Last Modified: Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:13 AM
Testing of tap water for military family housing at Fort Polk found the water supply contained trace amounts of potentially dangerous inorganic contaminants in some homes — including levels of lead and copper — that have prompted further action.
Last year, one housing area on the military installation was found to have lead levels that exceeded the levels laid out by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Four of 20 water samples taken from homes in the North Fort housing area in July 2013 were found to have lead, prompting LDHH to require more frequent testing of Fort Polk’s water supply. LDHH requires healthy water systems to undergo a sampling once every three years.
According to a letter dated June 10, 2014, and sent out to North Fort Polk residents from the Department of the Army and signed by the post’s Commanding Gen. William Hickman, an additional sampling of the same 20 homes and an additional 20 more were taken on Oct. 3, 2013, and Feb. 26 of this year. The letter is mum on last year’s secondary testing results, but reports that the February results show three homes with levels of lead slightly exceeding the “action level” — or the amount that requires additional action for the water system. The February sampling also found three homes with copper exceeding the action level.
The letter states that LDHH has required yet another sample of the 40 homes due to the lead and copper levels from the February results. That testing is scheduled to occur between September and October.
Lead exposure over time is most harmful to infants and children and can cause problems with cognitive development and lead to vomiting and hearing loss. Adults can develop high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, slowed mental capability and reproductive problems.
In 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency enacted legislation that requires action on water systems that exceed 15 parts per billion of lead or 1.3 parts per million of copper in 10 percent of taps sampled. According to 2013 report released by American Water, the private company that manages the water on the post, some of the samplings had as much as 36 parts per billion of lead and 1.4 parts per million of copper. The letter sent to customers this week does not specify the levels from the February sampling.
In its 2013 report, American Water cites plumbing and service line materials as the source of the lead and copper. It also cites erosion of natural deposits and leaching of wood preservatives as typical source of the metals entering the water system.
Posted By: Anna-Maria Preiss On: 6/20/2014
Title: Un American!
How can our government even let this get this far? Our military men and women AND their children are living with this! Do they not deserve better than this? You must see the correlation between birth defects and other illnesses! What, you're going to wait until it's a Superiors family member that gets sick! Wake up Americas Military and take care of our own. Someday it will be your family and to late for them as it has been for so many already. STOP and LISTEN to the families living there.
Posted By: mom On: 6/20/2014
Gee I wonder why there are so many babies on post born with heart defects!!!!!! Thanks fort polk...
Posted By: John On: 6/20/2014
People actually drink that water?? Hell no, thats how the people of Leesville ended up the way they are.