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Published:May 14th, 2007 06:49 EST
Lead, Copper and other Chemicals found in Camp Pendleton Water and Soil

Lead, Copper and other Chemicals found in Camp Pendleton Water and Soil

By SOP newswire

ATLANTA - The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) detected contamination at levels too low to cause health effects in drinking water, groundwater, surface soil and Pulgas Lake on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (MCB Pendleton).  These findings came from ATSDR’s assessment of environmental contamination due to previous disposal practices for hazardous wastes on the base.  The contaminants included copper in the North System drinking water; lead in the South System drinking water; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater, and metals in Pulgas Lake.

The report on the Marine Corps base, located 38 miles north of San Diego in southern California, is available for comment through June 1.

In the assessment, ATSDR evaluated the potential for past, present and future contamination from hazardous waste disposal in 57 locations around the base. 

Key findings and future efforts include:

  • Copper in the North Systems’ drinking water was found at levels that have no health effects for children or adults.  Copper entered the base’s drinking water as copper pipes corroded in the system.  MCB Pendleton is implementing a water treatment solution in the North System to control these low levels.
  • Two tests detected lead below harmful levels in the water of the South System.  ATSDR conducted these tests as a follow-up to an August 2005 test that found lead at levels of potential concern in 11 base homes served by the South System.  MCB Pendleton will continue working to implement a water treatment solution to control lead corrosion and will provide educational materials about lead to families before they move into base housing.
  • Testing of pesticides, metals, and VOCs (potentially harmful gases emitted by organic liquids and solids) in the groundwater looked for possible transfer to the drinking system.  The potential for a single VOC to have entered the base production wells at levels well below those that would raise health concerns was found.
  • Fish samples collected at Pulgas Lake contained low levels of antimony and mercury and sediment and surface water samples contained arsenic.  The low levels of these metals detected in the fish, sediment and surface water are not of health concern as only catch-and-release fishing is allowed and swimming in the lake is prohibited.

During the public comment period residents can review and provide comments on agency findings. Comments on the public health assessment must be made in writing.