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Iron and manganese filters installed at Camp Pendleton’s 24 Area water treatment plant to lower the levels of excess minerals allowing the water to meet secondary drinking water standards. These standards ensure the content of certain chemicals in the water do not exceed levels that might pose a risk to human health. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maritza Vela)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Maritza Vela

Your drinking water: Camp Pendleton's Water Resources Division

9 Jan 2020 | Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Camp Pendleton is one of the only locations in Southern California where drinking water is locally provided and not outsourced.

Camp Pendleton's Water Resources Division employs a team of professional engineers and state-certified water operators to manage the systems that treat Camp Pendleton's water. The WRD team works to remove any contaminants that would impact the health and safety of all personnel who train, work or have families on the West Coast's premier expeditionary training base.

"Camp Pendleton's ability to supply its water needs from its local groundwater assets is a very unique and envied capability within Southern California," said John Simpson, director of WRD. "Processing and purveying groundwater and the maintenance of the pre-1914 water rights inherited by Camp Pendleton saves the American taxpayers several million dollars per year over purchasing water from a local city or special district."

WRD operates, maintains and manages two State of California-permitted public water systems. The two systems service the entire 125,000-acre installation. Approximately 99% of Camp Pendleton's water comes from groundwater aquifers in the following basins: Santa Margarita River Basin, Las Flores Basin, San Mateo Basin and San Onofre Basin. The remaining amount comes from South Coast Water District to a portion of San Mateo housing.

Camp Pendleton has built an Advanced Water Treatment plant that treats the groundwater with an iron and manganese removal system and a reverse osmosis system. The AWT plant is also capable of using liquid-activated granulated carbon filtration to remove additional regulated contaminants.

Water is tested daily for contaminants to ensure they are within safe drinking water standards. Monitors regulate contaminants to help the California State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determine where contaminants may occur and if additional regulation is required. By law, if a water sample comes back with potential health risk violations, the system triggers an immediate "boil water" notification, giving WRD time to isolate and remove the source of contamination. Residents are informed if their water is at low or high health risk issue via email, mail, public postings and the annual consumer confidence report.

"Unlike the mayor of a city or a water special district board of directors, the commanding general and the senior staff at Camp Pendleton are fellow Marines." Added Simpson. "The CG and his family live in base housing, and no one cares more about the health and safety of the base's water supply."

Camp Pendleton service members and residents looking for more information on water quality should contact Camp Pendleton's Water Resources Division or the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.


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