Water rate increases eyed as costs of responding to Red Hill crisis mount

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and Board of Water Supply Chief Engineer Ernie Lau held their annual "Imagine a Day Without Water" proclamation ceremony.
Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 2:14 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 19, 2023 at 2:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Board of Water Supply is consider a 10% rate increase to help cover the mounting costs of responding to the Red Hill tainted water crisis that contaminated drinking water in the Navy system, sickened thousands and threatened the public system.

De-fueling operations of Red Hill started this week and in three days, the military says nearly 10 million gallons fuel have been drained. But given the ongoing crisis, BWS Chief Engineer Ernie Lau says the board is exploring rate increases for customers.

“When we do our presentations, we do mention Red Hill and the cost to address that,” he said.

“What we are doing right now is installilng monitor wells, installing exploratory wells because we still have three wells shut down and we’re looking to replace those sources just in case.”

The board could make a final decision on the rate hikes next month.

If approved, the rate increase would go into effect in February.