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Navy Releases Month 3 Long-Term Drinking Water Data, Water Remains Safe to Drink

23 August 2022
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Navy, in coordination with the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), is releasing the third month of long-term monitoring (LTM) drinking water data for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) on the https://jbphh-safewaters.org website. Drinking water continues to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii logo

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Navy, in coordination with the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), is releasing the third month of long-term monitoring (LTM) drinking water data for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) on the https://jbphh-safewaters.org website. Drinking water continues to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DOH standards.

Summary reports and laboratory data for the third month of LTM sampling for all 19 Navy water distribution system zones have been posted following a final DOH review of each zone’s results. Since the Navy began long-term monitoring on March 22, the Navy has received over 3,000 EPA- certified drinking water lab results from LTM samples, which show that the water distribution system at JBPHH is providing safe drinking water to its users. There have been no detections of JP5 contamination in the Navy water system during LTM.

The Navy developed a user’s guide to assist in accessing and understanding information on the site. The document can be found at: https://jbphh-safewaters.org/public/JBPHH_Safe_Waters_Web_Guide_v2.pdf.

On June 21, the Navy notified the DOH that it had detected elevated levels of lead from a sink in a residential building located in Iroquois Point (Zone A3). The sample tested positive for lead at a level of 15.3 parts per billion (ppb). Under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the Lead and Copper Rule action level for lead is 15 ppb. The Navy contacted the resident June 21, the same day it received validated sampling results, advised them not to consume the water or use it for oral hygiene, and provided bottled water for consumption.

The Navy, in coordination with the DOH, flushed and sampled all faucets in the home. Resampling results showed no exceedances.

This was the only exceedance out of 894 samples taken across all zones during LTM Month 3.

Under an interagency-approved plan, the Navy water system is in a two-year period of LTM. This includes testing about 7,800 samples from roughly 55% of residences and other facilities on the system for more than 60 different contaminants, using EPA-certified laboratories and methods.

Under the plan, the Navy has sampled 5% of homes and other buildings in each zone of the Navy water system for the first three months after the DOH amended that zone’s health advisory (a total of 15% in each zone after three months). Now in monitoring period four, which runs from July through December 2022, 10% of all homes and other buildings on the system will be sampled. Sampling results will be posted monthly on the Safe Waters website following DOH review.

All schools, child development, and medical centers continue to be sampled regularly during each phase of the plan.

In addition to summary reports for each zone, specific sampling results for the homes and other buildings that were sampled are posted on Safe Waters page for each zone. Results are grouped by category, such as residences, other buildings, schools, and child development centers, and listed by street address.

Sampling locations for homes in each zone are chosen as a geographic representation of the zone, based on their location on the neighborhood distribution system. Different homes will be chosen during each phase to provide a good geographic spatial representation of homes sampled.

All results are validated to state and federal drinking water requirements, including the incident-specific parameters (ISPs) set by the DOH for the Navy water system.

Sample results are generally categorized as non-detect, detect, or exceed. If a sample exceeds action levels for contaminants, the resident or building point of contact will be personally notified and additional sampling will be performed.

The following information is provided to help interpret the data:

  • Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) tests look for many petroleum-related compounds and are done in addition to standard drinking water tests.
  • Total Organic Carbon (TOC) is a measure of the amount of organic compounds contained in a water sample, many of which are naturally present in the environment, but which also can be an indicator of contamination, including petroleum or other sources. TOC itself has no health effects. However, TOC provides a medium for the formation of disinfection byproducts.
  • Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) are established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are the maximum permissible level of contaminants in water which is delivered to any user of a public water system.
  • Environmental Action Levels (EALs) are established by the Hawaii DOH and are concentrations of contaminants in drinking water and other media (e.g., soil, soil gas, and groundwater) below which the contaminants are assumed to not pose a significant threat to human health or the environment. Exceeding the Tier 1 EAL does not necessarily indicate that contamination at the site poses environmental hazards but generally warrants additional investigation.
  • All values are in parts per billion (ppb), which is equal to micrograms per liter (µg/L).
  • The Method Detection Limit (MDL) is the lowest concentration at which an analyte (chemical subject that is being analyzed) can be detected in a sample.

For more information on these actions, go to the news section of http://www.navy.mil/jointbasewater.

For more information on long-term monitoring of the Navy water system, go to https://jbphh-safewaters.org.

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