As the state regulator for Hawaiʻi’s water purveyors, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health continues to conduct oversight of the Navy’s water distribution system. DOH was informed late Wednesday night that 12 Navy water system users reported symptoms they had attributed to exposure to tap water.
“DOH is taking these reports seriously and immediately acted, in coordination with the US Environmental Protection Agency,” department officials said in a news release.
Six of the 12 individuals provided contact information to regulators. On Thursday afternoon, DOH staff contacted them to learn more and received permission from five individuals to conduct on-site inspections.
DOH staff conducted the inspections Thursday evening and did not observe a sheen or odor in the drinking water from any of the households. According to the department, Photoionization Detector did not detect volatile organic compounds, which are indicators of petroleum byproducts. With the homeowners’ permission, the Navy collected water samples for further testing with DOH oversight.
Petroleum was not detected in the Navy water distribution system’s water source, Waiawa Shaft, when it was tested in July. DOH directed the Navy to test Waiawa Shaft again on Thursday, Oct. 19. Rapid screening tests did not detect petroleum and the Navy is expediting additional laboratory tests.
DOH also continues to oversee execution of the Long-term Monitoring Plan established following the November 2021 contamination of the water system.
The DOH reports that the Navy’s public water systems currently meet all federal and state drinking water standards inclusive of the incident specific parameters established under the Interagency Drinking Water System Team.
Click here for results of tests conducted under the Long-Term Monitoring Plan.
The DOH says that “while there is no evidence to support a change in the Navy water distribution system’s water quality at this time,” Navy water system users should report water quality concerns to:
- Navy Rapid Response Team – 808-449-1979
- DOH Safe Water Drinking Branch – 808-586-4528 or SDWB@doh.hawaii.gov; and
- EPA Desk Line – 415-947-4406
Navy Region Hawaiʻi, as the water purveyor, is responsible for delivering safe water to its customers. DOH will continue to coordinate with city, state, and federal partners on this response.