Maui News

Near-Empty Conditions Persist at Upper Kula Reservoirs

November 2, 2012, 2:12 PM HST
* Updated November 2, 2:17 PM
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Upcountry water storage. File Photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Department of Water Supply is reporting near-empty conditions at the Upper Kula water reservoirs on Maui.

Due to the ongoing drought conditions, the DWS plans to reduce production at the Olinda Water Treatment Facility and utilize water from the lower elevations for Upper Kula residents.

The change will take effect on or around Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  By the following week, DWS officials say Upper Kula customers may notice a change in water quality because the water coming from the lower elevations is disinfected with chlorine instead of chloramines.

All Upcountry businesses and residents are reminded to check for leaks and conserve water until the winter rains can replenish the Upper Kula reservoirs.


“We are still asking customers to reduce water usage by 5%,” said DWS Director, Dave Taylor.  “Daily average usage is about 6.9 MGD; however, the average demand for the past week has been 8.8 MGD. This is high,” said Taylor.


According to DWS monitoring, the following reports were made today:

  • The 30 million gallon Waikamoi Reservoir is empty;
  • The 100 MG Kahakapao Reservoir is at 39.5 MG;
  • At this time, the Kaupakalua Well in Haiku is out of service due to motor replacement;
  • The Hamakuapoko Wells are not ready to provide water to customers.
  • Levels at the Wailoa Ditch are less than 15% of the maximum flow.

The DWS plans to provide water to customers in Upper Kula by utilizing: the Kamole WTF in Haliimaile; the Piiholo WTF in Makawao; and the Po’okela Well in Makawao.

The Olinda facility will only produce enough water to provide for customers in the Olinda area.  Production at the Olinda facility will be reduced from normal production of approximately 1.8 MGD, to approximately 0.1 MGD (100,000 gallons per day).


The Olinda facility utilizes chloramines for disinfection, which does not have a chlorine smell. Olinda residents will continue to receive water disinfected with chloramines. DWS officials say the water meets all federal and state water quality standards.

Current water levels are available at

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