The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring the Navy and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission to fix problems with the drinking water system at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB).
JBAB has its own drinking water facility. The military owns the water, and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission owns the pipes; they share responsibility. Much like the dishes in a group home, some things don't get done when responsibility is shared.
In this case, it's fixing leaking pipes. Karen Johnson is chief of Groundwater and Enforcement Branch for the EPA in this region of the country.
"We weren't sure whether the pipes were leaking water out, or leaking water in, or groundwater infiltrating," says Johnson.
Special metering pits were repeatedly flooding and hadn't been fixed for years. This order, Johnson says, lays out how the pipes are to be repaired. She adds, nobody's drinking water appears to be at risk.