Navy held meetings with those affected by ongoing water issues; source, whether water is safe remains unknown

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Navy officials with Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam held several meetings with community members affected by the ongoing water issues.

KHON2 attended the Moanalua Terrace Housing Community Town Hall, and the Navy said they have not yet identified the source of the water issue. They tested water from about 1,500 impacted homes, but results have not shown anything when testing for above five parts per million.

The Navy is also sending tests to the mainland that will be able to test down to one parts per million for hydrocarbon. There is still no word yet on when the water will be safe to use.

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“We have inspected everywhere we could possibly can and we continue to flush the system test, and we’re waiting on more exhaustive testing,” explained Rear Admiral Tim Kott.

Two residents told the admiral that they fear they may have been poisoned.

At the meeting, the Navy said they are working on plans if the expedited testing comes back either negative, positive or if flushing the system did not work.

There was also a 14,000-gallon fuel spill at Red Hill on Nov. 20, but the Navy said they do not think that is the source — but they cannot be sure.

The community started complaining about the water having a chemical odor on Sunday. Officials, at that time, said there were no smells or signs of problems in the Navy’s water wells or tanks.

On Monday, both Nimitz and Red Hill Elementary Schools were without water after a fuel-like odor was said to be coming from their water lines. Sinks were taped off and lunches were prepared without the use of water but both schools remained open.

By Monday evening, the Department of Health issued a notice for all Navy water system users to avoid drinking, cooking with and using water for oral hygiene. Users who smelled a foul odor were told to also avoid using the water for dishwashing, bathing and laundry.

Initial tests on the water tanks and reserves were inconclusive but samples were sent for a more sensitive test and those results are expected later in the week.

The Navy said they were flushing the water mains for a third time Tuesday afternoon. Residents in the affected housing areas were asked to flush their individual lines, which consists of running the water for about three to five minutes.

The schedule for town halls is below.

 What:   Command Ombudsmen/Key Spouse Information Meeting
 When:  6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30
 Where: Hickam Theater, 7393 Ohana Nui Circle #7371, Honolulu, 96818

 What:   Moanalua Terrace Housing Community Town Hall
 When:  7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30 
 Where: Moanalua Terrace Community Center (formerly Forest City), 2500 Radford Drive,   Honolulu, 96818
  
 What:   Hickam Housing Community Town Hall
 When:  7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30
 Where: Hickam Theater, 7393 Ohana Nui Circle #7371, Honolulu, 96818

 What:   Halsey, Radford, Catlin Housing Community Town Hall
 When:  7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30
 Where: Halsey Terrace Community Center, 620 Pool Street, Honolulu 96818 

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The Navy has asked residents to call (808) 448-2570, (808) 448-3262, and (808) 448-2583 to help identify the locations with these issues.

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