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Hawaii health officials lift drinking water advisory for Red Hill housing

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                The U.S. Navy led a media tour, Jan. 28, of the Red Hill Shaft in Halawa. The Hawaii Department of Health today said that residents in Red Hill housing can resume drinking and cooking with their tap water.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

The U.S. Navy led a media tour, Jan. 28, of the Red Hill Shaft in Halawa. The Hawaii Department of Health today said that residents in Red Hill housing can resume drinking and cooking with their tap water.

The Hawaii Department of Health today said that residents in Red Hill housing can resume drinking and cooking with their tap water. It’s the first of 19 zones to be declared safe after jet fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility polluted the drinking water system that serves Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam and surrounding neighborhoods in November.

The zone, labeled I1 by the Navy includes 135 Army-managed homes and Red Hill Elementary School.

The vast majority of the area on the Navy’s water system has not been declared safe by health and environmental regulators who continue to review and validate the Navy’s sampling and test results. DOH continues to advise residents served in other areas not to consume the water. Approximately 93,000 residents and numerous schools and businesses are served by the Navy’s water system.

“Today’s amendment for Zone I1 is the result of months of work overseen by DOH and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide individuals and families in Red Hill Housing with assurance that their water is safe to drink,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho in a press release. “We understand that many are wary, and we will continue to investigate complaints and hold the Navy accountable to provide safe drinking water. DOH will act methodically, based on science, and in a manner that is protective of public health as we evaluate the remaining Navy water system zones.”

A detailed map of the affected zones and the current status of the Navy’s flushing and testing can be found here.

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