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Frequently asked questions

(Updated: Oct. 20, 2022; 11:30 a.m. HST_ag)



Q: With the 36” water main line being repaired and brought online, what does this mean for me?
A: The 36” water main being reopened will provide more pressure and stability to the base water system. Additionally, this is allowing us to fill the water tanks to build a reserve water supply.

Q: Why was it said that no homes in Pearl City Peninsula were flooded when they were?
A: There was flooding in yards and patios. There was no flooding that got into homes. No families were displaced.

Q: Why were we told not to worry about sediment during red hill, but it is a concern now? What kind of contamination is in the water?
A: The current water advisory is unrelated to Red Hill. The boil water advisory was issued because the concern is any time there is a break and loss in pressure, there is the possibility of impurities getting into the system, such as bacteria, or sediments.

Q: Can you tell us the purpose of the daily hydrant flushing off Victor Wharf Access Road at Pearl City Peninsula since the break?
A: The purpose of doing that was to help regulate pressure in the system to help reduce overall stress within the system.
Q: Where exactly is the water main break? The affected areas seem in very random, different locations.
A: The 36-inch water main break occurred along the bike path near the Hawaiian Electric Company's (HECO) Waiau power plant.
Q: Who do we call if we see sprinklers running on base?
A: Call the Joint Base Service Desk (808) 449-3100.  As we work towards complete restoration of the water distribution system, water conservation is absolutely critical.  A sudden surge in water usage before all the needed repairs have been made may create system-wide problems.  For this reason, we encourage commands on Joint Base to allow their work force to telework to the fullest extent possible.
Q: Is Manana still included in the water outage and boil order? 
A: Yes. Manana is on the Navy water system.  As such, the boil advisory for water remains in place.
Q: What are you doing for Kapilina residents?
A: We’re delivering water supplies to Kapilina daily.  Contact the property manager’s office for additional details.
Q: What is the timetable for going back to normal?
A: The JBPHH Public Works team is actively pursuing a repair to the water system.  As an engineering solution is developed, timeline will follow.  Right now we are looking at about 7-10 days.
Child Development Center (CDC) and Child Youth Programs (CYP)
Q: With keiki (children) back in CDC/school, how can people know that the water they are giving them is safe?
A: We have provided 13 water buffaloes from Schofield Barracks to schools impacted by the water main line break. The buffaloes are tested daily to ensure the continued safety of the water.

Q: What are the Child Youth Programs (CYP) hours? What locations are open?
A: On Tuesday, Oct. 18, CYPs will be closed, with the exception of Wahiawa. Wahiawa CDC will remain open, as they are on an entirely different water system. We’re looking at the possibility of opening one additional CYP on Wednesday, Oct. 19 for personnel who are mission essential. This policy is being evaluated daily and we will continue to update you on the status of the CYPs.

Q: Why are some lawn sprinklers still operating?
A: We have been in touch with our partners in the housing communities and other commands to ensure that sprinklers and other irrigation operations on base are being shut off until further notice. There is no central location for shutting off all of the irrigation systems on the base with the flip of a switch. It can sometimes take a few days to ensure all sprinklers are offline as workers make their rounds. If you see a sprinkler system on, please call the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at (808) 448-2570.

Q: What are households with both parents working supposed to do for childcare?
A: Until we can get another CYP opened again, please contact your chain of command if you are unable to procure childcare due to both parents working.

Q: Can we get a seven-day supply of water at once (instead of coming back so often)?
A: We are asking families to pick up supplies daily to ensure that there is enough bottled water for everyone.

Q: If the CDCs are going to be closed, does that also include the Catlin School Age Care (SAC)? Are they affected?
A: Yes, all Joint Base CDCs will be closed, with the exception of Wahiawa. We’re evaluating daily and will provide updates.

Q: CDCs - temporary withdrawal, what does it mean? Will the spot be there after this is all over? Will the days that the CDCs have been shut down be reimbursed?
A: Enrolled children under care will not lose their child care spot as a result of CDC closures. Sponsors will be reimbursed for days where child care is not provided.
Gym/Schools/Facilities Closures
Q. When will additional services open like gym, pools and gymnastics?
A: As repairs to the water main lines continue, we are slowly reopening facilities to minimize the footprint of personnel on the installation to conserve water resources. Starting Thursday, Oct. 20, CDC’s will be opening at regular time of 0500. All MWR facilities will be open with normal business hours with the exception of the following:
-Showers in Gyms and Recreation Facilities
-Food Services (except snack bars)

Q: Why are the gyms closed? Can you open the fitness centers?
A: Fitness Centers and other Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) activities are closed while we minimize the footprint of personnel on the installation to conserve water resources.
Q: What is being offered at the DFACs (Dining Facilities)?
A: DFAC operations (Silver Dolphin Bistro and Hale Aina) are running as usual.
Q: Will the schools be closed as well, such as Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary?
A:  Schools on the base water system are expected to remain open, but sponsors should monitor communication from the school where children are enrolled for detailed schedules and any disruptions.
Q: Why is the exchange closing early?
A: On Saturday evening the Navy Exchange experienced a loss of water pressure that disrupted operations and a decision was made to close early until the situation was more stable. Commissaries and Exchanges are open as scheduled, but as with everything else, the water system is not stable right now.  Water pressure can change with little/no notice.  You may want to call before heading out the door.
Boil Advisories/Water Contamination
Q: What about sheen in water, rashes and other side effects from home water?
A: As the 36” water main line is reintroduced to the system, it is expected that sediment, bacteria, and chlorine may be present in your water. For water quality concerns, please report it to the JBPHH Emergency Operations Center. Please call (808) 448-2570 / (808) 448-3262.

Q: Why the difference between Army and Navy on boil water advisory?
A: The Army has two small housing areas in one specific location, and their system has inline water filtration and chlorination for water going into AMR and Red Hill housing that allowed the boil advisory to be rescinded. The Navy’s housing areas are throughout the entire water system and don’t have that redundant capability.

Q: Why do we have to boil the water and how long do we need to boil it?
A: We will keep the boil water advisory in effect until we have Department of Health (DOH) concurrence that the water is safe.  We’re asking people to boil the water because whenever you lose water pressure, there is the possibility of contaminants such as bacteria getting into the system.  As a precaution, we continue to advise everyone to boil the water until further notice.
Q: Can we shower/wash our hands and do laundry with our water?
A: Yes, but we advise that you keep water from getting into your eyes and mouth until we’re back to normal. We’re asking people to conserve water and only use what is essential. Keep shower time short. If doing a load of laundry is not essential, please wait a little longer.
Red Hill related
Q: Why does this water main breaking issue stop the Red Hill fuel from being emptied? Unless, it runs through the water lines?!?
A: Unpacking the fuel lines at Red Hill is an operation like many of the other operations that occur daily on JBPHH. Joint Task Force Red Hill is confident that the fuel in the tanks and the pipelines is currently stable.   The task force has to operate with people and we are trying to limit the number of people on the installation to decrease the amount of water being used. The fuel lines and water lines are completely separate and there is no concern of fuel leak or contamination in the drinking water as a result of the recent water main breaks.

Q: Is there still fuel in it?
A: We have been testing the water for petroleum hydrocarbons since the DOH certified in March that all joint base water is safe to drink.  Since that time, the DOH has found no instances of any jet fuel in our water system. 
TLA (Temporary Lodging Assistance)
Q: If this continues, will we be issued or offered TLA for this, food, and hotel?
A: We’re focused on resolving the break.  The water can be safely used for bathing and washing clothes.  It should still be boiled prior to consumption, use in cooking, brushing of teeth, etc. 
Water Distro
Q: Will there be additional water distro sites added for Pearl City Peninsula residents?
A: For Pearl City Peninsula residents, potable water has been delivered to Hunt Communities and pickup of water can be coordinated with the PCP housing management office. The NEX and AAFES water distribution points remain open.

Q: Can you do water distribution to more locations such as Pearll City Peninsula? It’s so far to drive for us.
A: Due to manning constraints and availability of resources, we are only able to run two water distribution sites at this time.

Q: If water distribution continues through the week, is there any scope to extend the hours later past 1800 to accommodate people who are working?
A: We are looking at this and will provide updates if/when the distribution times change.

Q: No water is being passed out for pets at the NEX so how do we provide water for them?
A: As a reminder, your water should be safe to consume after following the guidelines for boiling.
Q: Why are we limited to only one gallon of water per person per day?  One gallon is not enough for me and my family – can we get more?
A: One gallon per person per day is the FEMA standard for use during emergencies. We are distributing for essential use. As a reminder, your water should be safe to consume after following the guidelines for boiling.
Medical Facilities
Q: When will Makalapa refill pharmacy be open? Can prescriptions that were ready to be picked up before closure, now be picked up at Tripler?
A: Please call the Makalapa Clinic, which will be working at reduced capacity tomorrow.


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