Is our water safe to drink?

red hibiscus-1-A

Red hibiscus.  Photo by Ted Trimmer.

We recently received a disturbing letter from the Board of Water Supply:

“In January 2014, the U.S. Navy reported a 27,000-gallon leak of jet fuel from Tank 5 at its Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.  The Navy owns 20 fuel tanks in the Red Hill area, each able to contain up to 12.5 million gallons of fuel.  These tanks are located 100 feet above the groundwater aquifer.

“This aquifer is also the same one that the Board of Water Supply uses to provide water to residents from Moanalua to Hawaii Kai.  The BWS is testing its wells in the area and wants to assure our customers that our water is safe to drink.

“However, Navy studies show that fuel leaks from the Red Hill tanks have occurred in the past, and the groundwater underneath the tanks is already contaminated with fuel.  These findings describe a situation that poses a serious threat to the aquifer’s long-term ability to provide safe drinking water.”

Aaarggh!  Can you imagine anything worse than drinking water laced with jet fuel????  Or washing your hair, dishes, and vegetables with it?

Though the fuel has not yet reached the aquifer, it is a horrible situation, one that could cause me to sell my house and move elsewhere.

I hope David is willing to move with me before the situation is so untenable that we can’t sell our home.

Meanwhile, the Navy is considering its options, including double lining the tanks, installing advanced leak detection and tank corrosion protection, and cleaning up the fuel that is already underneath the tanks so that the contamination does not reach our wells.

What’s the water like in your area?  Any pesticides or other contaminants in your drinking water?

Maybe, I’ll move to your town.

13 Responses to “Is our water safe to drink?”

  1. Kay G. Says:

    Water…it is more important than most people realize. I hope that your water is safe for drinking for you. Surely, it has been tested extensively! I well remember that scene from “Erin Brockoivch” when she told the laywers to drink the water, remember? They didn’t want to! HA!

  2. Jan Says:

    At least they are on top of the situation. I doubt that they would not find a solution, but it sure is concerning. Keep me posted on what happens.

  3. dkzody Says:

    Don’t plan to move to California. Our water situation is also bad. At least you have water. The aquiver in the San Joaquin Valley is sinking fast as water is being pumped out for farming.

  4. Joanne Noragon Says:

    I just don’t know the long term water outlook for the entire country! Truly our most valuable resource.We have a beautiful, hundred foot deep well, but I still have it tested every few years. If it came up contaminated, I don’t know what I would do.

  5. Christine Says:

    Awful news…Toronto has good drinking water but it is so cold in wintertime!

  6. SchmidleysScribblins Says:

    A leak occurred at a fuel storage facility site in Fairfax County. The facility belonged to the Army which was forced by the EPA to clean it up. Today, multi family housing occupies the site. Certainly the EPA must be involved in this issue in your area. If you do move, and it seems a radical idea at this time, you will have to notify any prospective buyer of the issue.

    I wouldn’t worry about this problem because there’s nothing gained by worry. I would continue to monitor the situation, however. Add your voice to the cry for the cleanup. The Navy owes residents.

    I’m glad my son doesn’t have responsibility for Pearl. He handles these housing issues for five western bases, but Pearl isn’t one of them. Vigelence is the password. Around here we are concerned about contaminants from the Shenandoah Valley cattle farms.

    Reverse osmosis can address most of these issues. Several cities on the mainland are using this process to clean up ‘used’ water, San Diego being one of them.

  7. Cathy Says:

    Maybe your government could look at buiding a desalination plant – using the water from the sea.
    Melbourne has great water – best in Australia.

  8. Tom Sightings Says:

    Jeez, what a situation to be in. I’m worried that a coming water crisis will make the energy crisis look like child’s play (see California). Anyway, may the Navy, or whoever else, get their arms around the problem, and I hope it all ends well.

  9. Linda Starr Says:

    they over fluoridate our water here in georgia and this is the first time we have had city water, always had wells, no water depts should add any fluoride as it is now proven it doesn’t prevent tooth decay and it’s toxic for other reasons

    http://fluoridealert.org/issues/water/

  10. Olga Says:

    That is really concerning. And the situation in California–yikes!

  11. scenenotspoken Says:

    So far we have had no problems either at our VA home which has a septic system and a well or here in the NH apt. Your situation does sound dire and hopefully will be resolved without the need to relocate.

  12. Musings Says:

    Yikes! That’s rather unnerving!

  13. marmeladegypsy Says:

    That’s a little creepy. I hope they get things resolved.

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