Fort Irwin’s Water System is operated under a privatization contract with CH2MHill. As the system ownership is not transferred to CH2MHill, compliance responsibilities still reside with the United States Army.
Fort Irwin has two water systems. A Reverse Osmosis, or RO system, and a domestic use (DU) system. The DU water is higher than the California standard in fluoride (maximum contaminate levels, MCL = 2 mg/L). The DU water is also higher than both the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and State of California standard of arsenic (MCL 10 µg/L). The DU water is intended for use in washing, cleaning, irrigation, and other non potable uses. Both arsenic and fluoride in our water comes from erosion of natural deposits.
Fort Irwin treats a portion of the DU water at our reverse osmosis water treatment plant. The RO treatment process removes contaminates including fluoride and arsenic and ensures our water meets all state and federal safe drinking water standards. The RO water should be used for drinking and cooking.
The RO system is visible in housing or your work space as either a RO water tab usually in the kitchen or a water fountain. Areas that do not have RO water are provided with bottled drinking water.
Fort Irwin is in the process of contracting for design-build of a new water treatment facility. Our goal is that by the end of the year 2013, we will begin constructing the new water treatment plant. By 2016 all water provided will meet or exceed the federal and state MCL’s.
Fort Irwin’s water permit requires Fort Irwin to notify the public quarterly of the following:
This is an alert about your drinking water and a cosmetic dental problem that might affect children under 9 years of age. At low levels, fluoride can help prevent cavities, but children drinking water containing more than two milligrams per liter (mg/L) of fluoride may develop cosmetic discoloration of their permanent teeth (dental fluorosis). The DU water provided by Fort Irwin water system has a fluoride concentration ranging from of 1.0 mg/L to 16 mg/L.
Dental fluorosis may result in a brown staining and/or pitting of the permanent teeth. This problem occurs only in developing teeth, before they erupt from the gums. Children under 9 should use the RO water to avoid the possibility of staining and pitting of their permanent teeth. You may also want to contact your dentist about proper use by young children of fluoride-containing products. Older children and adults may safely drink the water.
Drinking water containing more than 4 mg/L of fluoride can increase your risk of developing bone disease.
Some people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of the MCL over many years may experience skin damage or circulatory system problems, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer. The DU water provided by the Fort Irwin water system has a arsenic concentration ranging from 3.7 µg/L to 34 µg/L.
For more information, contact the Water Resources Manager, Fort Irwin DPW, at 380-4987 or P.O. Box 105085, Fort Irwin, CA 92310-5085 (located at building 602 on 5th Street). If you have questions concerning Fort Irwin Water System operations contact CH2MHill at 386-9706. Some home water treatment units are also available to remove fluoride from drinking water. To learn more about available home water treatment units, you may call the California Department of Health Services Water Treatment Device Unit at (916) 323-5600.