HONOLULU (KHON2) — According to the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), the Navy reported petroleum was detected in water samples collected from the Navy’s Aiea Halawa shaft — which is not the same as the Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s Halawa shaft.

These samples were taken on Sunday, Dec. 5, and diesel fuel levels were more than double the DOH’s limits for drinking water.

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The Navy reported to the DOH that a level of 920 parts per billion (ppb) of diesel fuel additives were found at their shaft, while the DOH’s limit for drinking water is 400 ppb.

The Aiea Halawa shaft has been offline since Friday, Dec. 3, and it is one of three groundwater sources that supply drinking water to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) water system.  

“The level of this contaminant poses a public health threat, and is considered unsafe to drink,” said Kathleen Ho, Deputy Director for Environmental Health. “This news is concerning — especially as the cause of the petroleum release into the Navy’s water system remains unknown. We will continue to take all possible action to protect public health and the environment.”

BWS’s Halawa shaft — which has been shut down as a precaution — is located about 1.5 miles northeast of the Navy’s Aiea Halawa shaft, but they are different water systems. The BWS Aiea well was also shut down as of Dec. 8.

According to BWS, water samples were taken from their Aiea and Halawa wells and sent to a mainland test lab; results are expected at the end of the week of Dec. 13.

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DOH officials will collect samples for the Aiea Halawa shaft on Thursday, Dec. 9.