Fort Polk responds to water report, officials say measures are in place to ensure water quality

A recent article in Stars and Stripes examines the safety of Fort Polk's water.
According to the article, Fort Polk officials maintain the water is safe, but some experts say the lead content could pose a risk.
Read the article HERE.
The West Central News Center sought comment from Fort Polk officials following the article's publication.
The Fort Polk Public Affairs Office on Tuesday released the following statement regarding the installation's water supply:

"The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk is committed to the health and welfare of the community. Stringent measures are in place to ensure the quality of the drinking water on Fort Polk, measures guided by Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and Environmental Protection Agency mandates.  

Since several water samples within the North Fort Housing area water system exceeded baseline levels for lead and copper, American Water has executed an aggressive and comprehensive water analysis program to determine the cause. More than 500 water samples were taken from the three water systems supporting North Fort Polk in the first quarter 2014, and analyzed to determine the root causes for the lead and copper levels. The samples were also analyzed against other published water quality parameters.

Generally, lead and copper is seldom found in the source water. Rather, these metals are found within the water distribution systems, often entering the system as the result of degraded fittings and plumbing fixtures. Water with a low pH and/or alkalinity, commonly referred to as corrosive water, is often the root cause of such degradation. Analysis of Fort Polk's water source reveals corrosive properties. In response to these findings, American Water has implemented several key projects aimed at reducing the levels of lead and cooper in the water and improving the overall water quality.  

Medical professionals at Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital are available to address any concerns raised by members of the Fort Polk community. Parents are encouraged to raise any concerns they might have during well-child appointments, appointments during which parents are asked a series of questions designed to identify any child health care related issues and facilitate the proper care and treatment of the child. Any concerns raised during this appointment may result in further testing of the child. Finally, routine screening for elevated blood lead levels of children aged 1 to 5 who are asymptomatic and at average risk is discouraged by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.  

Fort Polk will continue to monitor the water systems and implement the necessary measures to maintain the health and safety of our community."

The West Central News Center also sought comment from American Water and received the following statement from Denise Venuti Free, manager of external communications:

"The water at Ft. Polk meets all federal and state requirements for drinking water."
Filed Under :
On Air Now
Sandy Guynn