By Melissa Kelsey
Pumps at both the Kualapu`u Well and the state Department of Hawaiian Homelands well are broken, severely affecting residents and businesses in Kaunakakai and Kalae, according to Maui County officials. Earlier today, Maui County Community Relations and Communications Director Mahina Martin said repairs could take up to a week.
County officials said residents of Kaunakakai and Kalae should make every effort to conserve as much water as possible, preserving system water for essential health, safety and hygiene purposes.
At a community meeting at Kaunakakai Park earlier today, Martin urged Molokai residents to hold off on washing cars, watering lawns, doing laundry and any other nonessential water uses. Whenever possible, residents should visit family and friends in Ho`olehua, Maunaloa or the east end for showers. She also urged the community to alert their friends and neighbors to the situation.
“If you really consciously cut back, we will be okay. If we do not cut back to a 50 percent level, we could have an emergency in the next few days,” said one county spokesperson at the meeting.
The county of Maui is utilizing two water tankers, one for potable drinking water and one for non-potable water, to transport extra water to town from unaffected areas of the island. The tankers are located at Kaunakakai Park. Martin urged community members to use this water whenever possible instead of faucet water. She said in doing so, as much system water as possible can be preserved for the hospital and emergency fires.
Community members should bring two separate coolers or other containers to fill up on both potable drinking water and non-potable water.
County officials said updates would be available at a bulletin board at the site of the water tankers and on the county website.