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The Conversation

Pool cleaning chemical was found in one military family's water before the fuel reports

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Henryk Niestrój
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Military mom Jalicia Spalinger and her family just spent their first night in a Waikiki hotel. Their home is in Radford Terrace, which is served by the Navy water system.

The Conversation talked to her Thursday morning about high levels of a pool cleaning chemical, cyanuric acid or CYA, found in her tap water in early November — before complaints surfaced about fuel fumes. She moved to Hawaiʻi this summer and said the last six months have been rough.

"The only thing I noticed was random smells of chlorine, strong smells of chlorine in our water," Spalinger said. "The report showed that there was high levels of a spa and pool cleaner in our water, which is CYA."

Rep. Ed Case told HPR that the military was investigating whether over-chlorination may have also been a problem in some of the homes. But again, this was weeks before complaints began surfacing about fuel in the tap water.

The Navy has not yet responded to a request for comment.

"I don't have much patience left. I don't know if any other spouses have much patience left because it's just a little rough right now," Spalinger told Hawaiʻi Public Radio. "They just came out with another article saying that they found contamination in the second water well, really just, trust is gone."

This interview aired on The Conversation on Dec. 9, 2021.

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