HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The state Department of Health is holding a media briefing Tuesday afternoon to discuss an ongoing investigation into water safety issues in the Pearl Harbor-Hickam area.
Residents report that the water smells of fuel and has health effects.
Kathleen Ho, deputy director of environmental health, said the state health department has received more than 100 complaints from military families about their water.
She said the samples sent to a local lab came back with “inconclusive” results. Samples have also been sent to a lab in California, and those results are expected by the end of the week.
On Tuesday morning, Governor David Ige said the investigation was continuing.
“We are concerned if there was a process that brought fuel into our water supply, this is certainly unacceptable,” he said.
“We are committed to working with them (the Navy) to take the necessary steps to remove the water if necessary and I think the most important thing is to try to identify what happened.”
It is not known if the possible contamination is related to the Red Hill fuel storage facility. The underground facility has leaked in the past, including one earlier this month.
The Navy’s Pearl Harbor-Hickam water system draws from the Waiawa, Halawa and Red Hill aquifers.
The Board of Water Supply confirms that its water supply system is completely separate from that of the Navy, but adds that officials are monitoring the situation closely. The nearest town water source to the Red Hill fuel storage facility is the Halawa Shaft Pumping Station, and there have been no complaints.
City officials say the water was last tested there in October and showed no signs of fuel contamination.
As a precaution, however, the Board of Water Supply said it will “increase the frequency of testing its water sources near Red Hill fuel tanks.”
Meanwhile, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he was briefed by the Navy on Tuesday morning and was awaiting further information.
“They took samples. Everything was sent to the mainland. We’ll find out in 72 hours. That will tell us a lot, ”he said.
“I have read various reports about the leaks at Red Hill. And the complaints that came. But until we actually know, I’d rather not say anything. I have a lot of confidence in the Navy tests to give us the answers we want to know. “
If you don’t know where your water is coming from, check your bill. If you release a bill from the Board of Water Supply, you don’t get your water from the Navy.
This story will be updated.
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