WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - The Environmental Division, Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, through the Preventive Medicine Activity at Tripler Army Medical Center, routinely monitors Aliamanu Military Reservation, Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks and TAMC water systems for bacteriological quality of drinking water.

Residents and employees at these locations are very lucky to enjoy some of the highest quality drinking water on Oahu.

The Army is required to monitor drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular basis.

Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not the drinking water meets health standards.

The TAMC laboratory for the garrison's water systems recently failed to comply with a required testing procedure.

Even though this instance was not an emergency, DPW customers have a right to know what happened and what was done to correct the situation.

TAMC has incorporated additional quality control checks to prevent this instance from reoccurring.

This finding is not an emergency or urgent concern, and residents and employees do not need to take any precautionary measures.

The instance was an oversight on the part of the laboratory.

<b>AMR</b>
During March, the laboratory did not follow proper procedures for the analysis of total coliform bacteria, and as a result, did not complete all testing for total coliform bacteria.

Because of these procedural errors, DPW cannot be sure of the quality of the drinking water during that time.

The AMR water system is required to analyze three samples every month.

During March, 10 samples were collected, and no samples were properly analyzed.

<b>Fort Shafter</b>
During March and April, the laboratory did not follow proper procedures for the analysis of total coliform bacteria, and as a result did not complete all testing for total coliform bacteria.

As with the AMR water system, DPW cannot be sure of the quality of the drinking water during those months.

The Fort Shafter water system is required to analyze three samples every month.

During March, five samples were collected, and zero samples were properly analyzed.

During April, five samples were collected, and two samples were properly analyzed.

<b>Schofield Barracks</b>
Like Fort Shafter's water, during the months of March and April, the laboratory did not follow proper procedures for the analysis of total coliform bacteria, and it did not complete all testing.

DPW cannot be sure of the quality of the drinking water during that time.

The Schofield water system is required to analyze 30 samples every month.

During March, 34 samples were collected, and 18 samples were properly analyzed.

During April, 34 samples were collected, and four were properly analyzed.

<b>TAMC</b>
During March and April, the laboratory did not follow proper procedures for the analysis of total coliform bacteria, and it did not complete all testing.

Because of these procedural errors, DPW cannot be sure of the quality of the drinking water during those months.

The TAMC water system is required to analyze four samples every month.

During March, six samples were collected, and no samples were properly analyzed.

During April, six samples were collected, and two samples were properly analyzed.

<b>What is total coliform bacteria'</b>

As water passes over the earth's surface and percolates into the ground, it may dissolve naturally occurring minerals, radioactive material and substances resulting from the presence of animal or human activity. Therefore, drinking water may be reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.

The EPA, however, sets limits on the amount of a contaminant present in drinking water.

Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment. They are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present.

For more information, call the DPWAca,!E+Clean Air/Safe Drinking Water Program manager at 808-656-3103, or visit the Environmental Division Office, 947 Wright Ave., Wheeler Army Airfield.

Page last updated Mon November 8th, 2010 at 17:09