Expect Future Oahu Watermain Breaks

Su Shin
Su Shin

HONOLULU (KHNL)  - You hear about water main breaks on Oahu almost every day. There is not only a startling number happening in Oahu's water system but there's no end in sight to these pesky pipe breaks.

From gushing gashes, to leaky pipes, Oahu is awash in water main breaks.

"We average about a break a day" says Su Shin, with the Board of Water Supply.

Seeing Board of Water Supply crews working along the roads is not a new sight.

Oahu has averaged between three hundred and fifty to four hundred breaks a year, every year for the past five years. "Water main breaks are unfortunately a part of the water business." adds Shin.

And don't expect to see them cleared up anytime in the future. While to most of us, it makes sense to just replace old or aging pipes "before" they break, the Board of Water Supply says it doesn't make dollars and cents. "We invest millions every year for those assets so we can deliver water to customers, but if we are prematurely replacing assets then we are not maximizes those assets." says Shin.

The bottom line is we pay, in time and inconvenience with water main breaks, so we don't have to pay more for our water supply.

The Board of Water Supply is working to reduce the number of breaks, by using new technology to detect leaks before pipes crack. They also use stronger, but costlier ones that prevent corrosion. But even that is not enough to keep repair trucks from being seen on our streets. "We have proactive programs in place to catch leaks before they become breaks. We have all of these programs out there but you are always going to have to some level of main breaks, unfortunately." states Shin.