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HI: Fear over contaminated water grows across

By Kristen Consillio

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — As the Navy pushes back on a state order to remove the millions of gallons of fuel at its underground facility at Red Hill, more Oahu residents are worried contaminated water might be running through their pipes.

“There’s a handful of us we’re going 100% bottle water for everything,” said Pearl City Peninsula resident Dee Momilani.

According to the Navy, the areas affected by the tainted water include the Red Hill Naval Reservation, Aliamanu Military Reservation and military housing around the airport.

But residents outside the affected areas and as far as the Pearl City Peninsula, are now complaining about foul water.

“They’re now starting to get headaches and they’re drinking off of the pipe water. They’re finding oil sheen in their water, some type of a film residue on top of their water. They’re seeing residue grease,” she added. “They’re starting to smell odor — like a strong chemical odor coming from their faucet.”

Ernest Lau, chief engineer at the Board of Water Supply, said it is critical the Navy get the fuel out of the Red Hill underground storage tanks that sit a hundred feet above Oahu’s main aquifer.

“I cannot stress the importance of time because the longer things take to remove fuel out of the Navy’s Red Hill fuel tanks and pipelines, the risk remains to an aquifer that it might be further contaminated, possibly even contaminated badly by a catastrophic leak,” he said.

Lau said he’s disappointed the Navy isn’t taking the situation as serious as the rest of the community.

The navy reiterated today it will cease operations at the Red Hill underground storage tanks, at least until the investigation into the cause of the water contamination is complete.

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