Chemical found in Fort Jackson groundwater

Chemical found in Fort Jackson groundwater

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- Fort Jackson says it has found a chemical used in ammunition in the groundwater at the edge of the Army training base.

The State newspaper reported (

) base officials plan to test private wells near the fort to see if there is any contamination.

Base officials said they found traces of the pollutant in tests at the fort's southern boundary.

The material is known as Royal Demolition Explosive. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the chemical compound can cause seizures in people who swallow a lot of it.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Director Catherine Templeton said her agency plans to meet with Army officials to discuss what to do about the pollution.

There was no information on when the meeting would occur

Friday afternoon, Fort Jackson commander Brigadier General Bradley Becker discussed the results of environmental tests done at Fort Jackson.

Multiple military bases are participating in a program to look at whether chemicals used in their ammunition is impacting their environment.

The tests at Fort Jackson found traces of royal demolition explosive (RDX) in the water taken from wells near the southern end of the base.

Fort Jackson sent letters to homeowners who live near that part of the base to ask permission to test their well water for traces of this chemical.

And while the testing agency said the levels of RDX found are not enough to cause concern, Becker said Fort Jackson wants to be proactive in planning for the future.

"It hasn't reached levels that the epa would come back with a state mandate or a federal mandate that says you have got to clean this up. But as good stewards of the environment, we'll say 'ok, we know what munition we use that is the primary source of RDX.' so how do we do it smarter so that we don't five, ten, fifteen, twenty years from now, we don't have rdx levels that reach a level that is a problem," Becker said

For homeowners who received a letter saying their well water needs to be tested, there will be a meeting on Nov. 21st at 6:00 p.m. at Westin Lake community center.

(The Associated Press contrubuted to this report.)