DRINKING WATER

The Army is committed to ensuring quality drinking water is provided to its Soldiers, family members, and civilians.  Proactive sampling is performed by the Army on its drinking water systems and coordination with other purveyors of drinking water to installations occurs to ensure PFOS/PFOA remains below the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 lifetime health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS and PFOA (individually or combined). While not an enforceable regulatory standard, a lifetime health advisory represents a concentration in drinking water that is not expected to produce adverse health effects if the water is consumed over an entire lifetime.

Status: Finished drinking water, which is the treated water people drink at Joint Base Lewis McChord, does not contain PFOS/PFOA above 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Additionally, Army-provided drinking water complies with the standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act, a federal law designed to protect the quality of drinking water supplied to the American public.  The Army will continue to sample and monitor on-base drinking water.   

PFOA + PFOS Results:  9.9 parts per trillion (ppt) in finished drinking water

Test results date: May 2023

Testing Frequency:  annually and every 2 years depending on the system

Future Testing Event: June 2024

History: As a proactive measure in 2016, drinking water supply wells were tested at Joint Base Lewis McChord for PFAS.  Test results showed exceedance of the EPA lifetime health advisory (highest test result-237 ppt).  These wells were shut down.  Alternate water was supplied.  Water treatment systems to remove PFOS and PFOA have been installed.  Since treatment began, finished water test results have been below the EPA lifetime health advisory levels.  The water system was privatized in October 2021.

Type of drinking water systems: Privatized

For questions contact: Public Affairs

Office phone number:  (253) 967-0148 

Office e-mail address:  usarmy.jblm.id-readiness.list-dpw-water-program@army.mil

Water Quality Reports

CLEANUP ACTIONS

The Army follows the federal cleanup law, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 (also known as “Superfund”), and long-standing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for all chemicals in its cleanup program, including PFAS.  In collaboration with federal and state regulatory agencies and interested stakeholders, the Army follows the CERCLA process to investigate a release resulting from Army activities and to assess the appropriate cleanup actions based on risk to human health and the environment.

When the Army identifies that it has impacted drinking water above 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS/PFOA (individually or combined) on or off an installation, it takes appropriate actions to provide alternate water and ensure drinking water levels are promptly reduced  (for example, by providing bottled water, shutting down wells, installing treatment systems or connecting to municipal water).

Final reports, points of contact, and/or site specific web links will be updated on this page as cleanup actions progress.

CERCLA is a complex, multi-phase process that provides a consistent, science-based approach across the nation for cleanup and may take years to complete. Read more about CERCLA and the phased approach here

CERCLA INFORMATION

Current CERCLA Phase:  Remedial Investigation Underway

DOCUMENTS

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, contact:  Public Affairs

Office phone number:  (253) 967-0148

Office e-mail address:  joseph.j.piek.civ@army.mil