DOH News Release: DOH declares Navy drinking water distribution system Zone I1 safe

Posted on Feb 14, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

Attention: This link to risk-based analysis on the release of JP-5 fuel has been added, risk-based analysis based on the likely release of JP-5 jet fuel.

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) today amended its health advisory for Zone I1 (Red Hill Housing) of the Navy water system. Residents in Zone I1 can use their water for all purposes.

Click here to download a copy of the map

Click here to view DOH’s certification memo and completed checklist that support DOH’s health advisory amendment for Zone I1

“Today’s amendment for Zone I1 is the result of months of work overseen by DOH and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide individuals and families in Red Hill Housing with assurance that their water is safe to drink,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho. “We understand that many are wary, and we will continue to investigate complaints and hold the Navy accountable to provide safe drinking water. DOH will act methodically, based on science, and in a manner that is protective of public health as we evaluate the remaining Navy water system zones.”

The advisory amendment for Zone I1 goes into effect today, February 14. Flushing Zone I1 is within the Army’s Aliamanu Military Reservation (AMR) Public Water System (PWS No. 337). This water system is a consecutive system to the Navy’s Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Water System (PWS No. 360), meaning that the AMR’s source of water comes from the Navy system. Navy water system users in other areas remain under the health advisory and should not consume tap water.

Individuals with questions or concerns can contact DOH at 808-586-4258 or [email protected].

Petroleum, which is a hazardous substance, entered the Navy’s Red Hill Shaft and the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam drinking water distribution system in late November 2021. This triggered an emergency response, including issuance of a health advisory by DOH on November 29, 2021, affecting more than 90,000 people on the Navy water system.

DOH established Environmental Action Levels and incident specific screening levels for monitoring and responding in cases of petroleum-contaminated drinking water. Whenever contaminants exceed the project screening levels, additional actions are required before a health advisory can be amended.

DOH and members of the Interagency Drinking Water System Team tested the Navy’s water source, Waiawa Shaft, drinking water distribution system waterlines, homes and buildings in Zone I1.

All tests met requirements for drinking water safety, including for DOH’s updated project screening level for cumulative Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons of 211 parts per billion (ppb). DOH completed a risk-based analysis based on the likely release of JP-5 jet fuel [link to Roger’s memo] and is using this more protective screening level to evaluate all Navy water system flushing zones. Click here for a full list of DOH’s screening criteria.

In the case of the current incident, data gathered by the IDWST for each of the 19 flushing zones of the Drinking Water Distribution System Recovery Plan are being evaluated. Only when all incident specific parameters have been met and documented will each zone be declared safe.

Click here to view validated sampling results from Zone I1

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

Click here to read the Navy’s full removal action report for Zone I1. The Navy is responsible for making a printed copy available at the Pearl City Public Library.

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Media Contact:

Katie Arita-Chang

Acting Communications Director

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806