Water Source in ‘Ualapu‘e, Moloka‘i Tests Positive for E. Coli
The Maui County Department of Water Supply reports that it detected E. coli bacteria in the ʻUalapuʻe Shaft in East Molokaʻi on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
Department officials say water from the ʻUalapuʻe system is safe to drink as the water has been disinfected and no E. coli bacteria have been found in the distribution system.
Water in the shaft will be sampled again today with another update available on Friday. E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in the waste can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. It can pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
E. coli can also exist in tropical, subtropical, and temperate soils and may persist in soil over multiple years.
The department is completing an assessment and monitoring practices to identify and correct any causes of the contamination.
According to department officials, the bacteria was detected on Wednesday, in a water sample that was collected the previous day. Officials note that testing takes 18 hours to complete.
The public can call the department’s 24-hour hotline at (808) 270-7633 if a water-related problem occurs or if there are any questions.
General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available by calling the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.