Repairs set to shutter water treatment plant

The Kamole Water Treatment Plant that primarily serves Makawao, Pukalani and Haliimaile will be shut down for about two weeks beginning Sunday afternoon while contractors install new, more energy-efficient motors and one additional pump.

The Department of Water Supply said there should be no interruption in water service to customers during the work period, which is expected to last until March 15. During this time, customers in Lower Kula, Makawao, Pukalani and Haliimaile are asked to conserve water.

The shutdown comes at a good time with reservoirs at nearly full capacity due to recent rains, said Jacky Takakura, water department spokeswoman, on Friday. The Piiholo plant will provide water for Lower Kula and Makawao water systems. The Pookela well will be used for the Makawao area as needed. The Olinda plant will provide water for Upper Kula.

The Kamole plant primarily serves Makawao, Pukalani and Haliimaile but can serve Lower and Upper Kula with additional pumping, if needed.

The Kamole plant filters water from the Wailoa Ditch, which gathers water from the East Maui watershed, with an annual pumping average of 2.4 million gallons a day in 2012, said Takakura.

The pump motors being replaced were installed in 1976. There currently are one 700-horsepower pump, one 600-horsepower pump and two 400-horsepower pumps.

They will be replaced with the same power motors – with the addition of a fifth 700-horsepower motor and pump, she said.

The new pumps are more energy efficient by about 5 percent, Takakura said. The actual cost savings will depend on needed pumping for water needs.

In addition to the pumps, related piping, valves and equipment used to pump water from the Haliimaile facility will be replaced, a news release about the project said.

The cost of the project is $2.76 million – $1 million from an Environmental Protection Agency grant awarded to the Department of Water Supply and a $2 million loan from the state Health Department’s Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund.

Customers are asked to call the Department of Water Supply’s 24-hour service line at 270-7633 only if a water problem occurs.

* Lee Imada can be reached at