Upper Kula water supply route changed

Reacting to the drought conditions Upcountry, the Department of Water Supply announced Thursday that it has changed its supply route for Upper Kula customers as water levels drop in all reservoirs Upcountry.

Olinda Water Treatment Facility production was reduced from 1.7 million gallons a day to 100,000 gallons a day, which will be enough to supply the needs of the Olinda area. The production at the facility, which usually supplies water for the Upper Kula area as well, has been reduced because of the near-empty condition of Upper Kula reservoirs, the water department said.

As of Thursday, the department reported that the 30-million-gallon Waikamoi reservoirs were empty, the 100-million-gallon Kahakapao reservoirs were at 25.8 million gallons and the 50-million-gallon Piiholo reservoir was at 32.6 million gallons.

In addition, the Wailoa Ditch that gathers water from the East Maui watershed was running at 24.8 mgd Thursday, 12 percent of the maximum of nearly 200 mgd.

The Upper Kula system will be supplied by the Kamole Water Treatment Facility in Haliimaile, the Piilholo Water Treatment Facility in Makawao and the Po’okela Well in Makawao.

By next week, Upper Kula customers may notice a change in water quality because the water coming from the lower elevations will be disinfected with chlorine, the water department said. The Olinda facility uses chloramines for disinfection, which does not have a chlorine smell.

The water meets all federal and state water quality standards, the water department said.

The water department reminds Upcountry businesses and residents that it has issued a voluntary 10 percent water cutback until winter rains can replenish the Upper Kula reservoirs. Normal water use is 6.9 mgd, but Thursday’s demand was 9.2 mgd.

Customers are asked to check for leaks.

Current water levels are available at www.mauiwater.org.