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Subject: water pollution in Hawaii
Please provide information on water pollution in Hawaii
I will describe groundwater pollution; you may address
surface water (i.e., streams) pollution to others.
One of the well known cases, however, concerns the Ala Wai Canal,
which is contaminated by surface water runoff (that is water
which runs above ground following rainfall).
Groundwater is the major source of water use of Hawaii.
Major sources of pollution are:
- Agriculture chemical applications (such as the rise in nitrate
concentration in the groundwater of the Pearl Harbor aquifer).
The nitrate concentration has not exceeded the maximum allowable
- Military bases (such as soil and groundwater TCE
contamination at Schofiel Barracks site, which has been
added to the Superfund list)
- Service stations (such as the Gray Line Hawaii, Kalewa St.)
Contamination does not threaten the drinking water because
the site is not connected to such a water.
- Accidental spills of chemicals (such as the site at the Del
Monte well in the Kunia area, which also is in the Superfund
The superfund list is prepared by the Federal government, where a
site is considered a threat to public health. The local
Board of Water Supply and Department of Health are responsible for
monitoring water quality and protecting the public from harmful
chemicals. Please contact them for additional information.
Dr. Aly El-Kadi, Associate Professor, Hydrogeology
Department of Geology and Geophysics
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822
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