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Ualapue Shaft Tested Positive for E. Coli

County of Maui News Release

The Maui Department of Water Supply detected E. coli bacteria in the Ualapue Shaft on Molokai on April 7, in a water sample collected the previous day. E. coli testing takes 18 hours to complete. It is important for residents to note that this detection was in the shaft itself and not in the water source.

A resampling of water from the Ualapue Shaft the following day, April 8, was confirmed to meet federal Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health water quality standards. It did not contain any traces of E. coli contamination.

The water in the Ualapue system remains safe to drink, because it has been disinfected, and no E. coli bacteria were found in the distribution system.

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

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

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.

Please call the 24-hour hotline 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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