Water Supply
Sources at
Camp Lejeune

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) completed testing on water supply at Camp Lejeune and it was discovered that from 1953 to 1987 industrial solvents and other chemicals leaked into the public water supply at Camp Lejeune. Anyone who worked, served, or lived at the camp during that time frame could have been exposed to the contaminants that originated from three main sources on the Marine Base. The sources that were established that caused the contamination are from the following three areas of Camp Lejeune: Hadnot Point, (HP) Tarawa Terrace, and Holcomb Blvd. It was determined that volatile organic compounds (VOC) either leaked into several wells on the base or were purposefully dumped into toxic waste dumps, on bare ground, and into storm drains which in turn leached chemicals into the water supply.


Hadnot Point

The Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant was established in 1942, where it provided water to the Hadnot Point and Holcomb Boulevard service areas. The Hadnot Point water system was contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and refined petroleum products. Holcomb Boulevard was not contaminated save for the periodic transfer of water from Hadnot Point water system. It has been established that the source of the contamination at Hadnot Point was from multiple sources including: a drum dump, industrial area, industrial fly ash dump, transformer storage area, a former fire training area, an open storage pit, a former burn dump, a site of a former on-base dry cleaner, a former burn dump, a liquid disposal area, the site of the original base dump, and a fuel tank sludge area. Areas served by Hadnot Point include Berkeley Manor, Midway Park, Paradise Point, Hospital Point, Barracks and most bachelor’s quarters.

Tarawa Terrace

Another highly contaminated area, the Tarawa Terrace Water Treatment Plant established operations in 1952. Empirical evidence shows multiple sources of contamination in the Tarawa Terrace plant coming from a nearby off-base, ABC One-Hour Dry Cleaners, which spilled cleaning solutions on numerous occasions and the PCE chemicals were flushed down a floor drain and into a ground septic system. Used PCE produced a sludge which was often used to fill potholes in a nearby alleyway. On-base sources of contamination were identified as coming from several spills and leaks from 12 underground fuel storage tanks built in the 1950s which may have leaked an estimated 20,000 – 30,000 gallons of fuel over the years. There were also some above ground fuel storage tanks used as filling stations until about 1980 when they were converted to waste-oil storage tanks. The Tarawa Terrace Water System served Tarawa Terrace and partially served Knox Trailer Park.

Holcomb Blvd

Holcomb Blvd didn’t usually have contamination, except during the spring and early summer. This is the time when the system would occasionally need water from Hadnot Point to meet the water demand. There was a point between January and February of 1985 when the Holcomb Blvd system was shut down and water from Hadnot Point supplied the users of the Holcomb Blvd system. Holcomb Blvd Water System served Berkeley Manor, Midway Park, Paradise Point, and Watkins Village from June 1972 onward.
From the timeframe of 1953 to 1987, chemicals were purposefully dumped or leaked into the grounds around these locations which were built over shale bedrock that was under the water table. As the chemicals worked their way through the soil, they had nowhere else to go but into the ground water which supplied water to several wells around Camp Lejeune. As of May of 1987, it was determined that more than 2 feet of floating gasoline was found to be above the water table around building TT-2453 which contaminated several wells fed by the aquifer.