Board of Water Supply provides emergency connection to Navy water system

Navy officials hope to lift the boil water advisory on Saturday.
The Navy has been working around the clock to fix main breaks to its lines.
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 5:25 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 20, 2022 at 8:39 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Officials say a boil water advisory for the Navy system could be lifted Saturday, a few days earlier than scheduled.

Also, officials said there’s a new emergency connection bringing civilian water to the military system.

Capt. Mark Sohaney, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, called it “good news.”

“As of right now, all breaks are fixed,” he said.

In total, there were five water main breaks to the system.

The biggest was the Navy’s 36-inch water main in Waiau. It’s along the bike path next to Pearl Harbor.

Now that it’s repaired, crews are working to fill the hole.

Frustrations mount as Navy says water main break repairs will likely to stretch into next week

Sohaney says engineers need to slowly turn up the system pressure and do more testing to make sure there isn’t bacteria in the water.

“I need to first slowly introduce water back to restore pressure and system health. After pressure has been restored, we will conduct additional bacteria sampling,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Navy established an emergency connection to bring 1 million gallons of water a day from the Board of Water Supply to the Radford Terrace neighborhood, where pressure had been low for residents.

The Board of Water Supply says the Navy requested the emergency connection for four to five days.

“The BWS is monitoring the connection and pumpage closely and will ensure that our customers are not negatively impacted. The BWS will be billing the Navy for the water that they use,” said Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui, spokesperson for the Board of Water Supply.

“That has been a significant win for us to make sure that we can put in more water into the system so again we couldn’t be more thankful to the Board of Water Supply in helping us out,” added Sohaney.

Navy engineers say there are two backflow preventers to stop Navy water from going into the Board of Water Supply system. “There are no guarantees, but our water system is safe,” said Sohaney.

The group Oahu Water Protectors has been helping to deliver water to impacted families and is upset that the aging military system has once again impacted the wider community.

“It’s incredibly worrisome and quite frankly ridiculous,” said Dani Espiritu, of the group. “The Navy has shown repeated negligence toward our natural environment, to our people and its own people.”