George AFB’s Exposure Pathways – Water

The Department of Defense (DOD) deliberately misled the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the American people about the hazardous substances at the former George Air Force Base, CA, “EPA Superfund ID: CA2570024453″ and the complete exposure pathway that the drinking water provided.

George AFB’s contaminated drinking water supply provided the following “Completed Exposure Pathways”

  • Ingestion: Drinking water, cooking
  • Dermal Contact: bathing, showering, swimming pool, occupational exposures
  • Inhalation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs): showering, swamp coolers

The DOD knew that the ATSDR came to a flawed conclusion in their 1 December 1998 report “Health Assessment for George AFB,” section “Evaluation of Groundwater Exposure Pathway”.  This was because the ATSDR was not supplied with (by the DOD) and/or did not fully understand the nature and extent of the contamination, locations of the IRP sites, hydrology (direction of the groundwater flow, north-east), and the location (within 500 feet to a ¼ mile upstream) of the water supply wells for George AFB, Adelanto, private homes, and the former Victor Valley Country Club.  Because the DOD did not correct the ATSDR during the Peer Review / Public Comments period or after the report was published in 1998, the DOD lied by omission.

The DOD knew that the groundwater flows northeast under George AFB’s Southeast Disposal Area (SEDA) and OT-22 (a.k.a. S-12, the golf course), directly to the supply wells for George AFB, Adelanto, private homes, and the former Victor Valley Country Club.  While OT-22 is adjacent to the supply wells, it should be considered upstream of these wells because of its close proximity to and it is in the zone of influence (cone of depression) of this large cluster high volume wells, and therefore is upstream of these supply wells.

OT-22 / S-12 / golf course is of concern because effluent from the base wastewater treatment plant containing industrial waste, oils, and solvents was used to water the golf course from 1965 until 1 December 1981 when the base sanitary sewage system was connected to the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority regional wastewater treatment system. (Over 120,000 gallons of toxic chemicals a year were disposed of in the sanitary sewer system from 1965 until 1 December 1981)

“Site No. S-12 – located at golf course.  Effluent from the [sewage treatment plant] STP percolation ponds has been used to irrigate the golf course since 1965.  Several industrial operations (refer to Appendix D) discharge wastes to the sanitary sewer system …  The golf course is located near the residential area and the off-base water supply wells and migration is possible.
Source :  Page 53 – GEORG_AR_3.pdf –

Waste oils and solvents from several industrial shops (refer to Appendix D) are regularly collected in the sanitary system.”
Source :  Page 56 – GEORG_AR_3.pdf –

Lying by omission

Lying by omission:  A lie of omission also known as a continuing misrepresentation, a lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception.  Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions.

Public Health Assessment George Air Force Base Victorville, California 1 December 1998 ATSDR

“Evaluation of Groundwater Exposure Pathway

Could groundwater contamination detected in both on- and off-site monitoring wells either reduce the availability or compromise the safety of area groundwater or Mojave River water?


On-site and off-site groundwater do not represent a past, present, or future public health hazard.  On-site groundwater has never been used as a source for drinking water at George AFB and no supply wells are expected to be installed there in the foreseeable future.  …”

Source accessed on: 3 December 2012



CH2M HILL. 1982. IRP Phase I – Installation Restoration Program Records Search for George Air Force Base, California – Volume I of II. Prepared by CH2M HILL for Air Force Engineering And Services Center Directorate Of Environmental Planning Tydall Air Force Base, Florida. January 1982 – (PDF – 247 pages – 5.01 MB)

Appendix D Industrial Facilities – (PDF – 3 pages – 56 KB)


ATSDR. 1998. Public Health Assessment George Air Force Base Victorville, California CERCLIS NO. CA2570024453.  Prepared by Federal Facilities Assessment Branch Division of Health Assessment and Consultation Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 1 December 1998


I am not a doctor or attorney, and cannot give medical advice or legal advice.

If you, a friend, or loved one has been injured or died as a result of the contamination at a DOD Superfund Site please follow the steps that are outlined at Get Help.

The views and opinions expressed in this website/articles are those of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. government

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply