Respected engineer skeptical of Navy plan to eliminate water contamination

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — A Hawaiian occupational health and safety engineer is skeptical of the Navy’s plan to clean up contamination from Pearl Harbor’s water system.

Flushing and filtering are the primary tactics used by the Navy to clean up its system.

But engineer Walter Chun fears contaminants could end up in the ocean. And despite the military’s efforts, he said, the pipes could still be stained.

“Flushing it out can be one of the short term effects, but I think you have to keep in mind that all of our water systems are old and any corrosion and stuff that lines the inside of the piping is going to attract some of the contaminants,” Chun said. “It’s released over a period of time.

Chun will be part of a panel hosted by a law firm that has experience in cases involving the military.

He has more than 55 years of experience in the security engineering field and fears that even if the water crisis is resolved in military housing, there will be long-term impacts on Hawaii.

“Keep in mind that the water is dumped into our ocean,” Chun said.

“It goes through the sewage treatment plant and everything, but a lot of that goes into our marine environment and what we’re concerned about is that it affects our marine life. We eat our fish, we eat our marine life and it enters the food chain.

In addition to Chun, the panel will also include several health and legal experts.

It is scheduled for Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Waikiki and the public is invited.

Those unable to attend in person can view the discussion via this Zoom link.

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