East Hawaii News

Petroleum Product Possibly Found in Navy Water System

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Water samples from Red Hill Elementary School on O‘ahu show the possible presence of petroleum product.

A preliminary analysis by the state Department of Health detected the petroleum product in water samples from one site on the Navy water system affected by fuel-like odors.

Samples from Red Hill Elementary were collected Tuesday, Nov. 30, and analyzed at a University of Hawai‘i lab. Samples were sent to Eurofins Scientific in California for further analysis.

The Health Department has received more than 175 complaints from users of the Navy water system. The DOH recommends all Navy water system users avoid using the water for drinking, cooking or oral hygiene. Users who detect a fuel-like odor should avoid using the water for drinking, cooking, bathing, dishwashing, laundry or oral hygiene.


The recommendation will remain in place until the department receives and analyzes the results from Eurofins Scientific.

According to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Facebook page, the primary water mains associated with an ongoing possibility of contamination were flushed three times as of Tuesday.

“However, there remains a concern that residual contamination may exist in some of the water lines based on continued reports from residents,” a post reads.


About 200 residents have called the Navy for testing. Known impacted neighborhoods are Catlin Park, Halsey Terrace, Radford Terrace, Doris Miller, Moanalua Terrace and Ohana Nui, according to the base’s Facebook page.

The Navy is providing two sources of clean water for the community: 1 gallon of bottled water will be provided per person per day. The Navy also is continuing to set up several water distribution sites for residents of base housing who want clean, drinkable water; limit is up to 10 gallons per family per visit.

Showers also are available at the base for those at affected military housing who have concerns about their water quality.


Health Department investigators continue to collect samples daily and provide technical recommendations to the Navy. The Navy also continues to monitor and investigate.

The Navy has a new web page with information, resources and updates about the ongoing water issues. It is continuously updated with new information and can be accessed here.

You can also visit the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Facebook page for more information.

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