Maui News

Shaft at ‘Ualapu‘e, Moloka‘i Tests Positive for E. Coli

April 12, 2019, 6:21 AM HST
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The Maui County Department of Water Supply reports that it detected E. coli bacteria in the ʻUalapuʻe Shaft in East Molokaʻi. 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. PC: Maui Now graphic.

On Molokaʻi, the Maui Department of Water Supply has detected E. coli bacteria in the ʻUalapuʻe Shaft on Thursday, April 11, in a water sample collected the previous day.

Department officials say it is important for residents to note that this detection was in the shaft itself and not in the water source or distribution system; and water in the system is safe to drink because it has been disinfected.

Water will be sampled again today, with results becoming available 18 hours later on Saturday afternoon.

The information is part of a routine notice sent out by DWS when E. coli is detected in any part of the water system and deemed mandatory by the State Department of Health.

The Maui Department of Water Supply is completing a comprehensive assessment of the water system and its monitoring and operational practices to identify and correct any causes of the contamination.

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E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the 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.

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Customers may call the 24-hour hotline on Maui at 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.

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