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JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) is providing a summary to show drinking water resamples from locations that previously reported exceedances with the Navy water system fall within drinking water standards set by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).
An exceedance denotes a test result above the Incident Specific Parameter (ISP) levels for a substance. The DOH set ISPs for the Red Hill Shaft fuel contamination remediation efforts.
A total of 17 exceedances that required follow-up actions were identified during home and building (stage four) testing by the IDWST. Samples were collected between Jan. 15 and Feb. 26, 2022. These exceedances were reported in 11 of the 19 zones of the Navy water system impacted by the Red Hill shaft contamination (A1, A2, A3, B1, C1, C2, C3, D1, D2, F1, F2). Exceedances that required remediation were detected in nine residential units, seven non-residential facilities, and one hydrant.
The IDWST, composed of representatives from the Navy, Army, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and DOH, performed a thorough review of all results and identified additional actions for exceedances on a case-by-case basis. Re-flushing and resampling activities were the additional efforts required in most cases.
As a result of the completion of all additional actions and follow-on testing, the health advisory has been amended by the DOH as safe to drink in all 19 zones, including those with a previously reported exceedance. DOH issued amendments for each zone after ensuring that remedial steps were completed, analyzing new sample results, and determining that all samples within a zone met the Incident Specific Parameters.
SGS-Wheat Ridge, one of the independent laboratories used to test Navy water samples, determined that all bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) exceedances were false positives attributable to laboratory contamination. Initial results showed five exceedances of DEHP in zones B1, C3, D1, and F2. All locations were resampled, re-flushed, and sampled again prior to the laboratory determining contamination had led to false positive results. The laboratory memorandum can be found at https://jbphh-safewaters.org/public/Corrective_Action_for_B2EHP_Contamination.pdf.
Below is a list of the remaining 12 exceedances, which were previously reported by the IDWST or DOH, and the steps taken to address them:
Results of resampling at the above locations showed no exceedances.
In addition to previously reported exceedances, the DOH collected a sample from a vacant home in Zone A3 that detected the presence of lead. The IDWST directed the Navy to sample, re-flush and resample the home. All subsequent samples came back with no detection of lead.
A sample from the Hickam Officers’ Club in Zone D2 detected methylene chloride. The structure is unoccupied and closed for renovations. Because the structure is isolated from the water system by a containment backflow preventer, the IDWST determined that remediation efforts would be more effective after construction is complete and prior to occupancy. DOH required that the building continue to be cut off from the water distribution system. DOH also will require that the Navy take further steps to remediate the contamination, protect workers, and re-sample before the building can reopen to the public.
In addition to the tests above, an independent, third-party laboratory incorrectly reported the presence of bis (2-chloroethyl) ether (BCEE) in 12 initial Navy water system sample results collected Jan. 6-12, 2022, from fire hydrants in eight flushing zones (A3, B1, C1, C2, F2, H1, H2, and H3). More information is available at https://www.cpf.navy.mil/News/Article/2951271/lab-misreported-chemical-in-water.
Detailed data reports are available on https://jbphh-safewaters.org