DOH says Navy water preliminary test results are ‘inconclusive’

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Military families said they have been dealing with a fuel-like smell from their tap water for days, and they are concerned about the lack of answers they are getting from Navy officials.

Frances Paulino is a resident at the Aliamanu Military Reservation, and she described an oil coating that sat above the water coming from her faucet.

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“We were showering in it, we were brushing teeth with it, we were doing household stuff with it,” Paulino explained. “So, in its capacity, we were definitely using the water until we started noticing and hearing things we put an immediate halt onto it.”

Paulino said she has also experienced headaches and gastrointestinal issues that she believed are connected to the smell in the water.

“I’m not someone to suffer with headaches in the past, but I’ve had really uncontrollable spouts,” Paulino added.

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) advised Navy water users not to drink the water, and if the water smells like fuel, not to shower or even brush their teeth with it.

The DOH Deputy Director of Health Kathleen Ho said, “One of our DOH inspectors did detect an odor of fuel-like, a fuel-like odor.”

Ho added that the initial test results from a lab on-island were inconclusive, and the results from more sensitive testing being done in a lab in California will be expected at the end of the week.

“When I say it was inconclusive, the testing did not show that there were contaminants for five parts per million,” Ho explained. “But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any because people have been complaining of, you know, the odors.”

Navy officials said the centralized water distribution has been flushed twice, and they are asking affected residents to let the water run for several minutes to help move the water and possibly alleviate the odor.

Ho said the DOH will continue to recommend not using the water until they get further test results.

“In an effort to be cautious and protective of human health we put out this advisory,” Ho stated.

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The investigation continues into the thousands of gallons of fuel that leaked at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage and if it is connected to these reports.

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