Navy needs more time to flush drinking water from Pearl Harbor

Military officials tell Hawaii lawmakers they need more time to flush jet fuel from their Pearl Harbor water system

HONOLULU — Military officials say they need more time to flush jet fuel from their Pearl Harbor water system, but some of the 4,000 military families who have been displaced due to contaminated drinking water could start coming back by the end of next week.

U.S. Navy leaders addressed state lawmakers on Wednesday, saying they hoped to complete the flushing of the Navy system by the end of January. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that the Navy said in early December it would be able to do the job within weeks.

Navy officials believe about 14,000 gallons (52,995 liters) of jet fuel spilled Nov. 20 into an access tunnel at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, some of which was sent through the navy water system which serves approximately 93,000 people.

People using the water in and near the Pearl Harbor military installation have reported falling ill, and the Navy has moved many military families to hotels on Oahu.

The Navy has since cleaned up the spill at the aging Red Hill Storage Facility, which supplies fuel to many military aircraft and ships operating in the Pacific. It pumps clean water throughout the water supply system and into the systems of all affected homes and facilities.

“The plan includes a complete flushing of the entire marine system, from source to tap, with a comprehensive series of water tests in each district to certify that drinking water meets drinking water standards. Navy Rear Admiral Blake Converse told lawmakers. a joint briefing.

The Navy has said it will test 10% of homes, which some lawmakers have questioned.

“The 10% is kind of a statistical determination based on past events, based on academia, based on the capability of existing labs,” said Rear Admiral John Korka, commander of Systems Command. naval installation engineering.

Korka said there was also a “trust factor”.

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