Due to continued dry weather conditions and low flows into the water reservoirs, Upcountry residents are urged to voluntarily cut back water usage by 10%. The affected area includes Haiku, Makawao, Olinda, Haliimaile, Pukalani, Omaopio/Pulehu, Kula, Keokea/Waiohuli, Ulupalakua, and Kanaio. Ironically, though, Ulupalakua and surrounding areas received nearly an inch of rain Thursday.
As a precautionary measure, the Department of Water Supply will shut down the Olinda Water Treatment Facility (WTF) on Monday, September 22, 2014. As of this morning, the 30 million gallon (MG) Waikamoi Reservoir is empty and the 100 MG Kahakapao Reservoir is at 32.8 MG. In addition, levels at the Wailoa Ditch, which is the source for the Kamole WTF, are less than 15% of the maximum flow for the past week.
The Kamole WTF in Haliimaile, the Piiholo WTF in Makawao, and the Pookela Well in Makawao will provide water for customers in Upper Kula, instead of the Olinda Facility. By Wednesday, Upper Kula customers may notice a change in taste or smell because the water coming from the lower elevations is disinfected with chlorine. The Olinda facility utilizes chloramines for disinfection, which does not have a chlorine smell. The water meets all federal and state water quality standards.
While the facility is out of service, the DWS will be cleaning and relining the 8.5-million gallon basin at the Olinda site. The project is part of the fiscal year 2015 capital improvement program.
In addition, the Department would like to remind all Upcountry businesses and residents to check for leaks and conserve water until the winter rains can replenish the Upper Kula reservoirs. “We are requesting customers to reduce water usage by 10% for the next two to three months until the rains restore water levels in the reservoirs. Normally, daily average usage is about 6.9 MGD; however, the average demand for the past week has been 8.3 MGD. This is high,” said Director of Water Supply Dave Taylor. Current water levels are available at www.mauiwater.org.