Groundwater contamination RAF Bruggen/Javelin Barracks

When I served at Javelin Barracks, I saw the surveyors map in the Station Conference Centre. This detailed the groundwater contamination of camp, caused by a leaking aviation fuel storage tank. I had experienced the taste and smell of fuel in the tap water on a number of occasions.
When I think about the number of people who developed cancers, especially friends who have had cancers that doctors told them were not normally associated with people their age and relatively healthy lifestyles, could they be linked? Knowing what the Army is like, especially the people who were responsible for the Station since taking over from the RAF, have corners been cut, increasing the health risks?
I found these articles which seem to have similar circumstances;
Oakey defence base contaminants linked to serious disease: UN
Google-Ergebnis für http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/38e1734cceee0cf1117dc64623246dab?width=1024
Is there a big cover up in place? Do I need to be concerned about future health implications of my family?
 
Tea brewed in a kettle that had been used for boiling paraffin didn't taste nice so got thrown. I would have thought the water would have had a similar taint to it. Surely it depends upon the concentration of the fuel in the water. Many medicines and artificial sweeteners are made from petrochemicals as i understand it. There are people who deliberately drink car oil for whatever reason. Before and after medical tests might be interesting.
 
There was a few times I could smell avtur in the shower water in my quarter
 
There was a few times I could smell avtur in the shower water in my quarter
No, it was me dumping the lab test samples I pulled when supporting the Crab Tiswas types when I was there on exercise in late summer 1986.
I dumped them down the drain in amongst the blast walls just off the main runway. Might also have something to do with me demonstrating to the TA RE types how to drain the final dregs out of an Avcat fabric tank with the creative use of a box cutter, in our rush to get down the Pigallee in Wildenrath.
 

Funbaby

Old-Salt
I was more pointing out that mass exposures of service personnel to hydrocarbons via water supply have occurred in the past and have had real health consequences for those exposed.
 

BLU-97

Old-Salt
The main issue at Oakey (and a lot of other air bases, look up RAAF Williamtown) is the use of AFFF and the associated PFAS products. AVTUR is a hydrocarbon that has associated cytotoxic issues, especially if there is the pathway for the vapours to be present (as VOCs).
 
Well the map showed the airfield layout and the source of the leak as one of the fuel storage tanks.
When you consider the amount of potential contamination risks from the 50 odd years of fuel leaking, fire suppression, nukes, etc etc, just from when the Crabs were there, how many of them have had health problems?
 
Close friend of mine’s son is now a herr doctor ( chemistry) sausage side and works for BASF now.
When he was doing his doctorate he was working on bacteria etc to break down hydrocarbons in soil.
Aparrently in the latter years of the eastern block the powers that be monitored how much flying was done by the comrades by how much fuel was used. The Russians found it was easier to keep the bosses off their backs if a/ c were unserviceable or weather had been bad simply by opening the taps and running the required tonnage out of the tanks and into the ground.!
Therefore there are a number of airfields in the east with horrendous ground water contamination.
 
D

Deleted 60082

Guest
Hydrocarbon contamination is an issue on most former and current airfields. However that doesn't doesn't necessarily correlaye with contaminated drinking water. Most UK airfoelds drew water from metroplitan supplies; few had their own sources (bores) and treaent facilities. Groundwater xontamination is a problem hlwever mldern remediation techniques can be exyrenly efficient at removing contamination - but it's an expensive business.

OP - you could put in a FOI request but I suspect that it wpuld be next tonimlossibme to get significant data. Think of the difficulties in linking time and exposure to a potential carcinogen, with the evential development of a related cancer, decades after exposure.
 
I'm not an engineer but I did use to run a groundwork business.

It would depend on the source of the drinking water. Groundwater varies in volume and levels depending on the water table for the area but it's not normally a drinking water source. If the drinking water is drawn from an adjacent natural aquifer or water reservoir, there might be some contamination but drinking water is often piped in from some distance away.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if avgas was present in the ground. I once dug up what used to be for many years an old coach depot and the soil contamination was shocking. If you could taste avgas in the water, maybe a pipe somewhere was damaged causing contamination to happen?

I would think the only way to find out would be to test the water for contamination. Is that still a viable option?
 
I spent 3 years in RAF Brüggen from 76-79, no problems then or since and I've never heard of anyone else having had problems because of contaminated water there.
 
I’m wondering if the filtration systems were run down due to inept Sigs QMs chasing MBEs, after the Pongoes took over, just to be seen to save a couple of quid
 
Hydrocarbon pollution is one thing.
There is also the fluoridated chemicals used in fire retardent foam. That's quite toxic as well.
 
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