DOH declares Navy drinking water distribution system Zones A3 & D2 safePosted on Mar 13, 2022 in Navy Water System Incident, Newsroom
WHAT: Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Declares Drinking Water Distribution System Recovery Plan Zones A3 and D2 Safe; Health Advisory Amended; Residents Allowed to Drink Tap Water
WHERE: Zone A3, Iroquois Point
Zone D2, Hickam, Hale Na Koa, Officer Field, Onizuka Village
WHEN: March 13, 2022
BACKGROUND: All Navy water system users in Zones A3 and D2 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 A3 and D2 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.
An independent, third-party laboratory incorrectly reported the presence of bis(2-chloroethyl)ether (BCEE) in a sample in Zone A3. The Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) investigation determined, in agreement with the laboratory, that the initial BCEE results were a false-positive. 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.
One of the residences sampled by DOH in Zone A3 exceeded the action level and DOH Incident Specific Parameter of 15 parts per billion for lead. The residence sample result for lead was 29.33 parts per billion. The residence was resampled, re-flushed, and then sampled again at the same location and at an additional location within the residence. Subsequently, the test results for all samples were below the action level. Zone A3 will undergo additional testing as part of a long-term monitoring plan.
Samples collected from a fire hydrant in Zone D2 initially tested above the DOH total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) screening level of a combined 211 parts per billion. The fire hydrant was re-flushed and re-tested. A nearby fire hydrant was also tested. Subsequently, both fire hydrants met DOH’s TPH screening level.
One sample collected in Zone D2 initially tested above the DOH Incident Specific Parameter for beryllium. The residence was re-flushed and re-sampled. Subsequently, all sampled homes and buildings meet DOH’s beryllium screening level of four parts per billion.
One sample collected in Zone D2 initially tested above the DOH Incident Specific Parameter for total organic carbon. The building was re-flushed and re-tested. Subsequently, all sampled homes and buildings meet DOH’s total organic carbon Incident Specific Parameter of 2,000 parts per billion.
Samples collected from the Hickam Officers Club in Zone D2 tested above the DOH Maximum Contaminant Level of five parts per billion for methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane. The building is closed for renovations. DOH required that the building continue to be cut off from the water distribution system. DOH also will require that the Navy take further steps to remediate the contamination, protect workers, and re-sample before the building can reopen to the public.
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 A3 and D2 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 A3 and D2. 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.