Health & Safety

June 14, 2012

2011 Consumer Confidence Report for Davis-Monthan AFB

The 355th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) and the 355th Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight (BEF) are pleased to present to you the 2011 Annual Water Quality Report for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.  This report, also known as the Consumer Confidence Report, is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and is designed to provide details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies.  This report will inform you about the quality water and services we deliver to you every day.  We want you to understand the efforts we make to continuously improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources.  Our constant goal is to provide you with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water.  We ask your support in protecting and conserving our water resources.  They are critical to the continued well-being of our community, our way of life, and our children’s future.

Is my water safe?

Yes, your water is safe!  Please continue reading below to get a detailed look at the Davis-Monthan drinking water program and what the D-M Drinking Water team does for you every day.

Where does my water come from?

Davis-Monthan AFB supplies drinking water to around 10,000 customers each and every day.  This water is pulled directly from the Fort Lowell Aquifer via eight groundwater wells located across the base, and is monitored and maintained by personnel from the 355th Fighter Wing.

Source water assessment and its availability

All drinking water is chlorinated for disinfection purposes. On a weekly basis, the 355th Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight monitors the base drinking water to ensure chlorination, acidity, and bacteriological contamination falls within an acceptable range.  Additional sampling is performed on a periodic basis for other contaminants to ensure our drinking water remains compliant with safety regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Why are there contaminants in my drinking water?

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 water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) between 1000-1600 daily.

As water travels across the surface of the land or dissolves through the ground it picks up naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, naturally occurring radioactive materials.  Additionally, it can pick up any number of substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity.  These can range from viruses or bacteria found in water treatment plants and septic systems, inorganic compounds, such as salts or metals are both naturally occurring or can result from industrial operations, and chemical contaminants such as pesticides and herbicides from farms or volatile organic compounds from industrial runoff.  The EPA sets safety limits on these contaminants in public water systems in order to ensure safe drinking water is provided to the consumer.

Do I need to take special precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Water Drinking Hotline (800-426-4791).

Additional Information for Lead

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The BEF is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. If water in your home has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. 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 http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.

How can I get involved?

We would like you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources. The Davis-Monthan Drinking Water Quality Program team members are committed to ensuring your water remains as clean as possible. If you would like additional information concerning this report, or if you have any questions about our drinking water program, please feel free to contact the Davis-Monthan Drinking Water team members directly and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can.  The Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight can be reached at 520-228-5369 or call the Civil Engineer Customer Service desk at 520-228-5503 and they can help direct you to who would best be able to answer your questions.

Water Quality Data Table

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The table below lists all of the drinking water contaminants that we detected during the calendar year of this report. Although many more contaminants were tested, only those substances listed below were found in your water. All sources of drinking water contain some naturally occurring contaminants. At low levels, these substances are generally not harmful in our drinking water. Removing all contaminants would be extremely expensive, and in most cases, would not provide increased protection of public health. A few naturally occurring minerals may actually improve the taste of drinking water and have nutritional value at low levels. Unless otherwise noted, the data presented in this table is from testing done in the calendar year of the report. The EPA or the State requires us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not vary significantly from year to year, or the system is not considered vulnerable to this type of contamination. As such, some of our data, though representative, may be more than one year old. In this table you will find terms and abbreviations that might not be familiar to you. To help you better understand these terms, we have provided the definitions below the table.

MCLGMCL, or TT, or Your Range of Results Sample Contaminants
MRDLGMRDL Water Low High Date Violation Typical Source Disinfectants & Disinfectant By-Products (There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants)
TTHMs [Total Trihalomethanes] (ppb) NA8012.6ND12.62011 No By-product of drinking water disinfection
Inorganic Contaminants Barium (ppm) 220.076ND0.0762009 No Discharge of drilling wastes; Discharge from metal refineries; Erosion of natural deposits
Nitrate [measured as Nitrogen] (ppm) 10101.1ND1.12011 N oRunoff from fertilizer use; Leaching from septic tanks, sewage; Erosion of natural deposits

Microbiological Contaminants

Total Coliform (positive samples/month) 015NA2011 Yes Naturally present in the environment
Volatile Organic Contaminants Tetrachloroethylene (ppb) 051.1ND1.12009
No Discharge from factories and dry cleaners

Undetected Contaminants

MCLGMCL or Your Contaminants
MRDLGMRDL
Water Violation Typical Source
Fluoride (ppm) 44ND No Erosion of natural deposits; Water additive which promotes strong teeth; Discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories Violations and Exceedances

Total Coliform: Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially-harmful, bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems. The 355th Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight (BEF) routinely monitors our drinking water for various contaminants. During the month of July 2011, we took ten routine samples to test for the presence of coliform bacteria. One of these routine samples (located in Site 5) and five of our repeat samples indicated total coliforms were present. Since regulations state that no more than one sample result per month may be positive for the presence of total coliforms, we are required to inform you of this violation. Upon investigation, 355th CES Utilities found a cracked water pipe near site 5. This pipe was instantly repaired, super-chlorinated, and the entire system flushed to ensure any contaminants have been removed from the system. Since this problem was resolved in August 2011, there have not been any other issues with this sampling site.

Unit Descriptions:
ppmppm: parts per million, or milligrams per liter (mg/L)
ppbppb: parts per billion, or micrograms per liter (µg/L)
positive samples/month positive samples/month:
Number of samples taken monthly that were found to be positive
NANA: not applicable
NDND: Not detected
NRNR: Monitoring not required, but recommended.
Important Drinking Water Definitions
MCLGMCLG: Maximum Contaminant Level Goal:
The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.
MCLMCL: Maximum Contaminant Level:
The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
TTTT: Treatment Technique:
A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
ALAL: Action Level:
The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow. Variances and ExemptionsVariances and Exemptions: State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a treatment technique under certain conditions.
MRDLGMRDLG: Maximum residual disinfection level goal.
The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
MRDLMRDL: Maximum residual disinfectant level.
The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
MNRMNR: Monitored Not Regulated
MPLMPL: State Assigned Maximum Permissible Level

 

 

For more information please contact:

Contact Name: SSgt Kate M. Witulski

Address:
355 AMDS/SGPB
Davis Monthan AFB, AZ 85707
Phone: (520)228-5369
Fax: (520)228-4337

 




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