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Water Department

Posted on: September 7, 2023

Continued Unsafe Water Advisory for Upper Kula September 7, 2023

Notice: Continued Unsafe Water Advisory Upper Kula

September 07, 2023

The process to amend the Unsafe Water Advisory (UWA) has been developed in cooperation with the Hawaii Department of Health and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Two rounds of screening have been completed with no test results exceeding health standards. The final step in amending an UWA is to complete a round of clearance sampling with additional constituents tested. In the last round of testing, lead was detected above health limits. The lead was detected only in samples taken from inside the fire hydrants in the immediate vicinity of the fire hydrant line, not from the fire. The pressure in the water distribution system would preclude the lead from moving from the hydrant to the water distribution system.

However, in an abundance of caution, the DWS is flushing the hydrants and conducting an additional round of sampling to verify that the distribution system is safe. The action taken is based on the test results of the clearance round of sampling. This is exactly why several rounds of testing are conducted. Upon receipt of the test results, additional information will be provided regarding the UWA.

A map that shows the UWA with links to all laboratory results by location is posted at

The advisory was issued on August 11, 2023, as a precautionary measure due to the unknown impacts of the wildfires in the area. Those in the UWA area should follow the instructions outlined below. The water system outside of the UWA has not been impacted by the fires.


Failure to follow this advisory could result in illness.

Due to the Upper Kula wildfire, some structures in the Upper Kula water system were destroyed by the fire, and some areas in the water system lost pressure. These conditions may have caused harmful contaminants, including benzene and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), to enter the water system. As a precaution, the State of Hawaii Department of Health, and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply are advising residents of the affected area to NOT USE THE TAP WATER FOR DRINKING AND COOKING UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

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)

• Do not take baths

• Do not use hot tubs or swimming pools

• Do not use ice from automatic ice makers

• Use proper ventilation when using water indoors

What should I do?

DO NOT DRINK YOUR TAP WATER – USE ONLY BOTTLED WATER. Bottled water should be used for all drinking (including baby formula and juice), brushing teeth, and making ice and food preparation until further notice.

DO NOT TRY AND TREAT THE WATER YOURSELF. Boiling, freezing, filtering, adding chlorine or other disinfectants, or letting water stand will not make the water safe.

Potable water is available at the following locations:

Crater Road

Copp Road

Kula School near Cafeteria

Kula Community Center

Kula Lodge

Rice Park

Ching Store

Ulupalakua Ranch Store

Please bring a clean water container (5 gallons maximum capacity).


For more information, call:

Water Utility contact: Leonore Amano, Water Microbiologist IV, Upper Kula System, (808) 270-7550,

This notice is being sent to you by the County of Maui, Department of Water Supply, Upper Kula System, Hawaii Public Water System ID # PWS ID 215. Date Distributed: September 07, 2023.

Please share this information with all other people who receive this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (ex. People in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). This can be done by posting in a public place or distributing copies by hand.

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