Volcanoes park water under advisory
The state is advising against drinking tap water in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park while it continues testing for contaminants.
A recent second test of the water had inconclusive results. A third set of samples has been sent to a private laboratory in California for testing. The results are expected in less than 10 days.
Stuart Yamada, chief of the state Department of Health's safe drinking water branch, said the situation is a mystery of sorts.
"Once in a while you get thrown one of these big curves," he said.
Routine water samples were taken in August to test for a variety of substances such as certain types of benzene. The department could not get a clear result on what the water contained because of an "interfering agent," Yamada said.
Park officials then issued an advisory that only bottled water be consumed in the park, including at the Volcano House hotel and restaurant.
During a second sample, the Health Department's lab equipment broke.
"I think it becomes so cloudy that everything goes haywire," said Jim Gale, chief of interpretation at the park.