Volcanic ash may contaminate the water supply for families with - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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Volcanic ash may contaminate the water supply for families with catchment systems

Plume from Halema'uma'u seen for miles. (Image: Janice Wei) Plume from Halema'uma'u seen for miles. (Image: Janice Wei)
BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The message from Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency to Big Island residents: check your water catchment systems.

They say the ongoing eruption could have polluted water tanks with acid rain and volcanic ash.

"Residential rainwater catchments are not regulated as public drinking water supplies and there is no government agency oversight of these systems in Hawaii," officials said in a news release. "Homeowners and users are responsible for their maintenance, proper usage and for monitoring their own water quality."

Officials provided these tips to residents with catchment systems: 

•Temporarily disconnect the gutters feeding into the tank.
•Do not reconnect the system until the ash and debris are washed off of the roof and out of the gutters.
•Place a free-standing or self-supporting non-porous canopy to cover mesh tank covers so that less debris will get in.
•Obtain water from the County of Hawaii Department of Water Supply’s emergency spigots.

Volcanic ash may contain various metals and other toxic material.

This story may be updated.

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