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Lejeune water treatment plant offline as mercury investigation continues

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (WWAY) — The Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant aboard Camp Lejeune is shut down following the discovery of a silvery substance later determined to be non-soluble, elemental mercury in a pipe within the facility, which had been taken offline for routine maintenance Saturday.

According to a new release from the Marine Corps base, tests conducted after the discovery showed no mercury detected in the water supply. Additionally, in accordance with federal and state regulations the drinking water aboard Camp Lejeune is tested every three years for mercury, most recently in May 2012. None of these tests have detected mercury.

Hadnot Point WTP will continue to stay offline until all investigations and repairs have been completed. The base says the appropriate federal and state agencies have been informed. Areas normally serviced by the Hadnot Point WTP are currently being supplied by the Holcomb Boulevard WTP. These include the Hadnot Point Industrial Area, Hospital Point, French Creek, and Courthouse Bay.

Camp Lejeune says decades ago, the water treatment industry used water pressure meters that contained elemental mercury (not to be confused with the more widely-known organic mercury associated with fish). These meters were removed from the WTP in the 1980s.

The Marine Corps says drinking water at Camp Lejeune continues to meet all government drinking water standards and is tested more often than required. For Camp Lejeune’s annual water quality reports, please see: http://www.lejeune.usmc.mil/emd/reports/annualreports.htm.

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