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County Deems Molokai’s Water Safe

Molokai’s water supply meets all federal and state safety standards, according to the annual Water Quality Report released this month by the county Department of Water Supply (DWS).

Tests conducted last year show safe levels of containments and do not raise any concerns, said Cari Sumabat, DWS laboratory supervisor. DWS tested Molokai’s three water systems – Kalae, Kaunakakai and Ualapue.

Contaminants that were found in the water were well below allowable limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For example, the Kalae system’s water contained 0.39 parts per million (ppm) of nitrate, while the EPA’s allowable limit is 10 ppm.

Nitrate, which was also found in Kaunakakai’s water (0.31 ppm), comes from erosion of natural deposits and is safe at such low levels, Sumabat said.

Safe levels of two contaminants, total trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, were also found in the island’s water and are a result of water treatment.

“You expect to find those because we chlorinate the water,” Sumabat said.

The Kalae system showed 3.2 parts per billion (ppb) of total trihalomethanes; the EPA’s allowable limit of total trihalomethanes is 80 ppb. The Kaunakakai system showed 23 ppb, while the Ualapue system showed 11 ppb.

For haloacetic acids, the EPA’s allowable limit is 60 ppb. The Kaunakakai system, the only one that contained haloacetic acids, showed 2.2 ppb.

The DWS has prepared the annual report for customers since 1999. It is required to under the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act.

The 2009 Water Quality Report was mailed to all billing addresses and will be posted on the DWS website, www.mauiwater.org, later this month. For more information, contact the DWS laboratory at (808) 270-7550.

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