Local

March 6, 2015
 

Fort Irwin water system explained

Article and photos by Chris Woodruff, Water Resources Manager
Directorate of Public Works

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 and a domestic use system. The DU water is higher than the California standard in fluoride (maximum contaminate levels = 2 mg/L). The DU water is also higher than both the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and 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 the water comes from erosion of natural deposits.

Fort Irwin treats a portion of the DU water at a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. The RO treatment process removes contaminates including fluoride and arsenic, and ensures the 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 and work areas as either a RO water tab, usually in the kitchen, or a drinking water fountain. Areas that do not have RO water are provided with bottled drinking water.

Fort Irwin is in the process of constructing a new water treatment facility. Most construction will be complete by the end of 2015, and by mid 2016, all water provided will meet or exceed the federal and state MCLs.




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