Upper Kula system to use chloramines

The Upper Kula water system will be switching back to using chloramines as its system disinfectant next week, the Department of Water Supply said Friday.

On or about Wednesday, the water department will switch from chlorine back to chloramines, a chlorine and ammonia-bonded substance, which has been used in the Upper Kula water system since 1985.

Chloramines provide similar protection as chlorine but without the risk of creating potentially harmful disinfection byproducts.

The water department began a temporary switch to chlorine in November due to the near-empty conditions of the Upper Kula reservoirs. The switch was caused by the changing of the source of water for those customers from the Olinda treatment to the Piiholo treatment facility, which uses chlorine and direct filtration.

The switch back to the Olinda facility, which uses microfiltration technology and chloramines, had been planned in January, but equipment problems forced a delay.

Both facilities filter water from the East Maui rain forest. The Olinda facility provides about 1.2 million gallons of water to the Upper Kula and Ulupalakua area per day.

Customers with questions about water quality may call the water department laboratory at 270-7550 or go online to