By Wendy Osher
The disinfectant used for the Upper Kula water system will be switched back from chlorine to chloramines on or around Wednesday, January 16, 2013.
The Department of Water Supply has been using chloramines (chlorine and ammonia bonded together) in the Upper Kula System since 1985.
The DWS began a temporary switch to chlorine in November due to the near-empty conditions of the Upper Kula reservoirs.
Water Department officials say the Olinda Water Treatment Facility provides approximately 1.2 million gallons of water to the Upper Kula and Ulupalakua area per day.
The Piiholo Water Treatment Facility in Lower Kula has been the source for Upper Kula while the Olinda Water Treatment Facility was on reduced service, said Maui Department of Water Supply Administrative Officer, Jacky Takakura.
Both facilities filter water from the East Maui rain forest; however, the Olinda facility uses microfiltration technology and chloramines for disinfection; and the Piiholo facility uses direct filtration and chlorine.
Water Department officials say chloramines provide similar protection as chlorine without the risk of creating potentially harmful disinfection byproducts.
Customers with questions about water quality may call the DWS laboratory at 270-7550, or log on to www.mauiwater.org. For health concerns, customers shuld call the Maui District Office of the State Department of Health at 984-8200.