. Although the other two housing areas are below EPA's aesthetic level, these concentrations can still cause discoloration.
The safety of MCBQ's water supply is our top priority. As part of its regulatory oversight, the Virginia Department of Health-Office of Drinking Water works closely with MCBQ PWB and the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs (NREA) Branch to monitor water production at our water treatment plant. The department's most recent review of drinking water sampling data shows that the utility is meeting all Safe Drinking Water Act standards. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and ask for your continued patience as our crews work to resolve the discoloration issue.
As updates are made available by Public Works, information will be passed to impacted residents. To report water discoloration in base housing areas, call Lincoln Military Housing Maintenance at 1-888-578-4141.