Water shortage at Kaneohe Veterans Cemetery

Richard Torres
Richard Torres
Ronald Han, Jr., director of the Office of Veterans Services
Ronald Han, Jr., director of the Office of Veterans Services

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Richard Torres visits his fathers grave, he's like scores of others who have to bring their own water, or hunt for a working faucet at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.

A malfunctioning water system has dried the pipes, and there's no water in the sprinkler system in the upper half of the property.

"We use a spigot that's close by to where my father's grave is," Torres said. "When that one's not working it's a problem for us, because now we have to find the nearest one."

"We've had a water issue out there for probably the last decade," said Ronald Han, Jr., director of the Office of Veterans Services.

The last water shortage happened in 2010 when the pump went out. But Han said service has been spotty for years. So the cemetery turned off the water in November to overhaul the system.

"The big fix is to take out these impellers that are 65-feet below the surface, and to repair them. A couple have sheared off," Han said.

Torres is concerned for older people who have to go a long way to fill a bucket or water pot.

"I can either walk or drive to the next spigot. But for them, I think it's a big inconvenience," he said.

"Some are there every single day. We try our very best to reach out to them," Han said. "If there's a way we can assist them with getting some water, some of our grounds maintenance folks have bent over backwards to take them in our carts."

"I know that things break but why does it take so long to fix?" Torres said.

The state pays for maintenance, so it had to review the repair request. On Friday, the State Procurement Office approved $27,000 for the job.

"Our main issue is to get this thing fixed for the long term," Han said.

He said water should be turned back on in a couple of weeks.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.