Maui County officials are warning residents in Upper Kula and Lahaina not to drink or boil tap water due to possible contamination from the wildfire.
The Maui County Department of Water Supply has issued an unsafe water alert, saying the Upper Kula and Lahaina systems experienced wildfire impacts and may have fire related contamination. As a precautionary measure, the alert is being issued until test data is available.
Due to the destruction of structures and loss of water pressure in some areas, harmful contaminants, including benzene and other volatile organic chemicals, may have entered the water system.
As a precaution, the Hawaii Department of Health, and Maui County Department of Water Supply are advising residents of the affected areas not to use tap water for drinking or cooking until further notice. Failure to follow this advisory could result in illness, officials warned.
Instead of drinking from the tap, residents should use bottled water for all drinking, as well as for the dilution of baby formula and juice, brushing teeth, making ice and food preparations until further notice.
Residents should not try and treat water, either. Boiling, freezing, filtering, adding chlorine or other disinfectants, or letting water stand will not make the water safe, officials said.
In addition, residents are advised to:
>> Limit use of hot water
>> Limit shower time/bathing (use lukewarm water and ventilate area)
>> Use a dishwasher to wash dishes and use air dry setting
>> Wash clothing in cold water
>> Avoid using clothes dryers (dry laundry outdoors)
>> Not take baths
>> Not use hot tubs or swimming pools
>> Not use ice from automatic ice makers
>> Use proper ventilation when using water indoors
The county is providing potable water at the following locations (resident should bring a clean water container, maximum capacity 5 gallons):
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at Crater Road
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at Copp Road
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at Kula Fire Station
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at Rice Park
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at Kula Community Center
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at Keokea
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center
>> 2 water buffalo tanker at the Lahaina Baseyard
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at the Lahaina Civic Center
>> 1 water buffalo tanker at the Lahaina Cannery Mall
For more information, call 808-270-7344.