America has seen various water contamination incidents over the past few decades. Examples include the Woburn tragedy, where industrial solvents mixed with the underground water, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that contaminated 1000 miles of shoreline and destroyed the marine ecosystem.

However, a prominent water contamination incident occurred at Camp Lejeune. Around 1 million residents were affected due to the carelessness of industrial leaders. At the Marine Corps base, the drinking water contained various Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that caused severe ailments.

Today, people are still questioning the safety of Camp Lejeune’s drinking water. According to government sources, the water is indeed safe to drink and use. Moreover, they perform regular tests to ensure its safety.

This blog will go in-depth about what happened at Camp Lejeune and the water safety measures being taken.


How Did The Water Get Contaminated?

The contamination of Camp Lejeune’s water supply continued from 1950 till the late 1980s, but nobody knew about it. However, a platoon in the Marine Corps stationed at Camp Lejeune discovered VOCs in the water.

During a test in 1982, they found specific toxins in the drinking water at two of the water treatment plants. The source was an off-base dry cleaning firm’s waste disposal methods. Their careless attitude contaminated the water with dry cleaning solvents and degreasers.

The Toxic Chemicals Found

Toxic Chemicals Found

Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the Tarawa Terrace water had perchloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene (PCEs) that are harmful for humans to ingest. At the same time, the drinking water had trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. However, a prominent water contamination incident occurred at Camp Lejeune. Around 1 million residents were affected due to the cHowever, a prominent water contamination incident occurred at Camp Lejeune. Around 1 million residents were affected due to the c

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry did their preliminary data analysis and found various contamination sources in the supply wells across the military base. Some include industrial area spills, leaking storage tanks, and waste disposal sites.

Water treatment plants that had a contamination level of 5 ppb and higher were closed. Examples include the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point.

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What Did The Residents Do To Retaliate?

For over thirty years, veterans, military families, and employees were exposed to toxic chemicals in the drinking water. Due to that, people started to develop various types of cancer, including bladder, lung, breast, and more.

Once they got to know this, the residents were furious. Hence, they trusted the federal government for justice. According to Reuters, there were over 900 Camp Lejeune lawsuits over the years.

TorHoerman Law states that this decision allowed veterans and military families to get hefty claims for the exposure. Moreover, they recommend victims keep medical proof handy before going to a Camp Lejeune lawyer for help. The government passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act in 2022, which ensures affected people can file new lawsuits.

With the new law, the total Camp Lejeune settlement amounts to USD 6.7 billion. That means each victim can get USD 10,000 to USD 500,000.

Is the Camp Lejeune Water Safe Now?

According to the Consumer Notice Organization, Camp Lejeune drinking water has tested negative for harmful chemicals since March 1987. They emphasize that state regulations require the base to check the drinkability of the water every quarter.

For the last three decades, the drinking water at Camp Lejeune has been devoid of any VOCs. Moreover, the base discloses the water testing results to its residents yearly.

In 1989, this base was placed under the National Priorities List by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It ensured the eradication of toxic water and the closing down of certain wells at Camp Lejeune. However, the clean-up process was challenging, so it took many years.

Initially, the government cleared toxic storage tanks and eliminated contaminated soil, dangerous liquids, and batteries. They used electrical resistance heating methods to chemically oxidize the contaminants on the surface.

Residents can also use DIY water testing methods like test strips and color disk powder kits to ensure the usability of the water.

The Bottom Line

Residents of Camp Lejeune have gone through a lot of turmoil. Due to water contamination, veterans and longtime residents were exposed to toxic chemicals which lead to cancer. Hence, many people lost their lives, while some lost their livelihoods.

Once the issues were discovered, people were furious and started to file Camp Lejeune lawsuits for compensation from the government. Amidst all this chaos, people were still worried about their safety.

The residents wanted to know about the water’s safety. And the government delivered by passing laws that compel the EPA to run regular tests on the drinkability and usability of the water. Yes, that means the drinking water at Camp Lejeune has been safe for over thirty years now.

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Abdul Aziz Mondal
Abdul Aziz Mondol is a professional blogger who is having a colossal interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of his professional commitments, he loves to share content related to business, finance, technology, and the gaming niche.

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