Honolulu Shut Down its Largest Water Source in Oahu Due to Reported Contamination of Navy Well Near Pearl Harbor

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Hundreds of military families have recently been sickened by a petroleum substance in contaminated water on the island of Oahu.  Our hearts go out to all those affected by this crisis.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii

CNN ~ “Records show a history of fuel leaks plaguing Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in the past decade, with the most recent leak occurring 11 days before the Navy announced it had discovered contamination in the Red Hill well on Oahu.

Honolulu’s Board of Water Supply (BWS) shut down the Halawa Shaft, Oahu’s largest water source, on Thursday after the Navy said it found ‘a likely source of the contamination,’ the Navy said in a virtual town hall meeting.

Top US military officials — including Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro — were in Hawaii Sunday to address the community.

The deputy commander of the US Pacific Fleet. Rear Adm. Blake Converse, confirmed a petroleum leak is the cause of the latest breach.

‘The situation we’re in today, it’s completely and totally unacceptable,’ Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday added.

The military has offered all service members and civilian employees living near the base the opportunity to get alternative housing, and Converse said they are now covering the cost of hotel rooms for more than 700 people.

Converse did not have a timeline for getting drinkable water back to the affected homes. ‘It will involve a series of flushes of not just the water distribution main, but of every home,’ he explained.

The Navy added it has seen concerns from people in the affected neighborhoods who were exposed to the contaminated water and reported symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and skin-related concerns.

The Navy isolated the Red Hill well last Sunday and sent samples out for testing Monday, it said.

‘The results of the Red Hill sample showed petroleum hydrocarbons roughly four to ten times below the Hawaii Department of Health Environmental Action Level (EAL). The Navy had a separate test that confirmed vapors, which is another indication of petroleum hydrocarbons,’ it said in a statement.

‘The Navy is developing a plan to restore the potable water system to EPA standards, identify how this contaminant got in the well, and fix the well,’ the statement continued.

On Tuesday, when BWS heard about the shutdown of the well, it reduced pumping capacity by 50%, it said in a news release.

‘We are deeply concerned that we were not notified immediately by the Navy regarding the shutdown of their Red Hill water source,’ BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau said in a statement, adding that the Halawa shaft was shut down in an ‘abundance of caution.’

‘We have data that shows when they stop pumping at Red Hill, water starts moving in the direction of our Halawa Shaft due to our pumping,’ Lau said.” ~ CNN
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii

Updates on Joint Base Pearl Harbor’s water can be found here: https://www.cpf.navy.mil/JBPHH-Water-Updates

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Source: CNN | Honolulu shut down its largest water source in Oahu due to reported contamination of Navy well near Pearl Harbor

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