Navy water system sees fourth main break as boil water advisory remains up

A fourth main break to the Navy’s water system was reported Monday as crews work frantically to make repairs to lines and restore service to some 93,000 users.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 10:55 AM HST|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 5:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A fourth main break to the Navy’s water system was reported Monday as crews work frantically to make repairs to lines and restore service to some 93,000 users.

A boil water advisory remains up for those on the system.

Capt. Mark Sohaney, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, confirmed that a water main break Monday afternoon in Pearl City Peninsula was related to ongoing problems with the system.

At least three homes in the area experienced flooding and crews were on scene.

Before the latest break, military officials estimated it could take more than a week to complete repairs.

Impacted residents say the water problems, coming on the heels of the Navy water crisis, are just too much.

“Like why? We already got a lot with the water going on the last two years and now this. It’s like one thing after another,” said Pearl City Peninsula resident Venessa Washington.

She says her garage and surrounding areas outside her home were soaked by Monday’s water main break.

In Aliamanu Military Reservation, Lohi Distajo bathed her 2-year-old baby boy, Glenn, in a mobile doggie groomer van.

“It’s that we really don’t trust the water no more. I definitely don’t trust the water to bathe my son in because of his skin rashes. Everyone, even my neighbors have kids are saying that they are starting to get skin reactions,” said Distajo.

Izzy Cocoran, of Izzy’s Paw Spa, offered the service for free.

“It’s heavy, really sad and really traumatizing for a lot of the people still living here and the fact that it’s been almost a year since the last water crisis,” said Cocoran, who lived at AMR.

The DOE says Iroquois Point Elementary will be open Tuesday after being closed since Friday.

But military leaders said 11 Child Development, serving about 5,000 kids, will remain closed Tuesday.

The Board of Water Supply said it would be providing a replacement length of pipe for the Navy as part of repairs to the largest water line break, a 36-inch main.

“As it pertains to supplying drinking water, the Navy is working to repair their back flow preventors. This must occur before the BWS can open any emergency connections,” the agency said, in a statement.

“It is imperative that the BWS water supply and system are not compromised in any way as we serve safe drinking water to about 1 million people each day on our island.”

In the meantime, officials say people on the Navy should boil water from the system before using it for cooking or drinking.

Officials said the advisory is a precaution because of the potential for bacteria entering through the breaks.

“It’s really about ingestion. So showering and wash your hands with soap is not a concern. It’s about anything that requires consumption,” Sohaney said.

“If you’re going to use the water to drink, if you’re going to cook with it, if you’re going to brush your teeth, that’s where the recommendation is to boil the water for a minute rolling boil to ensure that there’s no bacteria.”

Two water distribution sites are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. One is at the main Navy Exchange parking lot and the other’s in the Hickam Main Exchange parking lot.