Background Information

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is located in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The community is home to an active duty, dependent, retiree, and civilian employee population of more than 170,000 people. The Base is a major economic presence for the surrounding community and maintains a close relationship to ensure quality living for both military and civilians throughout the area.

Since 1941, Camp Lejeune’s mission has been to prepare warfighters for deployment for combat and humanitarian missions abroad. The Base, which encompasses 236 square miles (156,000 acres), provides housing, facilities, training lands, and logistical support for warfighters.

Camp Lejeune operates multiple drinking water systems that serve various parts of the Base. The Conceptual Water System Model provides an illustration of a representative water supply system at Camp Lejeune. Water supply wells pump water from deep underground (i.e., groundwater) and deliver it to a water treatment plant. The wells are “cycled,” meaning that not all of the wells are pumping water to the treatment plant at the same time.

In the 1980s, some of the wells that supplied water to the Tarawa Terrace, Hadnot Point, and Holcomb Boulevard systems (see Camp Lejeune Map) were found to have been affected by chemicals. We do not know if past exposure to these chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water caused adverse health effects in specific individuals. In 1982, special tap water testing identified trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). The test results varied between drinking water samples collected at different times. In 1984-1985, when Base officials discovered that these chemicals were in specific drinking water supply wells, these affected wells were taken out of service (One of the wells removed from service at Tarawa Terrace was used on one day in May 1985 and on three days in April 1985 due to a water shortage.). The chemicals detected in the drinking water were a class of chemicals known as “volatile organic compounds (VOCs).” These chemicals are commonly used as solvents for cleaning machinery and weapons, for dry cleaning, and some are found in fuels. The chemicals were later identified as coming from both on-Base sources and an off-Base source.

Related Links

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Click on this section for a timeline of events.

Independent Reviews
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Three independent organizations/agencies have formally reviewed our actions.

Camp Lejeune Map
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Click here to view a map of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune drinking water system service areas.

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