Trace levels of a chemical detected in west Oahu water well

The water remains safe to drink.

Trace levels of a chemical detected in west Oahu water well
The Board of Water Supply found trace levels (Image: Board of Water Supply)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - During routine testing, trace levels of a chemical were recently detected in water samples collected at a water system for the Waipahu, Ewa and Waianae communities; but the water remains safe to drink.

The Waipahu Wells IV found trace levels of 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), which is a soil fumigant and nematicide used in pineapple farming, in the water.

The water from this well is safe to drink because the levels detected were far below the Environmental Protection Agency and State Maximum Contaminant Level for DBCP.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s treatment facilities filters DBCP out of the water before its delivered to consumers.

“These trace levels of chemical are so small that it does not pose a public health threat, and the water filtered from this well is safe to drink,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director for environmental health.

The Waipahu Wells IV well had confirmed trace levels of DBCP at 0.011 parts per billion. This level is around one-twentieth of the EPA and MCL’s level of 0.2 parts per billion, which is the highest level of a contaminant allowed in drinking water.

The Board of Water Supply conducts tests at sources and treatment facilities as required by federal and state drinking water regulations.

"Such testing is part of the scheduled monitoring regularly conducted to ensure that everyone’s water is safe and public health is not compromised,” said Kawaoka.

The Waipahu, Ewa and Waianae water system remains in full compliance with all federal and state standards for drinking water Tuesday.

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