Residents of Ford Island, Hale Moku and Hokulani can resume drinking and cooking with their tap water, according to the Hawaii Department of Health, which today lifted its drinking water advisory for those areas of the Navy water system.
Fifteen other areas of the Navy water system are still awaiting DOH clearance. Residents of Red Hill Housing and Pearl City Peninsula received clearance last month.
There are more than 900 homes in DOH-cleared areas today, according to the Navy’s flushing plan.
“The DOH and EPA have overseen months of work to provide individuals and families in Areas A2 and D1 with assurance of safe drinking water,” according to a DOH press release. “This included supervising flushing operations to confirm that the Navy followed flushing and testing protocol to verify that contamination was removed from the drinking water system.”
The DOH said one water sample taken from Area A2, which includes Ford Island, and two samples taken from Area D1, which includes Hale Moku and Hokulani, tested above the screening level. of total petroleum hydrocarbons during the initial sampling. Homes in those areas were backflushed and resampled, with all test results returning below the threshold, according to the DOH.
“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of hundreds of Navy personnel, along with DOH, the Environmental Protection Agency, and our fellow military service partners, the Navy has officially restored potable water to two additional areas, for a total of four areas out of 19 with amended health advisories,” Vice Admiral Yancy Lindsey, commander of Navy Installations Command, said in a press release. “This week, the interagency team of the Drinking Water System expects to deliver more water sampling kits to the DOH for review and approval.”
Ford Island is home to all branches of the military, although it is primarily the navy. It also includes the Ford Island Child Development Center.
Hale Moku and Hokulani are also primarily home to Navy residents. The area also includes Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary School and two children’s development centers – Center Drive and Kids Cove 24/7.
The DOH also said today that the water at Manana Marine Corps Housing is safe to drink. The Honolulu Water Supply Board began delivering water to the neighborhood in mid-November through an emergency connection just before the Navy water contamination emergency. The Navy water system had “booster pump problems”.
“Complaints about Manana Housing’s water quality have coincided with increased complaint calls from other areas of the Navy water system,” according to the DOH. “As Manana’s accommodation was not receiving water from the Navy water system at the time of the incident, a separate investigation was conducted.”
The DOH said the water for Manana’s accommodations will be turned over to the Navy water system.
The DOH issued a “do not drink” advisory for all residents of the Navy Drinking Water System, which serves Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and surrounding neighborhoods, in late November after the Navy and Department of State health officials have been inundated with calls from residents reporting a fuel smell coming from their tap water. The Navy later confirmed that kerosene from its Red Hill tank farm had leaked into its Red Hill drinking water well. This well has been taken offline and the Navy is working to clean up the contamination. All water in the Navy drinking water system currently comes from the Waiawa Well, a separate well, which has been tested and found to be clean.