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Pearl Harbor-area schools report chemical odor in water

HONOLULU (AP) — Two elementary schools near Pearl Harbor say “chemical-like” smells were coming from water lines on their campuses, the state Department of Education said Monday.

The news came a day after the Navy said it was investigating reports of a chemical smell in drinking water at military housing near Pearl Harbor.

The state Department of Health advised people on Monday to avoid using the water for “drinking, cooking or oral hygiene,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. The advisory covers Aliamanu Military Reservation, military housing and Red Hill and Nimitz elementary schools.

According to the advisory, health officials said they are working with the Navy to investigate the odor.

The odors were detected at Nimitz Elementary and Red Hill Elementary. Department of Education spokesperson Nanea Kalanai said there were no plans to close either school.

The schools have bought bottled water for students and taped off sinks. They were providing hand sanitizer so students may clean their hands. The cafeterias were preparing meals that won’t require the use of water.

On Sunday, Navy Region Hawaii said engineers visited several homes of families who reported the chemical smell and also immediately went to Navy’s drinking water wells to investigate. There was no smell or sign of fuel or chemicals in the water at the Navy’s water wells and water tanks, the Navy said.

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