Navy needs more time to flush Pearl Harbor drinking water

HONOLULU — Military officials told Hawaii lawmakers that they need more time to flush jet fuel from their Pearl Harbor water system.

Navy leaders addressed state lawmakers Wednesday, saying they hope to finish flushing the Navy’s system by the end of January. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that the Navy said in early December that they would be able to do the work in a matter of weeks.

The Navy said some of the 4,000 military families who have been displaced from their homes could begin returning by the end of next week.

“The plan includes complete flushing of the entire Navy system, from the source to the faucet, with a comprehensive series of water tests in every neighborhood to certify that drinking water meets safe drinking water standards,” Navy Rear Adm. Blake Converse told lawmakers during a joint briefing.

The Navy said it will test 10% of homes, which some lawmakers questioned.

“The 10%, it is a sort of statistical determination based on past events, based on academia, based on the capacity of existing labs,” said Rear Adm. John Korka, commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command.

Korka said there is also “a confidence factor.”

Allowing families to return to their homes requires approval from Hawaii health officials.


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