Maui News

Upper Kula Water Change Due To Drought

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By Wendy Osher

File Photo Upcountry reservoir. By Wendy Osher.

The County of Maui Department of Water Supply will begin reducing production at the Olinda Water Treatment Facility (WTF) tomorrow due to near empty conditions at the Upper Kula reservoirs.

In addition, the Department would like to remind all Upcountry businesses and residents to check for leaks and use water wisely until the winter rains can replenish the Upper Kula reservoirs.

“We are still asking customers to reduce water usage by 5%. Daily average usage for 2011 is 6.9 MGD; however, the average demand for the past two weeks has been 8.7 MGD. This is uncharacteristically high and we ask the public for their help,” said Director of Water Supply Dave Taylor.


Normal production at Olinda is approximately 1.8 million gallons of water per day (MGD), but will be reduced to approximately 0.1 MGD.  The Olinda facility, county authorities say, will only produce enough water to provide for customers in the Olinda area.

In the interim, customers in Upper Kula will get their water from the Kamole WTF in Haliimaile, the Piiholo WTF in Makawao, and the Po’okela Well in Makawao.

Because of the change, Upper Kula customers may notice a change in water quality by the end of the week, because the water coming from the lower elevations is disinfected with chlorine, said Jacky Takakura, Administrative Officer with the Maui Department of Water Supply.  The Olinda facility utilizes chloramines for disinfection, which does not have a chlorine smell.


Olinda residents will continue to receive water disinfected with chloramines. The water, county officials say, meets all federal and state water quality standards.

According to county records, the 30 MG Waikamoi Reservoir is empty and the 100 MG Kahakapao Reservoir is at 36.9 MG.


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