Portions of Upper Kula and Lahaina Removed from Unsafe Water Advisory
October 6, 2023
The Department of Water Supply amended the Unsafe Water Advisory to remove Upper Kula Area 2A and Lahaina Area 1. Water serving buildings and homes in Upper Kula Area 2A and Lahaina Area 1 has been determined to be safe for unrestricted use, effective October 6, 2023. Community members can search an address using the interactive Water Advisory Map to confirm if their address is outside or within the advisory area.
Water may have stagnated within homes and buildings within Upper Kula Area 2A and Lahaina Area 1 while the advisory was in effect, and the Department of Water Supply recommends customers flush their lines to remove any standing water in plumbing and pipes due to non-use and replace with fresh water. Lines may be flushed by opening valves and letting the faucets run for at least 10 minutes.
Areas 2B through 5 of Upper Kula and much of the fire-impacted area in Lahaina remain under the Unsafe Water Advisory until further notice. Customers within the advisory area should continue to NOT drink or boil their tap water. Boiling, freezing, filtering, adding chlorine or other disinfectants or letting water stand will not make the water safe. Bottled water or potable water provided by the County of Maui must be used for drinking (including making baby formula and juice), brushing teeth, making ice, and food preparation. Customers in the advisory area are also advised to limit tap water use for hygiene purposes such as showers. Failure to follow the advisory could result in illness.
The Unsafe Water Advisory was issued on August 11, 2023, as a precautionary measure due to the unknown impacts of the August 2023 Maui wildfires on the drinking water system in the area. In Upper Kula and Lahaina, structures in the water system in both areas 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.
The Department of Water Supply has been working closely with the Hawai‘i State Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to complete its VOC investigation, isolate the system from fire damaged structures to ensure minimal potential from any contamination, and conduct ongoing water quality sampling and testing at key points throughout the system. The decision to lift the Unsafe Water Advisory for Upper Kula Area 2A and Lahaina Area 1 was based on multiple lines of evidence collected through this process, which supported the determination that fire-related contaminants did not impact service to these areas.
For more information about the Unsafe Water Advisory, the Department of Water Supply’s VOC investigation, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, go to mauirecovers.org/recovery/utilities.