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JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) finalized the Red Hill Shaft Recovery and Monitoring Plan, which details the process for containing and removing contamination within the Navy’s Red Hill Shaft.
This plan encompasses operations to pump contaminated water out of the Navy’s Red Hill Shaft to reduce spread of contamination, protect plants and wildlife, and sets forth a framework to better understand movement and contamination of groundwater.
Up to five million gallons a day of water will be pumped from the Red Hill Shaft to create a capture zone within the aquifer. Skimming pumps and an array of booms and absorbent pads will also be deployed inside the well to contain and remove contaminants. This operation is being undertaken to contain contamination in the vicinity of the Red Hill Shaft and prevent further contamination of the aquifer.
Water will then pass through a granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration system, where it will be closely monitored and tested before being discharged into Halawa Stream. The purpose of the GAC treatment is to ensure that water being discharged is clean and does not pose a threat to human health or the environment.
The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) approved a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to allow these operations to take place. The permit includes strict requirements to sample and test water at each step of the treatment process. GAC operations include field monitoring devices to screen for contaminants in real time. The Navy will also send samples to a certified laboratory for testing. If contaminant levels exceed DOH’s acceptable limits at any point, operations will be stopped.
The plan also includes commitments from the Navy to reuse treated water and undertake projects to improve the upper watershed and recharge the aquifer.
The plan was developed by the IDWST, comprised of DOH, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Army and Navy, in consultation with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, University of Hawaii, and other community stakeholders.
Click here to download a copy of the plan. Click here to download a copy of the NPDES permit.