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Navy Agrees to Fixes to Public Water Supply at DC Military Base

Release Date: 09/28/2012
Contact Information: David Sternberg, 215-814-5548 sternberg.david@epa.gov


    PHILADELPHIA (September 28, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed a Safe Drinking Water Act administrative consent order with the U.S. Navy, and Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to take corrective action protecting the public water supply at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, a combined Navy-Air Force facility in Washington, D.C.
    The order requires the Navy and WSSC to submit and implement a plan to correct significant deficiencies identified in 2008 and 2011 surveys of the base’s public water supply by EPA and its contractors. These deficiencies include management issues and the flooding of three vaults containing meters due to possible leaking pipes or high ground water. The water system also expanded its capacity without notifying EPA as required by Safe Drinking Water Act regulations.
    The Navy and WSSC, owners of the public water system serving the Bolling side of the base, are required to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act and its implementing regulations. WSSC also operates the system as a contract operator. Under the order, the Navy and WSSC must notify customers about the violations, and submit quarterly progress reports to EPA.
    EPA’s drinking water regulations require public water suppliers to regularly monitor for drinking water contaminants and sufficiently maintain water infrastructure to minimize risk of contamination. As part of the effort to ensure safe and reliable drinking water for the Base’s personnel and visitors, EPA and its contractors conduct onsite reviews, called sanitary surveys, of the water system’s facilities, equipment, operation, maintenance, and compliance with federal requirements.