HONOLULU (KHON2) –The EPA enlisted a team from their National Enforcement Investigations Center to conduct an investigation of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam public water system, after complaints about fuel in the water in late 2021. That investigation took place in early April and lasted 5 days.

In a newly released document, the inspectors detail the issues found in the facilities of the Navy’s water system.

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Inspectors noted, among the issues, rusting, unlabeled tanks, exposed wiring, flaking paint and significant pitting on piping.

On April 6, inspectors observed the roof access hatch to Tank S-2 at Halawa was too large for its base, which allowed geckos to access the tank, where they nested. On May 2, NAVFAC Hawaii reported to the EPA that they had replaced the hatch seal and removed the geckos.

Inspectors also noted a lack of labeling on pipes and tanks, leaving operators at Waiawa Shaft Pumps, Aiea Halawa Shaft Pumps and Red Hill Shaft Pumps without proper indication of contents, direction of flow and chemical injection points. A booster pump at Camp Smith was also leaking oil.

At the time of inspection, JBPHH did not have a preventative maintenance program, an operator safety training program or standard operating procedures for operators. Inspectors observed that operators and NAVFAC staff did not have a general understanding of the water system and how to apply regulations.

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Though the Navy confirmed the Red Hill Shaft had been contaminated with Jet Fuel it did not issue a Tier 1 public notification within 24 hours, as is required in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The notification should have informed customers and the AMR public water system.

The on-site inspection concluded on April 8, at which time inspectors held a closing meeting with the Navy, NAVFAC Hawaii and DOH.