Kula water restoration in progress, all mainline breaks repaired

Repair of the Kula water pipe. CP: Sterling Ross (12.9.21)

Parts of Kula remain without water tonight, but service could be restored by tonight until tomorrow, unless the water lines are cut, according to officials from the Department of Water Supply. Maui County.

The outages occurred following heavy rains caused by the passage of the Kona Low system over Maui County overnight from Sunday to Monday.

Multiple ruptures, including about 80 feet of 12-inch waterline, were reported Monday in hard-to-reach places. A separate main water break affecting Upper Kula was reported on Tuesday in the Hāpapa Gulch near Pūlehu Road. Repair crews were tasked with building a trestle to access the 12-inch pipe. The crew ran an 8-inch pipe through the ravine, using a helicopter to move the pipe and other material into place, county officials said.

DWS administrative agent Adam Mundy told Maui Now that at 4 p.m. Thursday all known mainline breaks have been fixed and crews are now working on the flushing process.

“We drain the lines to get all the dirty water out… Then we have to make sure there is an appropriate level of disinfectant,” Mundy said. “When that’s done, the crews go to great lengths to load the line to make sure it can maintain the pressure, and then slowly fill the tanks. “

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According to Mundy, the process is slow, with a tank taking around six hours to fill. With about three tanks affected in the Kula area, pressurization and leak testing will continue overnight.

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“Affected residents are expected to see at least low pressure tonight until the early hours of the morning until the lines fully stabilize,” Mundy said.

Hundreds of residents have been affected by intermittent blackouts since Sunday, including pockets at the bottom and top of Kula, including the Haleakalā Acres Subdivision.

County officials say the process is ongoing until full restoration is complete.

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Residents of lower altitudes will first see a resumption of service and, as lines are pressurized, higher altitudes will begin to see a resumption of service.

Thursday at 6 p.m., some residents of Upper Kula, deprived of water for four days, reported a backflow of water in their homes.

When the water service is restored, residents and businesses may experience brown water. They should flush their water lines until the water runs clear. For emergency repairs and updates, call 808-270-7633.

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