Olinda water facility remains off line

The Olinda Water Treatment Facility, which the water department had hoped to run at full production this week, remains on reduced service due to equipment problems, the Department of Water Supply said Friday.

As a result, the the system disinfectant for the Upper Kula water system will continue to be chlorine, not chloramines.

In November, the water department had reduced production at Olinda due to near-empty conditions of the Upper Kula reservoirs. Since then, the Piiholo Water Treatment Facility in Lower Kula has been the water source for Upper Kula.

Both facilities filter water from the East Maui rain forest, but the Olinda facility uses microfiltration technology and chloramines for disinfection. The Piiholo facility uses direct filtration and chlorine. Chloramines provide similar protection as chlorine without the risk of creating potentially harmful disinfection byproducts, the water department said.

The water department had planned to bring the Olinda facility back to full capacity this week but encountered equipment problems. The Olinda facility will be off line until further notice, the water department said.

When the Olinda facility is running at full capacity, customers will be notified of the switch to chloramines by mail.

For questions about water quality, call the water department laboratory at 270-7550 or go to www.mauiwater.org.

For health concerns, call the Maui District Office of the state Department of Health at 984-8200.