The state Department of Health officials said today that drinking water remains safe despite trace levels of the chemical bromacil recently detected in water samples collected at wells in Mililani and Waipio Heights during testing.
Bromacil is a commercially available herbicide used for weed control in pineapple fields and citrus plants, department officials said. It was found at the Mililani Wells III and Waipio Heights Wells III pumps during testing before they were placed into service.
Health Department officials said drinking water from these wells remains safe as the trace levels detected were well below the Environmental Protection Agency Lifetime Advisory Level for drinking water. In addition, the bromacil will be filtered out through the Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s Granular Activated Carbon treatment facilities before being delivered to consumers, they said.
“These trace levels of chemicals are so small they do not pose a public health threat and the water filtered from these wells is safe to drink,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director for Environmental Health in a news release. “The Department of Health will continue to work together with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, to ensure tests for these chemicals continue as part of the rigorous process of scheduled monitoring regularly conducted to ensure that everyone’s water is safe and public health is not compromised.”
The bromacil level confirmed at the Mililani Wells III pump was 0.24 parts per billion and the level at the Waipio Heights Wells III pump was 0.23 parts per billion. The health department said these trace levels are more than one hundred times lower than the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory Level for bromacil of 70 parts per billion, which is measured in micrograms per liter, according to the Health Department.