Boil Water Notice issued for residents of Kalaʻe, Molokaʻi
The Department of Water Supply is advising customers in the Kalaʻe system on Molokaʻi to boil water before consumption due to possible E. coli contamination.
Customers should boil drinking water for one minute and let it cool before consuming, or use bottled water. Boiling water, as instructed, will kill bacteria and other organisms that may be present in the water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice, according to a county advisory.
The source of water for Kalaʻe is the DHHL wells pumped into their storage tank. The Department of Water Supply collected samples today to test for coliform bacteria, to determine the source of the contamination. Once samples show no contamination, a press release will be issued to lift the boil water advisory.
Fecal coliforms and 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, and those with severely compromised immune systems.
Bacterial contamination can result from run-off entering a drinking water source, such as during heavy rain or from a break in the distribution system, such as a waterline, or a failure in the water treatment process.
Call the 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.