Navy to drain polluted water after fuel contamination in Hawaii
The Hawaii Department of Health authorized the Navy on Thursday to discharge treated water from its Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility after the water forced Army and Navy families from their homes into hotels.
Why it matters: The contaminated tap water contained diesel fuel 350 times the safe level after a jet-fuel spill in November.
State of play: The Navy will pump up to 5 million gallons of water a day from the Red Hill Shaft into the Halawa Stream in order to get rid of the contaminated tap water. The discharge was authorized under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System general permit.
- The Red Hill facility was shut down on Nov. 28 following complaints by military families who experienced cramps, rashes, vomiting and more from the water.
- Nearly 1 million people on Oahu rely on Red Hill for water.
What they're saying: “There is an urgency to remove contamination from the Navy’s Red Hill Shaft,” said Kathleen Ho, deputy director of Environmental Health, in a statement.
- “DOH is authorizing the Navy to begin pumping and treating water from the Red Hill Shaft to prevent contamination from spreading throughout the aquifer," she said in a statement.