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For Immediate Release
DECEMBER 7, 2021


HONOLULU – The Board of Water Supply (BWS) applauds the decision of the Department of Health to issue an Emergency Order requiring the Navy to immediately suspend fuel storage operations at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, expeditiously install a drinking water treatment system at the Navy’s Red Hill Shaft drinking water well, and promptly take action to defuel the Red Hill underground storage tanks.

Immediate actions are necessary to protect the thousands of residents who rely on the water supplied by the Navy’s water distribution system and, ultimately, the nearly one million people on Oahu who rely on the sole-source aquifer that underlies Red Hill.

Based on the historic performance of the Navy’s operation of the Red Hill facility, the BWS has long called for the relocation of the Red Hill tanks away from Oahu’s irreplaceable drinking water resources and the Emergency Order is an important first step.

Going forward, it will be critical to monitor the actions taken in response to this order to ensure that the fuel at Red Hill is safely removed and that refueling the existing tanks is not allowed as it is irrefutable that the Red Hill facility cannot be operated in a way that is protective of human health and the environment as is required by state law.  Relocating the Red Hill tanks is the only way to protect the purity of our drinking water for present and future generations.

If there are any questions, please call (808) 748-5041 or email

About the Board of Water Supply

The Board of Water Supply (BWS), a semi-autonomous agency of the City and County of Honolulu, manages Oahu’s municipal water resources and distribution system.  As the largest water utility in the State, the BWS serves approximately one million customers on Oahu.  The BWS embraces its mission of “Water for Life – Ka Wai Ola” – to provide a safe, dependable, and affordable water supply, now and into the future.  Uwē  ka lani, ola ka honua – “When the heavens weep, the earth lives.”  For more information, visit, follow @BWSHonolulu or like the BWS’s Facebook page at



Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui
Information Officer
Honolulu Board of Water Supply
Phone: (808) 748-5319