SOUTH KONA, Hawaii: As headaches grow in North Kona over the sudden failure of the Queen Liliuokalani Trust Well above Mamalahoa Highway on Monday, there has hardly been any time to celebrate the repair of the Ke’ei Well D, and the lifting of water use restrictions for South Kona.
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The fix went quicker than some initial reports suggested. In April, (right) the estimated 9 to 10 months of repair time got former councilman Curtis Tyler heated up enough to speak out during a Kona Town Meeting.
The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply detailed how it was able to expedite the emergency well repair, in this recent information sheet, dated May 14th:
At this time, Ke‘ei Well D is back on line and the system is running normal. Ke‘ei Wells “A” and “C” are no longer running. The conservation notice for South Kona Water system is cancelled and no longer in effect. In addition, the “Important Information About Your Drinking Water for Consumers on Sodium-Restricted Diets” is rescinded now that Ke‘ei Well D is back on-line. For your information, Ke‘ei Well D historically has a sodium concentration of less than 15 mg/L and a chloride concentration of less than 9 mg/L.
Overview of the Repair
This $165,000.00 project consists of repairs to Ke‘ei Well D pump/motor system. Located on the mauka side of Hawaii Belt Highway in South Kona, Ke‘ei Well D went down on March 29, 2012. The repair job was immediately put out for emergency bid. Bids were opened Tuesday, April 3, 2012, and the Department of Water Supply then executed a contract with the winning pump contractor to conduct the needed repairs. The contractor mobilized to the site and pulled the motor by April 6, 2012. Upon assessment of the motor, the contractor determined a tear in the motor flat cable adaptor caused the motor to short. Although a mainland manufacturer was previously working to refurbish an existing motor core, the contractor located a spare motor on Oahu that meets the specifications of Ke‘ei Well D. The contractor was able to use the spare motor, pump, check valve, column pipe and stainless steel air line to complete the repair. It is important to note that in emergency repair situations, the repair status can rapidly change as new developments are made to expedite the work.
The South Kona Water System
The communities that are served by South Kona water system include Captain Cook, Keokea, Kealia, Ho‘okena, Nāpo‘opo‘o, and Hōnaunau City of Refuge. The service area ranges from Kealakekua at the north to the Ho‘okena School in the south. There are five supply sources; four Ke‘ei Wells and a well at Haleki‘i. When the system is operating normally, Ke‘ei Well D and Haleki‘i are the main water source in the South Kona Water System. This system connects to the North Kona water system along Mamalahoa Highway. There is a normally closed valve that can be opened if the Haleki‘i Well is out of service or not working.
About the Water Quality
Water from Ke‘ei Wells “A”, “C”, and “D” meet all National Primary Drinking Water Standards, and is therefore safe to drink. For your information, Ke‘ei Well D historically has a sodium concentration of less than 15 mg/L and a chloride concentration of less than 9 mg/L. For comparison purposes, a 12-ounce can of regular soda (non-diet) has over 100 mg/L of sodium. There are no State or Federal maximum levels for sodium in drinking water. For most individuals, drinking water supplies only a small percentage of their daily sodium intake and is therefore not a concern. For persons on sodium-restricted diets however, drinking water could supply a significant percentage of their daily sodium intake. Those that are undergoing treatment for sodiumsensitive hypertension (high blood pressure) are encouraged to consult their health care provider regarding the sodium levels in the drinking water.
For more information, please contact:
Kanani Aton, Public Information and Education Specialist
(808) 961-8050 ext. 204, firstname.lastname@example.org