Water restriction lifted on Molokai, system safe despite vandalism

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Roughly 1,800 residents on Molokai are able to use their tap water again after storage tanks in Ho‘olehua were vandalized.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands issued a warning Tuesday after discovering that the locks on both of their 3.5-million-gallon water storage tanks were broken, and the lid was taken off on one of them.

The Hawaii State Department of Health completed microbiological and chemical testing of the water system and determined it was safe to resume normal water usage and consumption.

“We would like to thank our homesteaders and the residents of Molokai for their patience and understanding as well as Maui County, the State Department of Health and the State Department of Education for their continued cooperation in this matter,” said Jobie M. K. Masagatani, chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Prior to the test results, DHHL provided safe drinking potable water for all affected users, and Molokai High, Molokai Middle, Maunaloa Elementary, and Kualapu‘u Public Conversion Charter School remained closed Wednesday as a precaution.

The tanks serve the Ho‘olehua, Kala‘e, Kalama‘ula, and Pālā‘au communities, most of which are Hawaiian homesteaders.

DHHL says it will continue to cooperate with Maui County Police Department in its ongoing investigation.

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