HONOLULU (KHON2) — Disappointing and unacceptable! That is the Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s reaction to the Navy’s plan to empty the Red Hill fuel tanks, which the Navy said could take two and a half years.

The BWS said the Navy’s plan to empty the fuel tanks goes against what it had been telling the public about the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility for several years.

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“That the Red Hill tanks and pipelines are properly designed constructed and installed at the facility meets or exceeds regulatory standards and each tank can be emptied in less than 24 hours,” said BWS Chief Engineer Ernie Lau.

Lau pointed out that the longer it takes to empty those fuel tanks the more it puts the water supply in danger. He adds that with all the resources being provided to the Navy, they should be able to do it much faster.

“I think it can be done and our military is very capable. And the other thing that they have possibly coming their way is another $1 billion in funding,” said Lau.

Military families who have endured the water crisis share the same sentiment.

“I don’t think it’s quick enough. I feel like they’ve had so much time to deal with this issue and they’ve ignored it,” said military housing resident Lataya Morter.

Even though they have been cleared to use the running water, Morter said she does not feel safe using it. So she, her husband and their three kids have spent a lot of money on bottled water.

“We’re using bottled water for everything. I recently had a home birth and we bought five-gallon jugs, like 80 gallons, to fill up the pool because we didn’t trust the water here,” said Morter.

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The Navy sent KHON2 a statement that said:

“We take seriously our responsibility as members of the community… We have drafted a plan that is transparent, maximizes safety and acknowledges and minimizes risks… We’re prudent, we will look for opportunities to accelerate our timeline, but not at the cost of safety. We will only move at the speed of safety.”