Jan 19, 2022

Interagency Drinking Water System Team Releases Drinking Water Restoration Timeline for Hawai'i

This process will provide residents with an idea of the required steps and timeline needed to reach an amended health advisory.

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The Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) has finalized the process for drinking water flushing, sampling and testing timeline.

The IDWST is made up of the Hawai'i Department of Health (DOH), U.S. EPA, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy, and was formed on Dec. 17 to restore safe drinking water to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam housing communities.

According to an official U.S. Navy website, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, this will provide residents with an idea of the required steps and timeline needed to reach an amended health advisory. The IDWST will also release water sampling test results in each zone. 

“Under this approach we are ensuring that the drinking water testing is as thorough as possible, so residents can feel reassured that the water used by their families is fully safe.” said EPA Region 9 Administrator, Martha Guzman, reported Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet on its website. “EPA thanks the community for their incredible patience with our recent and future work to restore drinking water to Pearl Harbor Hickam.”

There are multiple steps involved in the process, including: 

  • Distribution System Flushing. Each zone of the JBPHH water distribution system is flushed and sampled. Samples are sent to the mainland to as many as six EPA- and DOH-certified labs, and the results determine whether home and non-residential building flushing can begin.
  • Residential and Non-residential Flushing. If testing confirms the distribution system meets criteria, homes and workplaces in that zone are individually flushed. A representative sample of homes, buildings, every school, child development center, and medical facility will occur.
  • Amended Health Advisory and Residents Return. Once the Hawaii DOH, EPA, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy agrees that the drinking water meets the criteria for safe drinking water, Hawaii’s Department of Health will conduct a final review of all the data and will amend the drinking water advisory.

More information will be posted here, including test results for all zones’ flushing and sampling activities. 

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