Organic contamination of groundwater in Hawaii: A learning experience revisited.
Lau, L. Stephen, and John F. Mink
A 12-year experience of regulatory actions and investigative research of nonpoint-source pesticide contamination of potable aquifers in Hawaii, USA, offers policies and technologies for use by others to forecast or meet similar contingencies.
In 1983, Hawaii, the beautiful tropical volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, met an unexpected crisis of unprecedented, large-scale contamination of the Pearl Harbor aquifer, the all-important drinking water source for the island of Oahu (Lau et al., 1987; Lau and Mink, 1987). The contamination was caused by volatile organic chemicals -l,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), ethylene dibromide (EDB), and 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) – that had been used with approval as pesticides (nematocides) for pineapple agriculture for up to 35 years. Another use of EDB is as an additive to aviation gasoline. Military records show many major spills. The basalt aquifers, which are highly permeable with a regional hydraulic conductivity value of 500 m/day, consist of numerous thin (3 m), discontinuous, inhomogeneous layers of lithified lava flow. The water table is deep -195-265 m below ground surface at Mililani. Abstract truncated.