Emergency source of water in Hana still in use; OK to drink

Officials continue to follow through with approval process for well put into service early

The Maui News

The Department of Water Supply issued a state Department of Health-required notice that it is continuing to use the new Wakiu Well C on an emergency basis, following pump problems in the old well in December that led to low water pressure in parts of East Maui.

In issuing the notice Tuesday, the department assured customers that there is no cause for alarm, that the water from the new source continues to be safe to drink. The department is required to post the notice every 30 days because the well is being used as an emergency water source. Water samples are taken at least twice a month.

Wakiu Well C already was developed and scheduled to open, pending completion of the Health Department’s New Source approval process. However, due to pumping issues and low pressure with the current well in the area, Wakiu Well C was put into use sooner than expected as an emergency source, said department spokeswoman Jan Inouye-Ogata.

The Health Department finished reviewing the well’s engineering report and determined that the submitted water quality meets state and federal drinking water regulations and is safe to drink, she said. The report currently is undergoing a review by agencies that handle hydrological and geological factors.

Full approval for the use of the well is anticipated in late February.

A problem with the pump in the old well led to water pressure problems at Hana High & Elementary and Hana Medical Center and the Wainapanapa, Uakea Road and Wakiu areas in December.

Inouye-Ogata said that the pump for the old well is expected to be replaced in mid-March with the installation taking about two weeks.

For questions about water quality, call the Department of Water Supply Laboratory at 270-7550 and leave a message with the questions and callback information. The laboratory hours are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.