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History of Navy fuel storage leaks may spur increased water testingUPDATED 8:25 PM HST Jan 17, 2014Video Transcript
our drinking water. Goodevening. I'm Yunji de Nies. And I'm Paula Akana. Navy reports show this was not the first time fuel has leaked from underground storage tanks at Red Hill. KITV-4's Catherine Cruz joins us now with our TOP story at 6. Documents I looked at today showed that it is pretty common to discover leaks while refilling a tank after it is pulled out of service for routine maintanance. And that steel lined tank suspected of leaking out what could be 20,ooo gallons of jet fuel had problems before. The iconic aloha tower would fit easily in one of the 2o underground fuel tanks now in place at Red Hill. Many of us drive by on the freeway every day not realizing what's down below. This graphic illustrates the navy;s fuel storage tanks and why its difficult to gauge how much fuel has leaked out. - Capt Scott Wheeler 40: 41 - 40" 51 -"That is 250 feet tall and 100 feet in diamoter one inch is thousands of gallons." The danger is with contaminating the drinking water--somethin g officials were quick to point out.. They believe has not happened. - Ernest 52:33 - 52: 40 - " The water is safe to drink in your community and your water service should not be interupted," The board of water supply normally tests our water for contaminants quarterly. But that could be stepped up to weekly and then monthly just to be safe. Four wells have also been shut down including Moanalua which serves much of Honolulu's urban center.-- as well as smaller wells in Aiea Gulch and Halawa heights. The largest and biggest well is the Halawa shaft near the halawa prsion That water source is located about a mile west of the fuel tanks - Ernest 55;34- 55: 44 - "That provides 7 million gallons a day and that also feeds intowhat we call the Honolulu load service system which pretty much helps serves a large portion of Honolulu," The navy also took action following the discovery of the leak monday. - Capt Mike Williamson 46:06: -46:17 - "We also shut our welldown immediately. We have other sources to provide drinking water withou concern to the 50 thosaund navy residents and folks working on the base," The nay wasnt prepared to address the hustory of leaks at the facility yesterday. But a check of reports filed with the state healt department showed the leaking well-- had previous leaks in march of 1965 and February of 1972. The health departments underground fuel tank storage monitoring program was only established in the 1980's Prior to that the navy did not have report any spills to the state. The Navy says once the fuel tank is emptied.,, it may take 3-4 weeks to air out the vapors to make it safe for someone to get inside it to inspect it. So any repairs may take some time. Once the laboratory results are in next week-- officials will know how frequently to test our water wells.