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4 of 6 Health Department samples of Navy water destroyed during transit to California lab

The Navy faces a reckoning over its tainted Red Hill water supply. Video shows gushing hydrants as military works to flush out pipes in affected neighborhoods.
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 7:56 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2021 at 1:01 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Health Department said Friday evening that four of six samples of Navy system water were destroyed during transit to a lab in California.

Two other samples came back negative for petroleum.

The announcement was another stumble in the efforts to get a better understanding about how widespread contamination in the system is.

On Thursday night, the Navy confirmed that water in the Red Hill well tests positive for petroleum products but said tests conducted at taps came back negative.

The state Health Department previously announced a sample at Red Hill Elementary had petroleum.

Given the damaged samples, the Health Department said it has not received enough results from water sampling to determine the safety of the water.

The department is collecting more samples.

Since Monday, DOH said it has received 494 complaints from Navy water system users.

Health officials continue to recommend all people who use the Navy water system to avoid using it for drinking, cooking or oral hygiene.

Meanwhile, the DOH said it also collected two drinking water samples from the Red Hill water supply shaft during routine testing on Nov. 24, prior to reports from the public of fuel-like odors in tap water.

DOH said the results of those sample suggest a trace amount of heavy oil well below drinking water thresholds. The department added that the results were not clearly related to petroleum fuel.

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