Report confirms Whiteman AFB drinking water continues to be safe to drink

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Fernandez shares information regarding the water testing process on Okinawa, Japan, Mar. 18, 2019. This information is part of the 718th Civil Engineer Squadron's communication plan to inform multi-service members and their families on concerns and issues regarding on and off base housing on Okinawa. (U.S. Air Force video by Staff Sgt. Daniel E. Fernandez)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

The 509th Medical Group’s Environmental Health program office released the 2018 Annual Water Quality Report recently, sharing results of the most recent water quality with Airmen, civilian team members and families.

Under the Consumer Confidence Reporting Rule of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), community water systems are required to report water quality information to the consuming public.

Responsible for the safety and quality of drinking water, experts with the 509th Medical Group Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight continuously monitor water sources for bacteriological, chemical, and radiological contaminants regular interval analysis as prescribed by the EPA and state regulations.

To ensure water safety, the team even tests for optional monitoring items not required by the EPA to ensure a complete picture for consumers. Their report offers information on the source of our water, its constituents, and the health risks associated with any contaminants.

“We continually monitor the drinking water for contaminants,” said Maj. Kevin Waicekauskas, Bioenvironmental Engineering flight commander and Environmental Health program manager. “The recent results show our water continues to be safe to drink.”

Where does Whiteman AFB’s water come from?

According to the report, sources of Whiteman AFB’s drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) come from the Ozark Aquifer and it is then pumped from nine groundwater wells located across base. The 509th Civil Engineer Squadron manages the Whiteman AFB Water Treatment plant where the water is filtered and disinfected with chlorine. Both the wells and water distribution system are tested regularly.

Why are there contaminants in my water?

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants alone, therefore, does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.

“The results of the report actually show that we’ve had a great year in terms of water quality last year,” Waicekauskas said. “Like in past years, we have found no violations and no contaminates to be above established advisory limits. The bottom line for our Airmen and families is that from the current report and past results, our water has been and is perfectly safe to drink and of good quality.”

The full 2018 Annual Water Quality Report is available from the 509th Medical Operations Squadron, Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight here.

More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

(Editor’s Note: Information sourced from the Whiteman Air Force Base 2018 Annual Water Quality Report)