Persistent rumors have
resurfaced that the water in the buildings at Fort McCoy is not safe
"There is no truth to
these rumors," said Michael Miller, an Environmental Protection
specialist with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works (DPW). In
fact, Fort McCoy actually has some of the best drinking water in the
state, Miller said.
Fort McCoy provides
high-quality drinking water to a work force and training population
that numbers in the thousands, or equal to a city like Tomah or
installation’s drinking water has met and often surpasses all local,
state or federal standards. Fort McCoy’s military
operations do give its water some unique characteristics that aren’t
necessarily found in other similar-sized organizations.
The drinking water is under
constant pressure for fire protection. As the water is drawn from the
tap, the water is depressurized. This causes tiny air bubbles to form
and sometimes gives the water a cloudy or milky appearance. The bubbles dissipate after
the water sits for a few minutes and becomes clear. The water does not
pose a safety risk to the consumer.
Because of the training
schedule, some buildings are not in use year round. If these buildings
are located toward the end of the drinking water distribution line,
the water may become stagnated.
Stagnant water often
appears cloudy or colored, and it may have an unpleasant taste, but it
is safe to drink. If military personnel are going into a barracks that
hasn’t been used in a while and has stagnant water, they should open
all the taps and run the water for about 15 minutes to flush the pipes
If concerns exist after the
lines are flushed, unit representatives may contact the DPW Water
Treatment Plant at (608) 388-2323 to request the water main adjacent
to the building be flushed.
The operators then will
perform field analysis to determine if the water’s chlorine levels
are in the safe drinking range. They will also collect samples and
send them to the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene for analysis,
The drinking water on the
installation is chlorinated to prevent pathogens and treated to
prevent metals in the distribution system pipes from leaching into the
Like other Wisconsin
municipalities, Fort McCoy must perform tests required by the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to ensure its drinking water
is safe from chemical contamination and pathogens. The results from
the testing are released yearly.
All personnel who buy
bottled water do so at their own expense. Anyone working, living or
training at Fort McCoy is encouraged to drink sufficient water to meet
good health practices.
This includes remaining
properly hydrated when the warmer weather returns. If personnel don’t drink
enough water, they may be creating a health risk.
Any installation personnel
who are concerned about stagnated water or water appearance or taste
in their buildings are encouraged to run the tap water before drinking
For more information about Fort McCoy water
quality, sources or testing, visit the Fort McCoy Web site at http://www.mccoy.army.mil
and click on reading room and drinking water quality reports for North
or South Post or call the Water Treatment Plant.