(BIVN) – A mandatory water restriction, and the possibility of a shutoff, remains in effect for North Kona this weekend.
Thursday’s failure of a fifth well in the same area where four other wells are already down sent county officials scrambling to maintain service for customers this week.
Hawaii County Civil Defense issued this message on Saturday:
The Department of Water Supply reported the Keahuolu Well located in North Kona District as out of service and is currently repairing the well. Due to the loss of the pump and to avoid the loss of water pressure and service, the Department of Water Supply has restricted in North Kona water use to health and safety needs of drinking, cooking, and sanitation ONLY. North Kona customers in the area of Keauhou to Keahole (Kona Airport) and Honalo to Makalei MUST cease all other water use including ALL irrigation and washing of vehicles and boats effective immediately.
Conserve water by flushing less often and taking shorter showers.
Civil Defense also recommends residents store a sufficient amount fo water (5 to 10 gallons) for basic household needs such as flushing toilets, hygiene, and consumption in the event of service disruption.
Until further notice, the Department of Water Supply is suspending temporary service accounts and irrigation accounts in North Kona.
Department of Water Supply is monitoring water usage and wasteful water use will be subject to further water restrictions and possible water shutoff.
In order to help meet general customer demand, the Department of Water Supply has established Public Potable Water Distribution Stations at the following locations;
– Ane Keohokalole Highway between the West Hawaii Civic Center and Kealakehe High School.
– Hina Lani between Anini St. and Manu Mele St.
For more information, please visit www.hawaiidws.org. To report restriction violations, please call 961-8060 or 961-8790.
Officials say the problem with the Keahuolū well occurred underground. A contractor is currently on site and the extraction of the pump and motor began Friday. There is a spare pump and motor for this well, which is currently on site, the county says. Repairs are anticipated to be completed within a week and a half.
An updated FAQ was posted to the Water Supply website. The new section of the FAQ reads:
Does this affect me? I’m not sure if I’m located in North Kona. (Added 6/30/17)
North Kona is defined as the areas between the Kona International Airport at Keāhole, south to Keauhou, and from the Mākālei Fire Station, south to Honalo. See map below.
What about the irrigation I use for my agriculture (i.e. coffee, fruit trees, etc)? (Added 6/30/17)
DWS asks that you use as minimal amount of water as possible. Check your irrigation system for any leaks and do not over water.
How can I wash my boating and marine equipment in order to protect it from the saltwater environment? (Added 6/30/17)
Use only the minimum amount of water necessary to flush engines and wash exterior of boats. Always use a nozzle on your hose to prevent wasteful water usage.
Why are the golf course still watering their grass? (Added 6/30/17)
The golf courses, in the affected area, are NOT using DWS potable water for irrigation. They are using non-potable irrigation water from a private source.
Water Supply also has these tips for conserving water:
- Stop lawn sprinkling.
- Stop car and boat washing.
- Stop dust control watering.
- Stop re-filling of swimming pools and decorative water features.
- Wash only full loads of laundry or dishes at a time.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks.
- Serve drinking water only when requested.
- Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator. Use drinking water wisely.
- Do not let water run unnecessarily. Please shut the water off when you wash or brush your teeth. Use a glass to rinse when brushing your teeth.
- When bathing or showering, use water only to wet and rinse off.
- Do not fill up the bathtub.
- Do not flush toilets unnecessarily.