Lead detections at levels higher than federal safety standards were found in two locations near Pearl Harbor, the Navy announced on Wednesday.

The Navy said it is working with the state health department to validate the results: 30.2 parts per billion in a sample taken from an indoor staff bathroom sink at the Montessori Center on Makalapa on March 22 and 20.6 parts per billion in a sample from an indoor sink at a Radford Terrace home.

Under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the action level for lead is 15 parts per billion.

Hawaii Department of Health personnel collected water samples at Kapilina Homes on Dec. 9 in response to concerns about the Red Hill water contamination crisis.
The Navy water system is on a longterm water monitoring plan. Courtesy: DOH/2021

The exceedances represent two samples out of the 122 samples taken to date in those areas, zones E1 and F2, as the Navy responds to the water contamination crisis it caused last year.

The Navy water system is currently undergoing a two-year period of water monitoring, which includes testing approximately 6,000 more samples from about 55% of residences and other facilities on the system, the Navy said.

“Nothing is more important than the health, safety, and well-being of our people and their families,” Rear Adm. Tim Kott, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said in a statement. “The water in the Navy’s water distribution system is safe, and we are conducting long-term monitoring efforts to ensure that.”

He said the Navy immediately contacted building occupants and the Hawaii Department of Health to share the results.

“With DOH’s concurrence, the Navy is conducting further analysis and remedial actions including taking those fixtures out of service and conducting additional sampling to determine the sources of the exceedances,” he said. “We will continue to work with our partners at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that water from the Navy water system remains safe for all uses.”

The principal of the Montessori Center was informed on April 1, and the sink was taken out of use, according to the Navy. The faucet will be replaced and the water flushed and resampled, the Navy said. The sink will remain out of use until it is found to be safe.

The Navy said it informed the residents of the affected Radford Terrace home as soon as it became aware.

“The Navy immediately contacted the residents and advised them not to consume the water, but that all other uses were acceptable, and began providing bottled water for consumption,” the Navy said.

Additional sampling was scheduled to be done on Wednesday, the Navy said.

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