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Nov-20-2010 19:37printcomments

Barstow Residents Warned to Stay Clear of Drinking Water

Salem-News.com
Military Ramp of the Barstow-Daggett Airport, photo courtesy: ntcaviationcompany

(BARSTOW, Calif.) - A Drinking Water Advisory issued by the Golden State Water Company warns residents in Barstow and surrounding areas to not consume any ice, water, beverages or forumla prepared with tap water.

Barstow is the home of a United States Marine Corps base. It joins Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and MCAS El Toro in Southern California, as a contamination site capable of causing great illness or death to those who exist near it.

KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles reports that the information became public Thursday when Golden State Water Co. posted the warning on its Website.

What sets this story apart from both Lejeune and El Toro, is that the Marine Corps itself brought the information forward about advanced levels of perchlorate, voluntarily. It was discovered by the AP that Camp Lejeune Marine officials had for years, been modifying the recorded levels of deadly benzene at the base, fraudulently.

At this point there is reason to believe Barstow may be handled differently.

Perchlorate is an inorganic chemical that interferes with the human thyroid gland. It affects hormones and prenatal growth during pregnancies. It is found in areas where rocket fuel was developed. Perchlorate is also associated with fireworks, explosives, flares, matches and industrial byproducts.

As KTLA reports:

According to the agency's statement, the chemical “usually gets into drinking water as a result of environmental contamination from historic aerospace or other industrial operations that used or use, store, or dispose of perchlorate and its salts.”

Golden State learned of the possible contamination Thursday when staff at the Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base Nebo, about five miles southeast of Barstow, notified the company that samples taken from the base’s water system showed levels of perchlorate above the maximum contaminant level of 6 parts per billion set by state regulators, according to the company’s statement Friday.

In response, Golden State officials collected samples for additional testing Friday from the water system outside the base and all active wells serving the Barstow system.{1}

But nothing is so simple when it comes to military base contamination, particularly Marine Corps facilities. We have reported extensively about El Toro and Camp Lejeune. Barstow, like the other locations, is listed as an EPA Superfind Site. This designation means the Environmental Protection Agency views the particular as being among the most contaminated sites in America.

According to the EPA site on the contamination at Barstow:

The chemical substances (i.e., hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants) listed below were identified as contaminants of concern (COC) for the site. COCs are the chemical substances found at the site that the EPA has determined pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. These are the substances that are addressed by cleanup actions at the site. Identifying COCs is a process where the EPA identifies people and ecological resources that could be exposed to contamination found at the site, determines the amount and type of contaminants present, and identifies the possible negative human health or ecological effects that could result from contact with the contaminants.{2}

Replacement of 1,000.000 gallon water tank
U.S. Marine Corps Logistic Base
Nebo annex - Barstow, California

Being steeped as we are in knowledge about Marine Corps related water contamination, it is interesting and unusual to see this type of order- to entirely stop drinking water, issued for any community. In the bigger picture, the development may spike fears of the possible eventual loss of large sections of the United States, as water contamination from years of unchecked military contamination render even the most beautiful places, potentially uninhabitable.

Companies like Dow Chemical and Dupont are largely behind the sale of the chemicals that, as it turns out, stand to destroy the viability of entire cities and regions. So much for the positive side of the U.S. military industrial complex.

This is the press release from Golden State Water Company:

_____________________________________

This notice affects Golden State Water Company (GSWC) customers who are located in the City of Barstow and surrounding unincorporated areas.

On November 18, 2010, GSWC was notified by personnel at the USMC Nebo Supply Base that samples taken from the base’s water distribution system showed levels of perchlorate above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 6 parts per billion. GSWC immediately sampled water from the distribution system outside the base on November 18 and collected samples from all active wells serving the Barstow system on November 19.

The samples from November 18 indicated that perchlorate was above the MCL of 6 parts per billion. Samples collected on November 19, 2010 from all active wells will help GSWC to pinpoint the source(s) of the perchlorate.

What should I do? DO NOT CONSUME ANY ICE, BEVERAGES, JUICE OR FORMULA PREPARED WITH TAP WATER Perchlorate has been shown to interfere with uptake of iodide by the thyroid gland, and to thereby reduce the production of thyroid hormones, leading to adverse effects associated with inadequate hormone levels. Thyroid hormones are needed for normal prenatal growth and development of the fetus, as well as for normal growth and development in the infant and child. In adults, thyroid hormones are needed for normal metabolism and mental function. Women who smoke and have low iodine intake appear to be particularly susceptible.

Boiling, freezing, filtering, or letting water stand does not reduce the perchlorate level. Excessive boiling can make the perchlorate more concentrated because perchlorate remains behind when the water evaporates.

What happened? What is being done? Perchlorate is an inorganic chemical often used in solid rocket propellant, fireworks, explosives, flares, matches, and a variety of industries. It usually gets into drinking water as a result of environmental contamination from historic aerospace or other industrial operations that used or use, store, or dispose of perchlorate and its salts.

Golden State Water Company is aggressively investigating our water system to determination the source of contamination so that it can be eliminated. We will keep you updated on our investigation on a regular basis. For more information, please contact our Customer Service Department at (800) 999-4033. Our Mailing Address is: 13608 Hitt Road, Apple Valley CA 92308.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this public notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

Secondary Notification Requirements Upon receipt of notification from a person operating a public water system, the following notification must be given within 10 days [Health and Safety Code Section 116450(g)]: SCHOOLS: Must notify school employees, students, and parents (if the students are minors). RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS OR MANAGERS (including nursing homes and care facilities): Must notify tenants. BUSINESS PROPERTY OWNERS, MANAGERS, OR OPERATORS: Must notify employees of businesses located on the property.

This notice is being sent to you by Golden State Water Company{3}.

{1} Barstow residents advised not to drink tap water because of possible contamination - KTLA 5

{2} Contaminants of Concern at BARSTOW MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE - EPA

{3} Golden State Water Company DRINKING WATER ADVISORY

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 65 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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MALA November 21, 2010 9:09 am (Pacific time)

Does the already contaminated water (chromium 6) in Hinkley Ca. also contain perchlorate? Is'nt the under ground water flow direction from south west to north east along the Mojave River?

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