Water Program wins coveted award
December 7, 2012
By Nancy Gould
Hunter Army Airfield--
You may remember Erin Brockovich -- a character that Julia Roberts played in a biographical film made in 2000 about a young, single mother who fought against a west coast energy corporation to make them pay for damages that resulted when the corporation released a dangerous carcinogen, chromium 6, into the water supply. The real-life heroine eventually won $330 million in a lawsuit and her box office hit informed millions of Americans about the real-life dangers of drinking or using contaminated water.
If you live on Fort Stewart or Hunter Army Airfield, you don't have to worry about contaminated water, according to reported water findings in the annual Consumer Confidence Report, CCR, that was released June 7.
Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield has water compliance specialists working in the Directorate of Public Work's Environmental Division. The professional staff is diligent to ensure there are no contaminates in their respective water supplies. They were recently recognized for their dedication and expertise, and received a first place award in the Medium Groundwater Systems category in the CCR competition.
The contest is sponsored annually by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP), a non-profit association, whose chief purpose is to educate and assist those who have an interest in the proper management and protection of Georgia's water resources.
The Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Environmental team also took first place separately in the 2005 competition; Fort Stewart in the Large System category and Hunter in the Small System category.
Nate Williams II, a water compliance manager at Hunter, accepted the award, on behalf of Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield at a luncheon Nov. 13, during the GAWP Fall conference and Expo in Dalton, Ga. Competitors included all municipalities of Georgia, such as large cities like Atlanta, as well as smaller cities and towns.
Williams consolidated the CCR water statistics in a glossy, front- and-back, single-page handout with a detailed account of drinking water monitoring performed during CY 2011. The data confirmed that both installations met drinking water quality standards without any violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
"I knew we had a great shot at winning," said Williams, adding that since his first entry was misplaced, he followed up regularly with GAWP personnel to ensure the paperwork was received and entered."
"It was a joint effort between Fort Stewart and Hunter to accurately record the information used to compile the 2011 CCR," said Stanley Thomas, the Water Program manager at Fort Stewart. "The Environmental Division always works well together to effectively meet all timelines for the CCR submission."
The award notification states," Your water quality report is quite impressive and shows a commitment to environmental stewardship that every facility in the state should aspire to!"
Information in the easy-to-read CCR brochure was organized with pleasing graphics, color and subtitles, meeting the judges' criteria for readability and easy interpretation of a large volume of information, some of it technical.
Other DPW team members who contributed to the brochure included John Davidian, graphic artist; Brent Rabon, Infrastructure Section team leader, Stanley Thomas, Water Program manager, Robert Stewart, Operations Support, who reviewed the submission and Eric Stulpin, Water/Wastewater technician who help coordinate CCR brochure distribution.
According to the 1996 amendment to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, community water systems must prepare and distribute CCRs annually to water customers and consumers about the quality of their drinking water. Each report must contain water system information, sources of the drinking water, definitions used in the report, detected contaminants, compliance with other drinking water regulations and some educational information.
The Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield report contained that information and more.
"We went beyond state requirements," said Williams. "We included information on how to conserve water and information about water restrictions. The vulnerability assessment includes important information important for specific segments of the population."
A sample of the information from the vulnerability section follows: "Both MEDDAC's Preventive Medicine and the DPW continually monitor the drinking water for contaminants. Our water is SAFE to drink; however, some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population...Immunocompromised persons such as those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants… can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers." Guidelines on appropriate means to lessen immunocompromised person risk of infection are also available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791."
The CCR brochure was mass produced and distributed personally by DPW staff to all Fort Stewart and Hunter water users, including those in housing areas, barracks, DFMWR facilities, battalion and company motor pools, clinics, lodging and more. The brochure was packaged with additional environmental material about controlled burning; the Recycling Program; the Stormwater Program; the penalty of vandalizing cultural resources and other environment information. The material was delivered in a waterproof reusable bag with five easy tips on the outside of the bag about how to save water--turn it off while brushing your teeth; shorten showers to seven to 10 minutes; run only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machines; use a broom, not a hose for cleaning sidewalks and driveways and take your car to a car wash that recycles water.
The Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield staff continues to educate the military community about how to care for and preserve our environment. If you want to learn more about water conservation or the quality of your drinking water, view the CCR brochure on the Fort Stewart website at http://www.stewart.army.mil/dpw/downloads/CCR-2011.pdf.