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News > JBER drinking water quality scores high marks in EPA testing
JBER drinking water quality scores high marks in EPA testing

Posted 7/3/2012   Updated 7/3/2012 Email story   Print story


Release Number: 010712

7/3/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight, 673d Aerospace Medicine Squadron

A water utility seldom takes the opportunity to tell its customers about all they are doing to produce exceptional quality drinking water in conjunction with myriad additional things the utility does to ensure public safety.

All too often, we concentrate only on our mission of producing water that goes through a rigorous testing and quality control process before being introduced into a water distribution system for customers.

Beyond that, we don't broadcast what we are doing. In essence, we fail to "toot our own horn."

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation have given us an opportunity to tell the rest of our story in the form of this Consumer Confidence Report.

Doyon Utilities and 673rd Bioenvironmental Engineering are pleased to jointly prepare this comprehensive report for our customers who work and reside on both sides of the JBER boundary.

Our goals and efforts have been closely coordinated with the environmental staff from both JBER and DU to provide you with a complete picture of the water quality program.

As you will clearly see from the report, the water you consume is of exceptional quality and clearly exceeds the standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

While there are two Public Water Systems at JBER, the two systems are connected and in essence operate as a continuous system from the water plant to the consumer.

The commonality of the two systems allows us to efficiently operate as a team in order to serve our most deserving customers; the military personnel and civilian employees assigned to the joint installation.

This report will provide many technical aspects of our water quality but just as importantly, it will allow us an opportunity to let you know some of the work going on behind the scenes.

Doyon Utilities owns and operates the utilities located at JBER-Richardson.
This relationship was initially established through a Utility Privatization Contract with the Army at Fort Richardson and later expanded due to the joint basing efficiency program that consolidated Richardson and Elmendorf.

As the water purveyor on JBER-Richardson, Doyon manages the water plant and distribution lines, while conducting a myriad of bacteriological and chemical tests to ensure all standards are met.

Once the water reaches the JBER-Elmendorf side, the 673d Civil Engineer Group and 673d Medical Group Bioenvironmental Engineering take over.

CEG provides distribution system oversight, while Bioenvironmental Engineering monitors water quality.

This includes additional testing of the system for bacteriological contamination, with each major loop and population area sampled at least once per month.

Additionally, several select contaminants are re-sampled to verify results seen on JBER-R, as required by the State of Alaska.

The results of Bioenvironmental Engineering's samples, in conjunction with those obtained by Doyon Utilities, are used to ensure base wide water quality.

In order to ensure long term reliability of the water source, we have conducted assessment studies to determine areas where we need to focus our resources.
As a result of those condition assessments, we have initiated a comprehensive repair project of the water system with the overarching goal of improving the quality of your water.

Our water treatment plant received continuous oversight of the drinking water it produces.

The quality of water you drink is superb and our standards will not be compromised.
Testing results from 2011 are included in this report and from the data, you can be confident that the dedicated staff of highly qualified and state certified professional water treatment operators will protect the integrity and quality of your drinking water.
After all, our reputation is only as good as the quality of water, and we value that reputation.

We are proud to be partners in preparation and publication of this annual Consumer Confidence Report and welcome any suggestions on how to make it more informative in the future.

As a side note, we encourage you to use the water you need but don't needlessly use water. Conservation of any resource is important and we ask you to do your part in this effort.

The sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled) include rivers, lakes, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or underground, it can dissolve naturally occurring minerals. In some cases, water can pick up radioactive material, or substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity. Although our water supply may contain some of these contaminants, it is important to know that these substances are either removed completely or reduced to a safe level before it arrives at your tap.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
· Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment facilities, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.
· Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which may naturally occur or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharge, oil and gas production or farming.
· Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources like agriculture, storm water runoff, and residential uses.
· Organic contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic compounds, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and may also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff and septic systems.
· Radioactive contaminants, which may occur naturally or result from oil and gas production and mining activities.

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations, which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.
Some people may be more vulnerable than others to contaminants in drinking water. Immuno-compromised persons such as those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, persons with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly and infants can be particularly at risk of infection. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC published guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.

For general information or for water quality questions call Doyon Utilities site management office at 907-338-3600 or JBER Bioenvironmental Engineering at 384-7790, or visit

Lead and Copper
The EPA Safe Drinking Water Act requires public water systems to test water samples from its customers to determine lead and copper levels.

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially in pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing.
There is nothing in the treatment process that would introduce lead into the water; therefore, the water is tested at the individual service locations.

If abnormal levels of lead or copper are detected in the water supply, residents will be notified and JBER will initiate action to correct the problem.

One method to minimize the risk of lead or copper contamination is to let the tap water run for 30 seconds to two minutes to flush any water that has been sitting for several hours.

It is important to use this approach for drinking water or cooking water.
Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at

Hydrant Maintenance
Hydrant maintenance is a top priority for our utility. Twice a year, April and September, we visit each hydrant in our system. We test the water flow at each hydrant and make sure each one is working properly. This is our way to provide superior fire protection to ensure the safety and well being of
our consumers.

Source Assessment
For the last several years, the ADEC has been working on assessments of the vulnerability of the water sources that provide water to all of the public water systems in Alaska.
The source water assessment for JBER's Water Treatment Plant has been completed and is available for review by contacting Jennifer Glanville at 384-7790 or Kathleen Hook at 455-1540.

Test Results
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.

The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.

More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA's Safe Drinking Water hotline at (800) 426-4791.

The table lists the Regulated Contaminants required to be monitored by the EPA that were detected in your water.

While most monitoring is required annually, some contaminants are sampled less frequently.

The Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule required testing for trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids at the farthest end of the distribution system or any part of the system that retains water the farthest from the water treatment facility.

This sampling was done quarterly in 2011.

All the substances we found were present in quantities less than the EPA's limits for safe drinking water.

If you would like to view a complete listing of test results, please call Jennifer Glanville at 384-7790 or Kathleen Hook at 455-1540.

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