Kahului residents without water due to waterline break

A Maui County waterline broke early Thursday, leaving an area of Kahului without water for up to six hours, including the University of Hawaii Maui College, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and neighboring residents.

A break of a 12-inch transmission line near the Meadow Gold Dairies Building in Kahului was reported around 6:30 a.m., county water officials said. The college, the MACC, Keopuolani Park and customers on Wakea Avenue from Kea Street to Kaahumanu Avenue were affected.

The cause of the break had not been identified Thursday afternoon, “but it is an old water system,” said water department spokeswoman Jacky Takakura.

Water service was restored to Keopuolani Park and the MACC about 9:30 a.m., she said. Water was restored to all customers by 1 p.m.

Water to much of the college campus halted about 7:45 a.m., according to college spokeswoman Nicole Beattie. Affected buildings included the Pa’ina Food Court, Pilina, the library, Ka’a’ike, Ka Lama, hales, faculty hales, Kupa’a, ‘Ike Le’a, Noi’i, Head Start, nursing portables, Ho’oulu, Heona and operations and maintenance buildings.

No classes were canceled because restroom facilities with running water were available in nearby buildings, Beattie said. Water service was restored by 11 a.m., she said.

Two stations in the Pa’ina Food Court were closed for lunch service – Farm to Table and World Plate. The ramen bar, sushi station, Campus Cafe, salad bar, Sugar Cubed Cafe and Cakery remained open.

“Our faculty and students handled this real-life challenge in a way that mirrored industry standards,” said Chris Speere, Maui Culinary Academy external program coordinator. “We were able to keep the doors open and serve food that had been prepared before the water outage, and we used it as a ‘learning moment’ for our students, incorporating the event into today’s curriculum.”

Last month, a 12-inch main line broke at the intersection of Kaahumanu and Puunene avenues in Kahului. Maui Mall, the Maui Clinic and Bank of Hawaii were without water for about four hours.

* Eileen Chao can be reached at