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Lead detected in drinking water following Red Hill fuel leak

    The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz entered Pearl Harbor on Tuesday

The state Department of Health is notifying the public that "very low" levels of lead and other chemicals have been detected in the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam water system.

The lead levels are within federal and state compliance levels for drinking water in a water distribution system (below the lead "action level") and do not represent a health threat, the Health Department said in a news release issued today.

The notification comes after Navy officials confirmed in mid-January that a World War II-era underground fuel storage tank at Red Hill may have spilled up to 20,000 gallons of JP-8 fuel.

A U.S. Navy well and water tunnel are positioned downhill from the Red Hill fuel storage facility and provide about 24 percent of the drinkable water to the Pearl Harbor water system, according to a Navy report.

The water system serves about 65,000 people.

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