Navy officials are investigating how traces of jet fuel got into the potable water system aboard the aircraft carrier Nimitz last week, cutting off the crew’s drinking water for three days.

On Friday, as the carrier was underway in the Pacific Ocean, fuel was discovered in the water and the system was secured, with sailors receiving bottled water, according to Nimitz spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Adam Demeter.

Potable water was fully restored to the ship on Monday following a “thorough flush and inspection” of the water system aboard the 47-year-old carrier.

“The water onboard the ship is safe for use and the health and wellbeing of all of our Sailors is a top priority,” Demeter said in an email.

While there have been some crew complaints about the water situation aboard Nimitz, Demeter said “there have been no confirmed cases of illness related to contaminated water aboard the ship.”

“The Nimitz medical department continues to monitor our Sailors for any potential symptoms,” he said.

He did not say how the fuel got into the water supply but added that Nimitz is “undergoing a full inspection of its potable water system to ensure the highest quality water is provided to the crew.”

After an historically long deployment that ended in February 2021, Nimitz entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for maintenance and was underway in the Pacific when the water issues occurred.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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