Navy plan to filter millions of gallons of water a day from contaminated well in Hawaii wins approval

Hawaii’s Department of Health has approved a plan for the US Navy to begin removing up to five million gallons of treated water each day from a now closed well on Oahu that is contaminated with petroleum products. The well, which provides nearly 20 percent of Honolulu’s drinking water, was shut down in November following reports from families that the water smelled like fuel. make them sick.

A permit issued by the state health department allows the Navy to extract contaminated water from Red Hill Shaft – a well located about 100 feet below a fuel storage facility – for treatment aimed at remove any fuel contamination where it will be “closely monitored and tested”. according to Marine. After being sent through a filtration system, the water will then be discharged into Halawa Stream in Honolulu, the Hawaii Department of Health said.

“Pumping water from the Red Hill Shaft into the treatment system and then into the Halawa Stream is a critical part of the response,” the Hawaii Department of Health said in a statement. declaration Friday. “It is important to pump contaminated water out of the Red Hill well so that it does not migrate to other parts of the underground aquifer.”

The Navy said it will adhere to “strict requirements” for water sampling and testing throughout the treatment process. If contaminant levels exceed acceptable health service limits at any time, operations will be halted, the Navy said.

Last November, the Navy shut down its water system following complaints families that their water smelled like fuel. Tests later identified petroleum hydrocarbons in the water, and health officials urged residents not to use it for many daily tasks. The navy then suspended operations at the Red Hill bulk fuel storage facility, which is located above the well and has a history of leaks.

The Navy has since begun individually flushing water from affected homes to remove contamination and has provided various resources.

Earlier this month, House lawmakers critical the Navy for its initial response to the contamination. The Navy initially insisted that the drinking water was safe to drink before apologizing days later and clarifying that it had misinterpreted earlier water quality tests. The water crisis has cost more than $250 million so far, according to Navy officials.

“This is not just a health and safety issue for hundreds of thousands of Hawaiians and visitors to Hawaii, but it is essential for people’s support, trust and confidence in the U.S. military and in our Indo-Pacific mission,” Democratic U.S. Representative Ed Case of Hawaii said earlier this month during a virtual hearing.

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