Metal Detected in Water at Elementary School

26 February 2022
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Navy found elevated levels of beryllium at a Moanalua Terrace community elementary school. The initial sample, taken from an outdoor sink at Pearl Harbor Elementary School (PHES), tested positive for beryllium at a level of 5.7 parts per billion (ppb). The limit for beryllium set by the Hawaii
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JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Navy found elevated levels of beryllium at a Moanalua Terrace community elementary school.

The initial sample, taken from an outdoor sink at Pearl Harbor Elementary School (PHES), tested positive for beryllium at a level of 5.7 parts per billion (ppb). The limit for beryllium set by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) following the Red Hill Well fuel contamination is 4 ppb. That limit is also called an Incident Specific Parameter or ISP. Beryllium is a naturally occurring element commonly used in household plumbing (beryllium copper materials) and not known to be a component of JP-5 fuel. PHES is located in Zone F1, which is composed of Moanalua Terrace community and the Navy Exchange.

The exceedance at Pearl Harbor Elementary School was the only exceedance reported of the 120 samples collected from Zone F1. The Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) determined that the next step was to sample, flush, and re-sample for metals at that location. The school and residents of Zone F1 have been notified.

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) public health advisory remains in effect for Zone F1, and all Navy Water System users should not use the water for drinking, cooking, or oral hygiene. The IDWST will perform a thorough review of all results, including the re-sampling for Zone F1 before submitting a package for Hawaii DOH review. Once Hawaii DOH determines the water is safe to drink, Hawaii DOH will amend the health advisory for Zone F1.

The Hawaii DOH’s Nov. 29, 2021, public health advisory for JBPHH remains in effect for all zones except Zone I1 (Red Hill Housing) and Zone A1 (Pearl City Peninsula).

For more information on water recovery efforts, please see: https://www.cpf.navy.mil/JBPHH-Water-Updates/.

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