In wake of well shutdowns, BWS asks residents to use water wisely to avoid restrictions
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Board of Water Supply is asking residents from Central Oahu to urban Honolulu to use water wisely because several wells have been shut down as a precaution.
The wells were shut down in a bid to protect them against fuel contamination from the Navy’s system.
And that puts a strain on other wells.
The Board of Water Supply previously stopped using its Halawa shaft, which supplies about 20% of the drinking water to the urban core. On Wednesday night, agency also shut down the Aiea and Halawa wells, which together supply about 1.85 million gallons of water per day to the public.
In a news conference, BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau said there is no need for mandatory restrictions right now. But, he stressed, that could change if there’s a big water main break or pump failure. And this coming summer, when usage is up, there might also be a need for restrictions.
“We may have to look at more stringent measures that are not voluntary,” he said.
Lau also urged residents to prepare for the situation to stick around for a lengthy period of time.
He added, “We will need everybody’s kokua to get through this. It’s not going to be over for a while, especially if it’s major groundwater contamination.
“Solutions to this problem that, unfortunately we are in, are not going to be short-term solutions.”
On Wednesday night, the state Health Department reported that a second Navy water well tested positive for high levels of fuel contamination.
The Navy is disputing the state’s findings.
The Board of Water Supply questioned the Navy’s position, however. “If you’re saying it’s not coming out of the aquifer, then where it is coming from?” Lau said.
This story will be updated.
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