An air force base in Guam used pesticidal pool chlorinator in drinking water, according to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency
In Guam, the Andersen Air Force Base was fined by the territory’s Environmental Protection Agency (Guam EPA) for using pool chlorination tabs classified as a pesticide to sanitize drinking water.
According to Air Force Times, Andersen said in a release it had used Pool Time chlorination tabs to sanitize water in a half-million gallon storage tank, which provided water to facilities on its Northwest Field.
However, the chlorination tabs were classified by the Guam EPA as a pesticide, Andersen said. The base stopped using the tabs as soon as it found out, according to Air Force Times.
Andersen said while the chlorination tab was improperly used, the water was safe to drink at all times.
“Both Guam EPA and Andersen AFB concluded that the use of the Pool Time chlorination tabs would not result in any adverse health effects,” Andersen said in the release, according to Air Force Times. “Andersen AFB conducts routine analysis of its water supply and at no point was it deemed unsafe.”
According to Air Force Times, the Guam EPA issued a violation notice to the base’s civil engineer, Lt. Col. Todd Inouye Jan. 22. The notice stated EPA representatives discovered improper use of the chlorination tabs — which contain the active ingredient trichloro-s-triazinetrione — during a sanitary inspection Dec. 28.
The tabs should only be used in swimming pools, and are not intended to sanitize drinking water, the Guam EPA said in the notice.
The Guam EPA issued a fine, which the base agreed to pay. According to Air Force Times, Andersen personnel, who may have been exposed to the drinking water, were sent a public notice Jan. 15 on the contamination. The Northwest Field tank does not provide water to other parts of Andersen, the base said.
According to Air Force Times, the base said bioenvironmental tests performed on the water confirmed it has remained potable. However, the Guam EPA ordered the tank to be drained and flushed as a precaution.