Residents in Waiahole Valley are being told to boil their tap water before use due to E. coli contamination.
The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation was notified by the State Department of Health on Friday, that the Waiahole Water System exceeded the state standard for E. coli bacteria. A Boil Water Notice has been issued to the Department of Education, Waiahole residents and area legislators.
A water tank will be available at Waiahole Elementary school after school hours and over the weekend.
About 80 households, Waiahole Poi Factory and Waiahole Elementary School are affected.
The water has not gone through disinfection and may be a risk for customers. The HHFDC recommends that all Waiahole water system consumers not drink the water without boiling it first.
Consumers are asked to bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
The E. coli in the water sample could have been due to extremely windy and rainy conditions on the day of sample collection, or a water line break in December
The HHFDC has raised the chlorination level, flushed the system, and collected three more samples on January 9, 2020.
Results from the Department of Health are expected to be known by end of Friday.
E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.