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Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Health Department Detects Petroleum Product in Navy Water System
By News Release @ 8:13 PM :: 3515 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Military

HNN sent water from the Navy’s lines to a private lab. Here’s what they found.

HNN Dec 2, 2021: … HNN delivered a sample to FQ Labs on Oahu for testing earlier this week, and informed Bryne on Thursday that the sample was found to have trace amounts of diesel.

Her reaction: “Oh my word. I’m speechless. It’s just shocking to me.”

Tai Khan, FQ Labs director, said the lab actually sent the sample to another facility in Los Angeles. They found .125 parts per million of diesel in the church’s water. “It is trace amount,” Khan said.

“And I would think that any amount would be unacceptable in drinking water.”

The church is right next to military housing at Hickam base.

They bought their property a few years ago from the Navy.

Other water experts told Hawaii News Now even though diesel was found, that doesn’t rule out contamination by jet fuel. They also said it’s possible it’s seeping into the water system.

HNN also sent oily and smelly water from Aliamanu Military Reservation and military housing at Hickam for private testing. The tests did not detect gas, diesel or motor oil.

But FQ Labs says there could be other chemicals causing the problem….

CLUE: "Firefighting Foam"

read … HNN sent water from the Navy’s lines to a private lab. Here’s what they found.

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SA Dec 2, 2021: Navy finds Red Hill well water contaminated with petroleum

CB Dec 2, 2021: Navy Confirms Petroleum Was Detected In The Red Hill Well

SA: Rep. Kai Kahele calls Navy water contamination ‘a crisis of astronomical proportions in Hawaii’ 

KHON: Oahu nonprofit delivers cases of water to Aliamanu Military Reservation; Army opens emergency assistance center

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News Release from Hawaii DoH,  Dec 1, 2021

HONOLULU – A preliminary analysis by the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) detected petroleum product in water samples from one site on the Navy Water System affected by fuel-like odors.

Samples from Red Hill Elementary School were collected Tuesday. They were analyzed at a lab at the University of Hawai‘i and tested positive for a petroleum product. The Red Hill Elementary School results are preliminary. Samples have been sent to Eurofins Scientific in California for further analysis.

DOH has received more than 175 complaints to date. Complaints remain limited to users of the Navy water system.

The DOH recommends all Navy water system users should avoid using the water for drinking, cooking, or oral hygiene. Navy water system users who detect a fuel-like odor from their water should avoid using the water for drinking, cooking, bathing, dishwashing, laundry or oral hygiene (brushing teeth, etc.). This recommendation will remain in place until DOH receives and analyzes results from Eurofins Scientific.

DOH investigators continue to collect samples for analysis daily and provide technical recommendations to the Navy.

SA: Hawaii health officials say water from school tests positive for petroleum product

Nov 30, 2021 Hawai‘i Department of Health advises Navy water system consumers not to drink, consume tap water

  *   *   *   *   *

Hickam Water System Fuel Connected to Water Well Beneath Red Hill Tanks?

SA: … The Navy on Sunday quietly shut down its Red Hill shaft, which pulls water from the aquifer below, as military families around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam began to call in complaints about a fuel or chemical smell coming from their tap water.

The Red Hill well is just 3,000 feet makai of the Navy’s troubled Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility, which contains 20 massive underground fuel tanks. A history of leaks from the World War II-era facility has raised fears in recent years that fuel will contaminate the aquifer, polluting not just the Navy’s water supply system, but a major source of drinking water for southern Oahu.

A spokeswoman for the Navy told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Tuesday that the Red Hill shaft was shut down out of an “abundance of caution.”

But Ernie Lau, manager and chief engineer of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, which is tasked with keeping Oahu’s drinking water safe, said it raises red flags.

“That causes more questions for us because we have been concerned about the risk of the Red Hill fuel facility to the aquifer, to water resources in that area, for seven, going on eight years now,” said Lau. “If they think the Red Hill shaft is the source of the problem, then we want to understand why. Does it pose a risk potentially to our Board of Water Supply sources around that area?” ….

SA: Hawaii’s congressional delegation asks Navy to respond to fuel odors in water system

SA: Pacific Fleet brass launches probe into Red Hill spills

Big Q: How concerning is it that chemical odors in the water are being reported in the Pearl Harbor-Hickam area?

SA Editorial: Community can’t trust Navy’s word

read … Navy cuts access to aquifer at Red Hill

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U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Orders Red Hill Investigation

News Release from U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, 29 November 2021

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, ordered a command investigation into the Nov. 20, 2021, recovery of about 14,000 gallons of a water-and-fuel mixture from a fire suppression drain line, located about ¼ mile downhill of the fuel tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. The command investigation will include a new review of the fuel leak of the pipeline at the facility on May 6, 2021.

(Editor's Note: It is hard to miss the possibility that the result of the Nov 20 incident in the fire suppression system has somehow ended up in the Hickam water system.)

The investigation, led by Rear Adm. Christopher Cavanaugh, director, U.S. Pacific Fleet Maritime Headquarters, will start immediately. The investigation will focus on the causes of the May 6 and Nov. 20 releases and whether the fuel found in the Nov. 20 release was related to the May 6 release.

“In conducting your investigation, you will determine the facts and circumstances regarding what caused both incidents; calculate the quantity of fuel that may have been released into the environment; identify the role and impact of material failures, technical competence, and human error; evaluate whether reporting of both incidents was timely, accurate and thorough; and recommend appropriate remedial actions,” Paparo wrote to Cavanaugh in the letter directing the one-star admiral to conduct the investigation.

The Navy is committed to the safe and secure operation of the Red Hill facility and the continued protection of the surrounding environment. This investigation underscores that commitment. Paparo listed three “fundamental priorities” in his letter to Cavanaugh: 

 Ensuring there are no additional spills;

 Ensuring Red Hill operations are environmentally safe and secure; and 

 Identifying the root causes and remedial actions to safeguard the local environment and ensure this does not happen again.



CB: US Pacific Fleet Launches Investigations Into Two Red Hill Fuel Facility Spills

KHON: Navy to hold town halls with housing communities affected by ongoing water issues

HNN: State inspector detected fuel odor during probe into possible tainted water, but tests inconclusive

HNN: Board of Water Supply: Our water system not impacted by possible fuel contamination

SA: Navy officials want residents to flush water lines amid contamination concerns


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