The Maui County Department of Water Supply (DWS) has switched the distribution system disinfectant for the Upper Kula water system from chlorine back to chloramines, effective Wednesday, Feb. 13. Chloramines (chlorine and ammonia bonded together) have been used in the Upper Kula water system since 1985. The Olinda Water Treatment Facility (WTF) provides approximately 1.2 million gallons of water to the Upper Kula and 'Ulupalakua area per day.
The DWS began a temporary switch to chlorine in November 2012 due to the near-empty conditions of the Upper Kula reservoirs. The DWS planned to resume production at the Olinda facility in January; however, due to unanticipated equipment problems the Olinda WTF was offline. The Pi'iholo WTF in Lower Kula has been the source for Upper Kula while the Olinda WTF was on reduced service. Both facilities filter water from the East Maui rain forest; however, the Olinda facility uses microfiltration technology and chloramines for disinfection, and the Piiholo facility uses direct filtration and chlorine.
Chloramines provide similar protection as chlorine without the risk of creating potentially harmful disinfection byproducts. Customers with questions about water quality may call the DWS laboratory at 270-7550 or to www.mauiwater.org.