WATER QUALITY PROGRAM
Collaboratively, the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity’s Preventive Medicine stationed at Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield (FS/HAAF) and the Installation’s Directorate of Public Works (DPW) continuously monitor the quality of Fort Stewart and HAAF’s drinking water. To ensure the water is safe to drink, the DPW Water Quality Program collects samples from various locations throughout the Installation's drinking water system on a daily basis.
FS/HAAF's drinking water system is comprised of 30 groundwater wells (20 at FS and 10 at HAAF). Groundwater is stored in permeable rock layers called aquifers, which are like underground lakes. The Installation's groundwater is supplied by the Floridan Aquifer. Before the water is distributed, it is chlorinated and fluoridated to promote dental health.
This groundwater well is part of Fort Stewart's drinking water system.
A Soldier washes a tactical vehicle at a washrack on Fort Stewart.
FS/HAAF began looking at water conservation efforts as early as the 1980s when the Installation constructed a Central Vehicle Wash Facility on Fort Stewart. This self-contained, closed loop system saves approximately 200 thousand gallons per day of potable water and was one of FS/HAAF’s first steps toward affecting a culture change related to water conservation and environmental stewardship.
The Installation is also recycling water that has been collected and treated to standards suitable for irrigation and industrial use. Through a partnership with the City of Hinesville, water meeting Georgia Environmental Protection Division standards for reuse is providing water to the Fort Stewart Central Energy Plant, washracks, golf course irrigation system, and Marne View housing area irrigation system. By using this water, which would otherwise have been discharged to local creeks, Fort Stewart has saved over 404 million gallons of potable water since the program began in 2010.
QUESTIONS ABOUT WATER QUALITY
Your water supplier must notify you by newspaper, mail, radio, TV, or hand-delivery if your water does not meet U.S. EPA or state standards or if there is a waterborne disease emergency. The notice will describe any precautions you need to take. Follow the advice of your water supplier if you ever receive such a notice.
When you get word that the GA Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has declared a drought, you will be required to respond in a certain way depending on the level of the drought - which will be determined by the GA EPD. To learn more about the different drought response levels, please see the Overview of Drought Response Levels document on this page.
HAAF Groundwater Permits
The Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield (FS/HAAF) Wastewater Program’s responsibilities are to support all military training operations; ensure the Installation is compliant with all state issued permits as well as all federal, state, and local regulations; ensure all new lift stations, septic tanks, and/or force main extensions are properly permitted; and sanitary spills are cleaned up in accordance with State regulations.
FORT STEWART PERMITS
The Wastewater Treatment Plant shown here is located at Evans Army Airfield on Fort Stewart.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I see water bubbling up from the ground, or seeping from under a manhole, what should I do?
Contact the DPW service order desk immediately at (912) 767-2883. Water bubbling from the ground is typically a sign of a water or sewer line break. Water seeping from under a manhole usually occurs when there is a blockage in the sanitary system and causes a release of sanitary waste into the environment.
Where does the treated water go?
It depends on the type of permit the treatment plant is covered under. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits discharge to surface waters (i.e. rivers, streams, creeks) while Land Application System (LAS) permits discharge to the land through irrigation methods. The treatment plant on Fort Stewart is covered under an NPDES permit, which is permitted to discharge 7.15 million gallons per day into Taylors Creek.
Is it safe to eat fish caught on Fort Stewart after this water is discharged there?
Fort Stewart has some of the best fishing in the area and attracts hundreds of anglers each year. Fishing has never been hampered by the Installation's treatment plants, which have been in operation since 1985. Fort Stewart's treatment plants are permitted and inspected by the GA EPD. Discharge limits for the plants are set to be protective of human health and the environment. Fishing quality may also be impacted by upstream contributors such as farming and/or industrial operations. In the event that fish in any of Fort Stewart's ponds, lakes, or rivers are determined to be unsafe for consumption, notices will be sent via Marne Message, The Frontline newspaper, surrounding area newspapers, local television news channels, local radio stations, as well as Facebook and Twitter. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR) samples fish from Georgia’s rivers, lakes, and creeks each year to test for contaminants. For more information, visit the Fish Consumption Guidelines page of the GA DNR website.
The Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield (FS/HAAF) Stormwater Program is responsible for ensuring that the Installation meets local, state, and federal requirements with regard to stormwater permitting and water quality protection. This is accomplished by reviewing and monitoring construction sites/plans and industrial activities, conducting inspections, analyzing water quality samples, managing hazardous materials, operating an emergency response team for hazardous material spills, and educating the FS/HAAF community through public outreach.
Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow that “runs off” driveways, parking lots, roads, yards, rooftops, and other hard surfaces. These impervious surfaces prevent the water from soaking into the ground, which creates a veritable pollution cocktail. The stormwater picks up chemicals, bacteria, sediment, and trash as it travels and carries these pollutants into storm sewer systems or directly into ponds, creeks, rivers, or wetland areas. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water.
MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM (MS4)
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT POLICIES
Soldiers assist in stenciling messages on storm drains in FS/HAAF housing areas to remind residents to assist in preventing stormwater pollution.