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Chapter A: Summary and findings

March 6, 2013

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is conducting epidemiological studies to evaluate the potential for health effects from exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in finished water supplied to family housing units at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (USMCB Camp Lejeune). The core period of interest for the epidemiological studies is 1968– 1985. VOCs of major interest to the epidemiological studies include tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (1,2-tDCE), vinyl chloride (VC), and benzene.

Eight water-distribution systems have supplied or currently (2013) are supplying finished water to family housing and other facilities at USMCB Camp Lejeune. The three distribution systems of interest to this study—Tarawa Terrace, Hadnot Point, and Holcomb Boulevard—have historically supplied finished water to the majority of family housing units at the Base. Historical exposure data needed for the epidemiological studies are limited or unavailable. To obtain estimates of historical exposure, water-modeling methods are used to quantify concentrations of particular contaminants in finished water and to compute the level and duration of human expo- sure to contaminated finished water.

During 2007–2009, ATSDR published historical reconstruction results for contaminants delivered in finished water to Tarawa Terrace family housing areas and vicinity. Corresponding results for Hadnot Point and Holcomb Boulevard family housing areas and vicinity are presented here as a series of reports supporting ATSDR’s health studies at USMCB Camp Lejeune. These reports and associated supplements provide comprehensive descriptions of information, data analyses and interpretations, and modeling results used to reconstruct historical contaminant concentration levels in finished water delivered within the service areas of the Hadnot Point and Holcomb Boulevard water treatment plants (WTPs) and vicinities. This report, Chapter A: Summary and Findings, summarizes analyses and results of reconstructed VOC concentrations in groundwater, in water-supply wells, and in finished water delivered by the Hadnot Point WTP (HPWTP) and Holcomb Boulevard WTP (HBWTP) to family housing areas and vicinities.

Methods and approaches to complete the historical reconstruction process for the Hadnot Point–Holcomb Boulevard study area included (1) information discovery and data mining, (2) three-dimensional, steady-state (predevelopment) and transient groundwater-flow modeling using MODFLOW-2005 and objective parameter estimation using PEST-12, (3) deter- mining historical water-supply well scheduling and operations using TechWellOp, (4) three-dimensional contaminant fate and transport modeling for VOCs dissolved in groundwater using MT3DMS-5.3, (5) estimating the volume of light nonaqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) released to the subsurface at the Hadnot Point Industrial Area using TechNAPLVol, (6) analysis of LNAPL and dissolved phase fate and transport using TechFlowMP, (7) reconstruction of water-supply well concentrations at the Hadnot Point landfill using the linear control theory model (LCM) TechControl, (8) computation of flow-weighted average concentrations of VOCs assigned to finished water delivered by the HPWTP using a materials mass balance (simple mixing) model, (9) extended period simulation of hydraulics and water quality of the Holcomb Boulevard water-distribution system using EPANET 2, (10) sensitivity analysis of hydraulic, fate and transport, and numerical-model parameter values, (11) uncertainty analysis by coupling Kalman filtering with Monte Carlo simulation within the LCM methodology, and (12) probabilistic analysis of intermittent connections (1972–1985) of the Hadnot Point and Holcomb Boulevard water-distribution systems using the TechMarkov-Chain model. The end result of the historical reconstruction process was the estimation of monthly mean concentrations of selected VOCs in finished water distributed to housing areas served by the HPWTP and HBWTP.

Historical reconstruction results summarized herein provide considerable evidence that concentrations of several contaminants of interest in finished water delivered by the HPWTP substantially exceeded current maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) during all or much of the epidemiological study period of 1968–1985. Reconstructed concentrations of TCE exceeded the current MCL of 5 micrograms per liter (μg/L) prior to and during the entire epidemiological study period and reached a maximum reconstructed concentration of 783 μg/L during November 1983. The most likely date that TCE first exceeded its current MCL is during August 1953; however, this exceedance could have been as early as November 1948. Corresponding finished-water concentrations of PCE exceeded the current MCL of 5 μg/L during most of the period 1975–1985 and also reached a maximum concentration of 39 μg/L during November 1983. Similar results for 1,2-tDCE and VC were also noted during the period 1975–1985. The maximum reconstructed concentrations of 1,2-tDCE and VC were 435 and 67 μg/L, respectively, and also occurred during November 1983. The respective current MCLs for these contaminants are 100 and 2.0 μg/L.

Substantial volumes of liquid hydrocarbon fuels were lost due to leakage to the subsurface within the Hadnot Point Industrial Area. This area contained as many as 10 active water-supply wells. Despite the large volumes lost, finished- water concentrations of benzene only slightly exceeded the current MCL of 5 μg/L during the period 1980–1985. The maximum reconstructed concentration of 12 μg/L of benzene occurred during April 1984.

Within the HBWTP service area, only TCE routinely exceeded its current MCL during intermittent periods (1972–1985). The TCE resulted from transfers of finished water from the Hadnot Point water-distribution system to the Holcomb Boulevard water-distribution system. The maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 51 μg/L occurred during June 1978 at the Berkeley Manor housing area. During the 8-day period of January 28 through February 4, 1985, the HBWTP was out of service, and the HPWTP continuously supplied finished water to the Holcomb Boulevard housing area. During this period, the maximum reconstructed TCE concentration at the HPWTP was 324 μg/L, which resulted in a maximum reconstructed monthly mean concentration of 66 μg/L within the Paradise Point housing area.






Citation Information

Publication Year 2013
Title Chapter A: Summary and findings
Authors Morris L. Maslia, René J. Suárez-Soto, Jason B. Sautner, Barbara A. Anderson, L. Elliott Jones, Robert E. Faye, Mustafa M. Aral, Jiabao Guan, Wonyong Jang, Ilker T. Telci, Walter M. Grayman, Frank J. Bove, Perri Z. Ruckart, Susan M. Moore
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Index ID 70045370
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization South Atlantic Water Science Center

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