Disinfection of the water treatment to be changed to Upper Kula in an attempt to eliminate E. coli


The Maui County Water Supply Department will be changing its water supply disinfectant from chloramines to chlorine effective January 10 in an effort to remove traces of E. coli from the Upper Kula water supply system.

Hinterland customers in Olinda, Lower Kula and Makawao are not affected. Chlorine is already used as a disinfectant in the water networks of Lower Kula and Makawao.

So far, the department’s efforts to rid the Upper Kula system of traces of E. coli focused on flushing the system, cleaning water lines and sampling sites, cleaning pressure reducing valves, and taking water samples for testing. Although these measures resulted in improvements, traces of E. coli remain in the Upper Kula system, according to an update to a press release released today.

Today, the Ministry of Water Supply continues to recommend boiling tap water as a precaution for residents of Lepelepe Place, Mālamahale Place, Malia Uli Place, Waipoli Road, Naʻalae Road, Kawehi Place, Polipoli Road and Lower Kula Road between Naʻalae and Waipoli Roads.

Precautions to take when boiling water:

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

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Drinking 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.

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The boil water advisory will continue until repeated daily analyzes of water samples show that the tap water meets public health standards. Despite continued maintenance and flushing of water lines since mid-December 2021, lab test results continue to show traces of E. coli bacteria in affected areas.

The water department is also asking affected residents to help with ongoing disinfection efforts by flushing their water fixtures, cleaning faucet aerators, water heater tanks, and water filters in and around their homes. house during the week of January 17-23, 2022. This should help move chlorinated water around home appliances. The ministry plans to use chlorine at least until January 2022 and will provide updates as they become available.

When the switch to chlorine is complete, customers may notice a taste and odor of chlorine in the water. It’s normal. Boiling water will speed up the dissipation of chlorine and should reduce any smell or taste of chlorine.

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

For aquarium owners: If you have a filter that removes chloramines, no changes or adjustments are necessary. For aquariums without filters, you can let the water sit for a few hours before adding it to your aquarium so that the chlorine can dissipate. If you have been advised to boil your water, continue to do so.

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

If you have questions about the quality of your water, please call the DWS Laboratory at 808-270-7550 or go to www.mauicounty.gov/water. The 24 hour service line for water supply is also available at 808-270-7633 for water service issues.


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