No results yet on Tinian ground water study for military’s use

The results are not yet in on the U.S. military study of Tinian groundwater wells.

According to Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality administrator Frank Rabauliman and Safe Drinking Water manager Jose Kaipat, the Marine Corps Forces Pacific, which led the water study, have not yet shared their results as of yesterday.

MARFORPAC is looking at alternatives for water and wastewater capabilities to accommodate military presence on Tinian.

Many of these wells are believed to be uncapped and leftover from World War II.

BECQ would prefer, if possible, that these wells be rehabilitated for military use, versus the drilling of new ones on Tinian.

However, Rabauliman indicated yesterday that drilling these wells might be a possibility.

He said ideally, the military would hook up to the water distribution line on Tinian. “But I realize that the closest water line may be some distance from where they are proposing their activities,” he added.

“We wanted the military to see if they could update that information [on existing wells],” he said. “Whether these are rehabilitable or not.”

Last month, Saipan Tribune learned that the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality monitored the inspection of three of these rehabilitated wells south of the Westfield airport. The study was contracted to AECOM, who then subcontracted another company to do the study. The bureau had requested that these sample results be shared.

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Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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  • Captain

    There was a study done prior to the IBB site being built. I do not have nor am able to get access to any of the hard data now.
    The Military should be able to get info from the controlling body of IBB (Voice of America) through the State Dept. Maybe.

    Since I did not throughly read and study the full report, from what I can remember there were about 14 old wells. Between West field and the North Field area awith a couple close to the IBB station.
    IBB was interested in renovating one of the wells to tap for water for the site.They also had some tested.
    The problem came up with the NMI Govt. The NMI Govt. stated that they (NMI Govt) owned the water rights and that if IBB wanted to renovate the well they could do so and install all the necessary pumps, power source and any collateral equipment but also had to make it available for the residents of Tinian but the NMI Govt (CUC) would bill them for the water they used while IBB would have to operate and maintain the well.

    Since IBB would not use that much water with only 30 employees totating on a 24 hiour shifts and no resident occupants, the cost to renovate one of the wells along with suppling water to the general public it was not worth their expenses.

    They hauled water to the site with their firetruck when needed and also installed water catchment with reverse Osmosis system. They collected water from the HVAC system (about 220gal a day) along with any rain water and ran it through processing along with bringing in bottled water from a local distributer.as needed (at that time)

    • jun

      Buenas Captain,

      We could not understand why would the CNMI government would discourage improvement. We were not aware of the predicament you describe above relating to what the CNMI wants from IBB. Every time we take one step forward, we take two steps backwards in our society.

  • jun

    Buenas,

    “Apology and reparation” would not correct the wrong, and such action is “A day late and dollar short.” Don’t bite the hand that feed us. Why are we against progress in our society?

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