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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 23, 2010

Changes on tap for Kula water systems

The Maui News

KULA, Maui - In February and March, consumers on the county's Upper and Lower Kula water systems will be asked to conserve water while a 2-million-gallon storage tank at Omaopio is upgraded.

As part of that project, beginning Feb. 1, the county Department of Water Supply will switch the distribution system disinfectant at the Olinda Water Treatment Facility from chloramines to chlorine.

The disinfectant switch is in preparation for the $980,000 Omaopio tank roof replacement project in Kula. The disinfectant change affects only the Upper Kula water system. Chlorine is the same disinfectant used in the Lower Kula and Makawao water systems.

Upper Kula customers may notice a change in water quality because chlorine has a slight taste and smell.

"This is normal and poses no health risk," the department said in an announcement. "The water meets all federal and state water quality standards."

Water officials note that, for kidney dialysis patients, the processes already in place to remove chloramines in the water will remove chlorine. Officials said patients need to make no changes or adjustments in their dialysis treatments.

There's also no need for fish tank owners to make changes because tank filters also remove chlorine. For tanks without filters, the department recommends allowing fresh water to sit for a few hours to allow chlorine to dissipate.

By the end of March, the department will return to using chloramines for disinfectant.

Contractor M&M Tanks Inc. will be replacing the roof of the Omaopio tank. The project involves removing the existing roof, modifying the tank and installing a geodesic aluminum dome roof on the 2-million-gallon tank. The new roof will be similar to dome roofs installed recently on water tanks in Wailuku and Kahului.

The project should be completed by the end of March.