DOH News Release: DOH declares Navy drinking water distribution system Zone A1 safe

Posted on Feb 23, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

WHAT:                        Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Declares Drinking Water Distribution System Recovery Plan Zone A1 Safe; Health Advisory Amended; Residents Allowed to Drink Tap Water

WHERE:                     Zone A1, Pearl City Peninsula

Click here for an updated map on zone status.

Click here to view the completed checklist that supports DOH’s health advisory amendment for Zone A1.

WHEN:                        February 23, 2022

BACKGROUND:        All Navy water system users in flushing Zone A1 may now use water for all purposes including drinking, cooking, and oral hygiene.

The Navy water system’s source water is coming from the Navy’s Waiawa Shaft. The source water has been tested to verify that it is safe to drink. The Navy’s Red Hill Shaft, which is contaminated, has been disconnected from the water system.

DOH and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversaw months of work to provide individuals and families in Pearl City Peninsula with assurance of safe drinking water. This included overseeing flushing operations to confirm that the Navy followed flushing and testing protocol to verify that contamination was removed from the drinking water system.

All of the 83 samples collected from homes or buildings in Zone A1 did not detect petroleum.

The IDWST’s joint plan to draw samples from more than 900, or at least 10% of homes, and 100% of schools and child development centers on the overall Navy water system provides an accurate picture to confirm that the water in all homes and buildings is safe. Additional homes and buildings will be sampled as part of a long-term monitoring plan.

The decision to amend the health advisory and declare the water in Zone A1 safe was made after DOH’s multiple lines of evidence confirmed that no contamination is entering the Navy water system and no contamination remains in Zone A1. DOH’s investigation showed:

Reported sources of contamination are contained

  • The Navy’s Red Hill Shaft is physically disconnected from the Navy water system.

Source water from the Waiawa Shaft is safe to drink

  • Sample results show the water meets State and Federal regulations and project screening levels of the incident specific parameters.

No additional contamination is occurring in the water system

  • A Cross Connection Control investigation shows the distribution system is protected, resulting in no additional sources of contamination.

Water within the distribution system is safe to drink

  • The zone flushing plan demonstrates the entire zone is flushed.
  • Sample results show the water in distribution system meets State and Federal regulations and project screening levels of the incident specific parameters.
  • Drinking water does not show sheen, olfactory evidence, or other qualitative methods of petroleum.

Water in homes/building plumbing is safe to drink

  • The Flushing Plan includes procedures to ensure no service connections will re-contaminate the distribution system.
  • Samples were collected from homes and buildings three days after flushing. This stagnation period was built in to detect possible leaching of contaminants from pipes or other plumbing.
  • Sample results show water in premise plumbing of homes/buildings meet State and Federal regulations and project screening levels of the incident specific parameters.

If Navy water system users have a question or concern about the quality of their water, please contact DOH at [email protected] or 808-586-4258.

RESOURCES:           Click here for a full list of DOH’s screening criteria.

Click here to view validated testing results from Zone A1.

Click here for a one pager on how to read laboratory results.

Click here to view the full data package that led DOH to issue this amendment.

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Media Contact:

Katie Arita-Chang

Acting Communications Director

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806