Investigation into Navy’s tainted water extends to civilian housing project in Ewa Beach

The state Health Department is now investigating complaints of illnesses from the water at Kapilina Beach Homes in Ewa Beach and will be testing the water.
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 5:56 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 1:31 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Health Department is now investigating complaints of illnesses from the Navy system water at Kapilina Beach Homes in Ewa Beach, HNN has learned.

The former military housing area is now mostly home to civilians, who didn’t realize they might be drinking water from the Navy’s contaminated system.

DOH said they will be testing the water on Thursday.

Two families living in the neighborhood say they won’t touch the water even though they don’t see or smell anything strange.

On Thursday, 17-year-old Jayden Bonilla says he was rushed to the hospital with severe swelling after showering and brushing his teeth.

“My eyes were like puffed out,” said Bonilla. “They tried to look at the back of my throat and they couldn’t see anything because it was so swollen on the inside.”

He and his father say they learned from doctors on Wednesday that it was a toxic reaction not an allergy.

“That confirmed to me, we weren’t crazy,” said Jayden’s father, Xavier Bonilla.

Housemate Mandie Ruiz was hospitalized Friday after a severe rash following a shower.

“I told them that my skin was on fire,” said Ruiz.

Kapilina Beach Homes is now privately managed by Greystar.

“There has been some confusion regarding the Navy’s notice that some of the water it supplies is contaminated,” said Kapilina Beach Homes in an email to residents last Friday.

“Although the Navy has reiterated that they do not believe the water supplying our community is contaminated, they have recommended that residents not drink the water out of an abundance of caution.”

Seven public schools are on the Navy’s waterline, which means tap water there should not be consumed:

  • Red Hill Elementary
  • Nimitz Elementary
  • Pearl Harbor Elementary
  • Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary
  • Iroquois Point Elementary
  • Hickam Elementary
  • Mokulele Elementary

One of those schools, Iroquois Point Elementary, is in the middle of the Kapilina Beach Homes.

“It’s hard to trust right now,” said state Rep. Matt LoPresti.

He says people have been complaining of illnesses before they knew Kapilina was on Navy waterlines.

“They are only a quarter mile from homes on the other side of the harbor. The same pipes where they get their water from are having problems,” said LoPresti.

“The Navy told me they didn’t even test out here last week.”

Hawaii News Now reached out to the Navy and Kapilina Beach Homes but has not heard back.

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