HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Navy is about to take the next big step in cleaning out the contaminated water system by filtering and dumping five million gallons of water each day.

Officials gave a tour of its Red Hill Well to show how it will be done.

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The water that’s been filtered will be pumped at Halawa Stream. Officials with the Navy and the Department of Health assure us that the water will be clean enough so it won’t do any harm to the environment.

After weeks of skimming contaminants from the Navy’s Red Hill Shaft, the health department is giving the green light for the Navy to go ahead and start pumping water out to avoid further contamination to other water sources.

“I think it’s very intuitive for people to understand that the first thing you do when you spill something is to try to collect it as much as you can before it gets anywhere else,” said Matthew Kurano of the Department of Health Clean Water Branch.

That process will start in the next few days at a rate of five million gallons per day. Pipes from the shaft will bring the water through large filtration tanks known as granular activated carbon systems. Officials say tests will be done at different stages to make sure that by the time it gets to Halawa Stream, the water is at an acceptable level.

“We have the ability to test on site and get results within one hour and from there that shapes our data and our process control to ensure that we maintain safe operation in accordance with the DOH general discharge permit,” said Lt. Commander Travis Myers of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC).

How long it will take to flush out the system is not clear. The Navy says testing results will determine that. Those results will have to be approved by the the health department.

“There is no real defined timeline on how long we will be running the system,” said Dayna Fujimoto of NAVFAC Hawaii. “A lot of our decision making will be on the data and the monitoring results and we will be collecting a lot of data as we run this treatment system.”

Officials say if the public notices anything unusual happening that might be a result of the process, don’t hesitate to call the health department.

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“The Department of Health’s permit does not allow for pollution into the stream,” said Kurano. “Nothing that should cause a sheen or an odor, fish kill, or impacts to any of the wildlife, or people walking through it. That’s the whole point of the Department of Health’s permit.”