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Base Asks For Testing of Water In Some Areas

Nov 23, 2002 | Jacksonville Daily News Camp Lejeune officials are asking residents living in various base housing areas to test their water for lead.

The request follows routine lead and copper testing in late August and early September at the Holcomb Boulevard water treatment facility that revealed higher-than-acceptable lead particles in the water, said Pat Raper, environmental control specialist with the Camp Lejeune Environmental Management Division.

The plant, now tested every three years, had passed all previous tests, and follow-up samples revealed the water was below required levels for lead, Raper said.

However, the base was still required to send informational brochures to customers with tips and information on labs that will conduct the tests for $30, Raper said.

“The reason people get lead in their water is because of the plumbing fixtures (with lead) in your house that the water comes in contact with,” Raper said.

Lead becomes a problem when the water sits in the pipes for several hours. Lejeune officials recommend letting faucets run for a minute before drinking the water, Raper said.

The housing areas named in a Camp Lejeune release are Berkley Manor, Camp Johnson, Knox Housing Project, Paradise Point, Tarawa Terrace Watkins Village and the rifle range facilities.

The Installation and Environment Department of EMD will give base residents contact information for area labs, which will test the water.

Water is tested in homes by flushing out the pipes for about 15 minutes, then leaving them shut off for several hours. Scientists will test the water after it has sat dormant in the pipes, Raper said.

The plant was first tested in the early 1990s. Tests were conducted every six months, then annually, then every two years. It had never previously failed to comply with federal lead levels, Raper said.

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