HONOLULU (KHON2) — Despite the Navy’s flushing of its main water system and individual homes, the water in some neighborhoods remains unsafe to drink, causing a strain for many in these areas.
Businesses and residents affected by the contaminated Navy water said the issue has continued for too long. The soda fountain is still off at the Ruby Tuesday inside the Moanalua Shopping Center. The owner, Rick Nakashima, said they are bringing in buckets of water to wash dishes.
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Nakashima said, “We are going through about 75 gallons of water a day. We also bring in freshwater from our office to use for washing dishes, we bring in ice, you know, it’s a big deal.”
The shops at the Moanalua Shopping Center fall under the Navy’s water system. The Navy said a one-time jet fuel spill is to blame for the contaminated water of thousands of residents, businesses and schools.
The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) said it has supplied water for food preparation, hand-washing and drinking to seven schools since Dec. 1, 2021.
A DOE spokesperson said the department is working with the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and the Navy for possible reimbursements for the costs incurred during the crisis.
Nakashima said this incident is costing his business thousands of dollars.
Nakashima added that the cost could be more when counting labor and time spent bringing in the water to the restaurant.
The Navy said homes in the Pearl City Peninsula will undergo more flushing and testing after petroleum exceeding the DOH’s safe levels was still detected in the water of at least one residential building.
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Meanwhile, Senate Bill 2172 proposes to end operations of fuel storage tanks within a mile and a half away from an aquifer. The bill passed the senate’s health and agriculture and environment committees with amendments.