Employees question whether school’s discolored tap water is safe to drink


Workers are concerned about the water coming out of the faucet at a school on Maui.

They contacted us using the Report It feature on our website, and sent us video of what appears to be discolored water coming out of the tap at Lahainaluna High School’s special education building.

Workers say it’s been going on for years and their complaints have been ignored.

A woman who spoke to KHON2 did not want to be identified because she works in the building and she’s also a parent of one of the students.

“We need to run the water for several minutes, sometimes up to 20 to 30 minutes, just so we can get clean water in our carafe for coffee,” she said.

The worker says Mondays are the worst because they have to run the tap longer to get clean water. The students use the water in cooking classes, and as far as drinking water, they have to at least use a filtered container.

“I kind of don’t trust that, so I myself bring my own water and a lot of the people there don’t as well, so they just bring their own water,” she said.

Workers say the problem has gotten worse and they’re fed up. They were told a new special education building will be built, but they have to wait two more years.

“We’ve grown to live with it, sort of,” the worker said. “We don’t like it, especially for the kids, and like I said, I think the water is getting worse so I don’t agree with it.”

We asked the Department of Education if the water is safe, and what’s causing it. We were told old iron pipes are probably corroding, so the color is from the rusting pipes.

According to the Department of Health’s Safe Drinking Water Branch, the water should be safe if you use it after it starts running clear.

As for why the problem has gone on for so long and if there are any plans to fix it, the DOE’s Office of School Facilities and Support Services says it’s still trying to get information from the Department of Accounting and General Services on Maui.

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