(Via Ho’okele News)
Story and photo by Denise Emsley
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii
The Navy has hired a contractor to install a soil vapor extraction (SVE) system at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) at Onizuka Villages, Hickam near the base commissary and exchange, beginning with drilling efforts scheduled from June to July.
“The installation of the SVE system is completely safe and will require drilling beneath some buildings and roads within Onizuka Village,” said Brian Whitehouse, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii remedial project manager.
“Residents and base personnel passing by the housing area began seeing workers outside around May 19, performing utility surveys and marking drilling locations,” he said.
In 2013, the Navy conducted an environmental investigation in Onizuka Village to determine the locations and amount of petroleum stained soil beneath the area. The investigation concluded that while there were no detections of petroleum vapors inside homes or immediately beneath building foundations, three areas have elevated concentrations of petroleum in soil vapor above recommended action levels at depths of four to six feet below ground surface outside some residences.
An SVE system with horizontal wells beneath residences will remove and treat elevated soil vapor. It has a vacuum pump which will extract soil vapors from soil pore spaces into the underground wells and pull them to the SVE enclosure across Freedom Avenue.
Drilling began the week of June 2 and is expected to last for approximately six to seven weeks, on weekdays and during daylight hours.
For the protection of all residents from construction hazards, a temporary fence will encompass the work zones.
After completion of the horizontal drilling, shallow vertical borings will be drilled into the soil at the 10 locations. A soil vapor monitoring point will be installed in the soil at each of these locations with work expected to be completed within two days.
“NAVFAC Hawaii recognizes the concerns expressed by many residents and appreciates their patience while it performs construction and testing,” said Whitehouse. “We will continue to work with base leadership and Hickam Communities to keep residents informed of work schedules and the latest developments.”