Honolulu Utility Finds Chemical in Pink Hill Monitoring Nicely

HONOLULU — The Honolulu Board of Water Provide mentioned Thursday it has detected a small quantity of a chemical naturally occurring in coal, crude oil and gasoline in a monitoring nicely close to a Navy gas storage facility that spilled jet gas final yr.

The utility mentioned in a information launch it discovered “very low ranges” of the chemical, polycyclic fragrant hydrocarbons. It mentioned it shared its information with the state Division of Well being and the U.S. Environmental Safety Company and each companies agree these low ranges usually are not anticipated to trigger any well being results. Nonetheless, they agreed the scenario wants consideration and continued monitoring, the utility mentioned.

The Board of Water Provide mentioned the invention heightens its concern that gas spilled from the Pink Hill Bulk Gas Storage Facility is migrating by means of the aquifer situated below the tank farm.

The utility has three wells that faucet the aquifer to produce ingesting water to greater than 400,000 Oahu residents.

It shut down these wells in December when it discovered gas had flowed from the tank farm right into a Navy ingesting water nicely supplying water to 93,000 individuals on and close to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. That leak sickened some 6,000 of the Navy’s water customers with nausea, complications and different signs.

The utility worries gas might journey by means of the aquifer’s porous volcanic rock from the realm across the Navy’s nicely to its personal wells, which may poison Honolulu’s personal water provide. It has been calling on the Navy to swiftly take away gas from the tanks to scale back the specter of additional leaks.

The Board of Water Provide mentioned it discovered the chemical in water samples taken from a nicely about 1,500 toes (457 meters) southeast of the Pink Hill facility. It additionally discovered complete petroleum hydrocarbons in the identical samples.

Lydia Robertson, a spokesperson for Navy Area Hawaii, mentioned the Navy hasn’t seen the utility’s information however would welcome the chance to assessment it.

Ernie Lau, the Board of Water Provide’s chief engineer, known as the detections “warnings that we can not ignore.”

“Our valuable and irreplaceable water assets are liable to additional contamination on daily basis the gas stays within the Pink Hill tanks,” he mentioned in an announcement. “We urge the Navy to expeditiously defuel and completely shut the Pink Hill facility – Ola I Ka Wai,” he mentioned, utilizing the Hawaiian language phrase that means ”water is life.”

The navy in April agreed to an order from the state of Hawaii to empty the tanks and shut the World Battle II-era tank farm. But it surely says December 2024 is the earliest it may well accomplish this.

A Navy investigation launched final month mentioned a cascading sequence of errors from Might by means of November of final yr prompted 20,000 gallons (75,700 liters) of gas to spill into its ingesting water nicely. It blamed mismanagement and human error for the episode.

The leak was the newest of a sequence of gas spills from Pink Hill courting to 2014.

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