Upper Kula Disinfection Returns to Chloramines

December 3, 2013, 7:15 AM HST · Updated December 3, 7:37 AM
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Upcountry water storage. File Photo.

Upcountry water storage. File Photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Maui Department of Water Supply will switch the disinfectant in the Upper Kula water system from chlorine, back to chloramines, on or around Tuesday, Dec. 3, department officials announced.

The department implemented a temporary switch to chlorine in September due to near-empty conditions reported in the Upper Kula reservoirs at the time.

Because of the low-water conditions, the Olinda Water facility was placed on reduced service, and customers in Upper Kula were temporarily using water from the Piʻiholo Water Treatment Facility in Lower Kula as a source.

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Jacky Takakura, administrative officer for the Maui Department of Water Supply noted that both facilities filter water from the East Maui rainforest; however, the Olinda facility uses microfiltration technology and chloramines for disinfection, and the Piʻiholo facility uses direct filtration and chlorine.

According to Takakura, chloramines provide similar protection as chlorine without the risk of creating potentially harmful disinfection byproducts. Chloramines, which is chlorine and ammonia bonded together, have been used in the Upper Kula water system since 1985.

Maui water officials say the Olinda Water Treatment Facility provides approximately 1.2 million gallons of water to the Upper Kula and ʻUlupalakua area per day.

Customers with questions about water quality can find out more by calling the DWS laboratory at (808) 270-7550, or log on to www.mauiwater.org.

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