More than 1,000 gallons of wastewater spilled into Pearl Harbor on Thursday from a 12-inch wastewater line that broke, the Navy announced Thursday afternoon.

Utility workers secured the leak at Pier B-23 and installed a plug, the Navy said in a press release, but the leaked wastewater is “unrecoverable.”

Aerial view of the Honolulu airport and Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is an EPA-designated Superfund site because of military pollution. Christina Jedra/Civil Beat/2022

The spill comes just two days after the Department of Health fined the Navy nearly $9 million for wastewater violations that contaminated the ocean near Pearl Harbor with fecal bacteria. Along with the Navy’s contamination disaster at Red Hill, the military’s pollution of Oahu’s coastal waters has fueled community demands for the military to be better stewards of Hawaii’s environment or reduce its presence in the islands.

The Navy said the broken wastewater line involved in Thursday’s incident was scheduled to be replaced at the beginning of next month under a Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command contract.

The Navy said its public works department’s environmental team will be sampling the water for enterococcus and clostridium perfringens – types of fecal bacteria that can make people sick.

“The Navy notified the State Department of Health and posted warning signs near the piers,” the Navy said.

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