Water Quality
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Members of Quantico Fire and Emergency Services assist Public Works Branch in the semi-annual water flushing conducted aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. This water flushing is designed to remove any sediment from the system that naturally builds up over time and is required to ensure the highest quality water possible. For a detailed look at our semi-annual flushing schedule, reference the drop-down below.

Recent Notices

Water Quality FAQS

Common Acronyms:

  • Consumer Confidence Report (CCR)
  • Halogenated Acetic Acids (HAA5)
  • Total Organic Compounds (TOC)
  • Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM)
  • Virginia Department of Health (VDH)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
  • Water Treatment Plant (WTP) 
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 Are any tests being run on water at homes or just at the water storage tanks or water distribution system? Exactly where are these tests run?

Following federal and state guidelines, our water treatment plant (WTP) operators conduct the following tests and periodicities on our water distribution system:
 Annually: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), cyanide, nitrate-nitrite, inorganics, and metals
 Quarterly: trihalomethanes (TTHM), halogenated acetic acids (HAA5)
 Monthly: Total Organic Compounds (TOC), bacteriological contaminants
 Daily: finished fluoride, chlorine, turbidity, pH, water hardness, alkalinity, corrosion control, color
MCB Quantico maintains 15 sampling points for its entire drinking water distribution system that were approved by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) per EPA’s requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Water samples are provided to an independent laboratory for analyses. Results of all tests are reported directly to VDH for regulatory compliance. Copies of results are provided to the Base for compliance with regulatory recordkeeping requirements.
Consumers may find water quality notices or MCB Quantico’s latest Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) on the Base website (, via email, posted in public places, or otherwise upon request from the Base’s Public Affairs Office or the Assistant Chief of Staff G-F.
 A presence of water discoloration ‘may be attributed to a higher than normal concentrations of manganese,' but what other things could be causing the discoloration?

Like manganese, iron can cause water discoloration and occurs naturally at varying concentration in the water. Dissolved manganese and iron are heavier than water so they tend to settle in water pipes. Discoloration occurs when settled manganese and iron deposits get stirred up by sudden water movement resulting from incidental water main breaks, maintenance-related exercising of water distribution valves, or incidental construction-related water connections. To control discoloration, our WTP operators add phosphates to the water during the treatment process to keep iron and manganese in solution. The phosphates also provide a coating on the internal surfaces of pipes to prevent corrosion from the iron deposits. Chlorine is then added in the treatment process to oxidize the iron and manganese. The oxidation of iron and manganese causes the deposits to clump together facilitating removal of deposits via filtration.

In an effort to prevent or remove discolored water and mineral deposits, our maintenance personnel implement a semi-annual unidirectional flushing program along our distribution system as recommended under a water system study by an independent contractor.

 How do we know that the water is safe to drink?

We continuously test and proactively monitor our entire drinking water system as prescribed under EPA and VDH guidelines. Results are published in the annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) and posted on the MCB Quantico website below. Aesthetics, such as discoloration and odor, are considered undesirable and a nuisance, but not always indicators of unsafe water. Consumers will be notified promptly if any of our sampling results do not meet regulatory thresholds in accordance with State regulations.
 When can we expect, if ever, that we will be given any documentation to show what is being tested for in the water and their levels? If we want to get answers to questions concerning water quality, who do we ask?

MCB Quantico’s CCR contains all results for tests listed for Question 1 and as prescribed under EPA guidelines. The Base is also required to provide a copy of the CCR to VDH. Questions concerning water quality or the CCR may be directed to the Public Works Branch, 703-784-5409.
 If I want someone to test the water in my personal home, who do I contact? Will I be provided a list of tests run at that time?

In certain circumstances, under the direction of MCB Quantico’s AC/S G-F, we may perform water tests for an individual home within Base housing only when deemed necessary by the family housing office to address a specific issue. Results of the tests will be shared through the family housing office.
 What are the actual levels of manganese in the water?

Manganese levels for Base potable water average 0.04 parts per million (ppm) across the system. The EPA recommends manganese levels to be 0.05 ppm or lower.
 Does Quantico have enough certified and licensed water system operators to oversee maintenance for our water supply?

As required under EPA and State guidelines, MCB Quantico currently has enough state-certified and licensed water treatment plant operators to operate our WTP around the clock. The water treatment plant operators are assisted in the maintenance of the water distribution system by maintenance workers from the rest of the Public Works Facilities Maintenance Section. The Facilities Maintenance has the minimum maintenance workers required to maintain system regulatory compliance.
 How many water reservoirs do we have aboard Quantico? Is the structural integrity of these reservoirs checked? If so, how often?

MCB Quantico receives water from three man-made water reservoirs: Lunga, Breckenridge, and Gray. The US Army Corps of Engineers inspects the structural integrity and operation of the dams and spillways for these reservoirs every three years. The Base also maintains eight water storage tanks, for which we conduct external structural inspections once a year and internal inspections every five years.
 How often are the installation’s water storage tanks cleaned? When was the last time they were cleaned?

Our water storage tanks are drained, internally inspected, repaired as needed, and cleaned every five years.
 What are the testing requirements mandated by the State and/or EPA to ensure we have safe drinking water?

Please refer to the answer to Question #1 for information on the required testing we routinely conduct on our drinking water.
 Does the installation have a current Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that addresses how to properly treat and test the water quality?

Yes. Our Water Treatment Plant maintains a SOP that is reviewed regularly and updated as needed to account for equipment, staffing, logistics, in-plant testing and field sampling requirements, and changes pertaining to the plant’s water treatment process and operation. In addition, our SOPs address the conduct of the VDH-approved drinking water sampling plan, backflow prevention/cross connections, construction/water permitting requirements, and unidirectional flushing.

2024 Spring Flushing Schedule – MCB Quantico Main side Water system

As a part of efforts to improve our water quality, our Utilities team has successfully implemented and conducted biannual unidirectional flushing program to systematically and comprehensively flush the Main side water distribution system and reduce water age (water retention) to further ensure water quality in the Main side system.  During our biannual uni-directional flushing events, water mains and fire hydrants are flushed through our systematic uni-directional flushing program. This may cause temporary water discoloration (in the flushed area) which can be resolved by running the tap until the water is clear.  

Semi-Annual Flushing Schedule

 Spring 2024
North & South Lyman Park LP-Zone 1 4/15/24 - 4/19/24
West Lyman Park LP-Zone 2 4/15/24 - 4/19/24
Lejeune Hall/Officer Clubs LP-Zone 3 4/15/24 - 4/19/24
Air Facility LP-Zone 4 4/15/24 - 4/19/24
OCS LP-Zone 5 4/30/24 - 5/1/24
Barnett Avenue LP-Zone 6 5/1/24 - 5/7/24
MCU LP-Zone 7 5/8/24 - 5/10/24
Whiskey Gulch & Daily Hall LP-Zone 8 5/13/24 - 5/15/24
Barracks LP-Zone 9 5/16/24 - 5/17/24
Hospital Point & Chamberlain Village LP-Zone 10 5/20/24 - 5/22/24
Power Road & High School TP-Zone 1 5/23/24 - 5/29/24
Thompson Park TP-Zone 2 5/30/24 - 5/31/24
Family Center, Russell Elem & Stables TP-Zone 3 6/3/24 - 6/7/24
Argonne Hills & John Quick Rd HP-Zone 1 6/10/24 - 6/14/24
Bears Loop, Neville Rd & Harry Lee Hall HP-Zone 2 6/17/24 - 6/18/24
Building 15 & Geiger Ridge HP-Zone 3 6/20/24 - 6/26/24

LP - Low Pressure
HP - High Pressure
TP - Thomason Park


Water Quality Reports


Contact Us

To report water discoloration in base facilities, please contact your building manager.

To report water discoloration in housing, call "Lincoln At Your Service" 1-888-578-4141


Marine Corps Base Quantico