Upper Kula water now disinfected with chlorine

The Department of Water Supply switched its water distribution disinfectant from chloramines to chlorine to remove the last traces of all coliform bacteria and E. coli from Upper Kula water system. The change went into effect on Monday, January 10, 2022.

It can take up to seven days for the chlorine to reach the remotest parts of the water system. Chlorine is already used as a disinfectant in the Lower Kula and Makawao water systems. Inland customers in Olinda, Lower Kula and Makawao are not affected.

“The division’s ongoing efforts to rid the Upper Kula System of traces of E. coli included flushing the system, cleaning plumbing and water sampling sites, cleaning / replacing pressure reducing valves, standpipes and hydrants, and collecting water samples for the Testing. Although progress has been made, E. coli remains in the system, ”district officials said in a press release.

Advice on boiling water continues for specific areas:

The Department of Water Supply also recommends boiling tap water as a precautionary measure for residents of Lepelepe Place, Malamahale Place, Malia Uli Place, Waipoli Road, Naʻalae Road, Kawehi Place, Polipoli Road and Lower Kula Road between Naʻalae and Waipoli Streets.

Affected residents are advised to use bottled water or bring drinking water to a boil and boil for a minute. Let it cool down before using. For drinking, making ice cream, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food, boiled or bottled water should be used until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms that may be in the water.

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Drinking water tankers remain in the following areas: Fong Store, Ching Store, ʻUlupalakua Ranch Office, Kula Community Center, Rice Park, and Copp Road on Kula Highway.

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The recommendation to boil water will continue until repeated daily water sample tests show that the tap water meets public health standards. Despite the ongoing maintenance and flushing of the water pipe since mid-December 2021, laboratory test results continue to show traces of E. coli bacteria in the affected areas.

How chlorine could affect customers

The Ministry of Water is also asking affected residents to support the ongoing disinfection efforts by flushing their faucets, faucet aerators, water heater tanks and all water filters in and around their homes during the week of January 17-23, 2022. This should help move chlorinated water through household appliances. The department expects to use chlorine at least until January 2022 and will provide updates as soon as they become available.

When the switch to chlorine is complete, customers may notice a taste and smell of chlorine in the water. That is normal. Boiling water speeds up chlorine dissipation and should reduce any chlorine smell or taste.

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For kidney dialysis patients: The procedures already in place to remove chloramines from water will remove chlorine. If you have been advised to boil your water, please continue to do so.

For aquarium owners: If you have a filter that removes chloramines no modification or adjustment is required. For aquariums without a filter, you may want to let the water sit for a few hours before adding it to your aquarium to allow the chlorine to drain away. If you have been advised to boil your water, please continue to do so.

More information

The department has posted maps of boiling water areas, answers to frequently asked questions, and other updates on their website at https://www.mauicounty.gov/126/Department-of-Water-Supply.

Questions about water quality can be directed to the DWS laboratory at 808-270-7550 or at www.mauicounty.gov/water. Adam Mundy can also be reached during regular working hours at 808-270-8046; and the 24-hour water supply line is also available at 808-270-7633 for problems with the water supply.

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