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The Conversation

Board of Water Supply manager on maintaining water for Oʻahu residents alongside the military

board of water supply honolulu building
Sophia McCullough
/
HPR
Honolulu Board of Water Supply building.

The mystery of the water crisis affecting residents of the Navy water system deepens, as not every school or every military installation is reporting problems.

The Conversation talked to Honolulu Board of Water Supply Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest "Ernie" Lau and Erwin Kawata, the water quality program administrator. They had just learned petroleum was detected in a Department of Health water sample from Red Hill Elementary. Navy officials would later confirm a test from the Red Hill well contained petroleum products.

Officials first modified the rate of water being drawn from the BWS Halawa Shaft, and then shut it down completely Friday, after learning that the Navy shut off its Red Hill well Sunday without notifying regulators.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Dec. 2, 2021.

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