The Maui County Department of Water Supply reports today (Jan. 6) that a boil water advisory remains in effect for areas of Kula in Upcountry Maui.
The department recommends boiling tap water as a precaution for residents of Lepelepe Place, Malamahale Place, Malia Uli Place, Waipoli Road, Naalae Road, Kawehi Place, Polipoli Road and Lower Kula Road between Naalae and Waipoli roads.
Affected residents are advised to use bottled water or bring water for consumption to a boil and let it boil for a minute. Let it cool before using. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms possibly in the water.
Potable water tankers remain in the following areas: Fong Store, Ching Store, Ulupalakua Ranch Office, Kula Community Center, Rice Park and Copp Road at Kula Highway.
The boil water advisory will continue until repeated daily water sample testing shows that tap water meets public health standards. Despite ongoing waterline maintenance and flushing since mid-December of 2021, lab test results continue to show trace amounts of E. coli bacteria in affected areas.
The Water Department is also asking affected residents to assist ongoing disinfection efforts by flushing their water fixtures, cleaning faucet aerators, water heater tanks and any water filters in and around their homes during the week of January 17 – 23, 2022. This should help move chlorinated water through household fixtures.
Beginning Jan. 10, the department will switch its water distribution disinfectant from chloramines to chlorine to attempt to clear away the last trace amounts of E. coli from the Upper Kula water system.
The change will not affect customers living in Olinda, Lower Kula or Makawao. Chlorine is already used as a disinfectant in the Lower Kula and Makawao water systems. The department anticipates using chlorine at least through January, 2022, and will provide updates as soon as they are available.
The department has posted maps of boil water areas and answers to frequently asked questions on its website at https://www.mauicounty.gov/126/Department-of-Water-Supply
The boil water advisory will not be completely lifted until daily water sample testing shows that tap water meets public health standards.
Affected residents are advised to use bottled water or bring water for consumption to a boil and let it boil for a minute. Let it cool before using. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation and showering until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms possibly in water.
The Department of Water Supply reminds Upcountry residents and businesses that if they did not lose water service during the Dec. 5-6 storm, then their water has not been affected. If they lost water service and they reside on or near areas where E. coli/total coliform are present, then they should continue to boil water as a precaution.
As the process of flushing waterlines and taking water samples for testing continues, it is important to remember that it takes about 24 hours to get water sample test results.
The department will update customers daily via the department’s website at https://www.mauicounty.gov/126/Department-of-Water-Supply as the results of water sample testing are available. The department will inform customers when tests show no bacteria and boiling is no longer needed.
For more information, please contact Adam Mundy at (808) 270-8046. The department’s 24-hour service line is also available at (808) 270-7633 for water service problems. If you have any questions about water quality, please call the DWS Laboratory at (808) 270-7550.
General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the US EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1(800) 426-4791. For more information on the EPA and Safe Drinking Water Act, visit epa.gov/sdwa.