NORTH KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands of frustrated customers in North Kona will have to conserve water under emergency restrictions for at least a few more weeks.
Restrictions will most likely be in place until at least mid-September, when crews are aiming to have repairs to the broken Honokohau water well completed, Department of Water Supply officials said.
The latest setback comes as crews found Friday the spare motor that was supposed to be installed was faulty and could not be used.
The well first broke on Aug. 13, which prompted community orders to restrict water use to drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes only.
Since buying a new pump and motor set would take two to three months, officials hope to locate another spare pump and send the Honokohau motor to the mainland to be refurbished.
"We're hopeful that motor rebuild can happen within maybe a three-week time frame, so if we can find that pump and the motor can be rebuilt in three weeks, that will probably be the quickest option to get Honokohau back online," DWS manager Keith Okamoto said.
Four other wells have been out of service since January. Crews hope to finish repairing the Hualalai well by October, and the Palani well by November.
Once one more well is back in service, the emergency water restriction will be lifted, but a 25% mandatory reduction will remain in place.