Councilmember White voted today to open the Hamakuapoko well.
“After much consideration, research and testimony, it is clear to me that the treated water can be used for agricultural purposes and to help meet the water needs of our Upcountry community during droughts and as a backup water source,” he said. “My mother, who is in her 90s, has been drinking treated water on Oahu for years. And I will be drinking the (Hamakuapoko) water when it comes my way.”
Here are additional comments from Councilmember White:
- The well water must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards through the use of granular activated carbon filters and other treatment processes.
- The Hamakuapoko well has been approved for use in the Upcountry Water system for agricultural purposes, for public consumption when a drought is declared and as a backup to the department’s existing water system. The well will not impact Paia, which utilizes the Central Water system.
- The use of the well may allow the Department of Water Supply to utilize more of Pookela well’s capacity, which could alleviate some of the 1,450 people on the Upcountry water meter list, where some have been waiting since 1996.
- Treatment processes are commonly used in many places in the world where even more highly contaminated water is reclaimed as safe drinking water through the use of filtration and purification technologies.
- Part of the costs for filtration at Hamakuapoko would be borne by the manufacturers of some of the contaminants now found in Maui wells.
- The private Kaanapali water system and the County water system in Napili have been using similar treatment technology for many years to purify contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water.
- My family and I will also be utilizing this water if a drought is declared or if it is used as a backup water source.