DOH declares Navy drinking water distribution system Zones F1, F2, H2 & H3 safe
WHAT: Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Declares Drinking Water Distribution System Recovery Plan Zones F1, F2, H2, and H3 Safe; Health Advisory Amended; Residents Allowed to Drink Tap Water
WHERE: Zone F1, NEX, Moanalua Terrace
Zone F2, Catlin Park, Maloelap, Dorris Miller, Halsey Terrace, Radford Terrace
Zone H2, Aliamanu Military Reservation
Zone H3, Aliamanu Military Reservation
WHEN: March 11, 2022
BACKGROUND: All Navy water system users in Zones F1, F2, H2, and H3 may now use water for all purposes including drinking, cooking, and oral hygiene. This includes consumption by pets.
The Navy water system’s source water is coming from the Navy’s Waiawa Shaft. The Waiawa Shaft 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) subject matter experts completed a final review of all sample data and how the Navy water system maintains operations to ensure safe drinking water.
DOH and EPA oversaw months of work to provide individuals and families in Zones F1, F2, H2, and H3 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.
One sample collected from an outdoor sink at a school in Zone F1 initially tested above the DOH Incident Specific Parameter for beryllium. The fixture was re-flushed and re-sampled. Subsequently, all sampled homes and buildings meet DOH’s beryllium screening level of four parts per billion.
Samples collected from one home in Zone F2 initially tested above the TPH screening level set by DOH. The home was re-flushed and re-tested. Subsequently, all sampled homes and buildings meet DOH’s TPH screening level.
An independent, third-party laboratory incorrectly reported the presence of bis(2-chloroethyl)ether (BCEE) in samples in Zones F2, H2, and H3. The Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) investigation determined, in agreement with the laboratory, that the initial BCEE results were a false-positive. As members of the IDWST, EPA and DOH concur with this conclusion. The IDWST resampled all locations where BCEE was initially detected. The laboratory reviewed the original samples and the new samples and did not detect BCEE in any of them.
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 accurate data in determining 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 Zones F1, F2, H2, and H3 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 Zones F1, F2, H2, and H3. 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 completion of the zone flushing plan implementation demonstrates the entire zone is flushed.
- Sample results show the water in the 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.
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