- The US Navy recently found traces of jet fuel in the water aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.
- Water tests on Sept. 19 initially found no contamination, a Navy official told Insider.
- But further tests two days later revealed “detectable traces” of hydrocarbons, the official said.
After determining the water on the ship was safe, the US Navy again found traces of jet fuel in the water aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, a Naval Air Forces official confirmed to Insider on Wednesday.
Officials tested sewage samples from the Nimitz Sept. 19 after the carrier arrived at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.
Those lab tests, which were carried out several days after traces of jet fuel were initially detected in the ship’s water, revealed no “measurable” amounts of hydrocarbons, highly combustible jet fuel components, Insider told Ensign Bryan Blair, a Navy spokesman. .
But testing of water samples from the Nimitz’s drinking water tanks on September 21 – two days later – revealed “detectable traces” of hydrocarbons, Blair said. The Nimitz’s departure from San Diego has since been postponed so officials can continue to test and assess the ship’s water.
“The health and well-being of our sailors is a top priority, and the internal drinking water system remains offline until we are sure it can produce the highest quality water for the crew,” Blair said. Since September 17, he added, the Nimitz has been connected to the San Diego water supply, which “continues to provide fresh water to the crew that has been tested for safe use.” .
navy time reported that traces of jet fuel – also known as jet propellant-5 or simply JP-5 – were initially found in the Nimitz’s water system on September 16 while the ship was in the Pacific Ocean. USS Nimitz spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Adam Demeter said Task and objective that the crew “took action immediately”, a response that preceded the September 19 tests.
It was not immediately clear how many people, if any, might have been affected by the contaminated water.
According to a USNI News report, it is possible that drinking water could be contaminated with Jet Thruster 5 because the two mix in a ballast tank system used by the Nimitz. A ship’s ballast tank system helps control its buoyancy and stability.
The USS Nimitz was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and commissioned in 1975. The first ship of her class was the second nuclear-powered aircraft carrier built after the USS Enterprise, a carrier known as the “Big E ” which has been decommissioned and is awaiting scrapping. The 1,092-foot-long Nimitz, which can carry dozens of planes and thousands of people, is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2025.