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Officials say water is safe to drink after Navy fuel spill

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The Navy confirmed Thursday that jet fuel leaked from a tank at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility, but local and federal officials say the city’s water is safe to drink.

The tank may have spilled up to 20,000 gallons of fuel, but the actual amount is likely much less, said Capt. Mark Wheeler, commanding officer of Naval Supply Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor,  said Thursday afternoon at a news conferenceabout the spill.

He said the Navy is taking every precaution to protect the public.

The water well closest to the storage facility has been isolated and samples were sent to the mainland to determine if that well was contaminated by jet fuel, said Ernest Lau, manager and chief engineer for the Board of Water Supply. Those results are expected Monday.

"The water we provide to the community is safe to drink," Lau said.

After noticing the possible leak on Monday, the Navy immediately begin transferring fuel to another tank at the facility, a process that may be completed Saturday, Wheeler said.  

Following the transfer of fuel and venting of the tank, officials will inspect the tank to determine the cause of the leak.

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