The County of Maui is urging residents in a number of Upcountry areas, including Upper Kula and Kēōkea, to stop using tap water, effective immediately, while an unsafe water advisory remains in effect. Only bottled water should be used for drinking, food preparation and some hygienic purposes, including teeth brushing.
Several structures in the Upper Kula area were destroyed by the Kula wildfire, causing the water system in the area to lose pressure. The loss of pressure may have allowed harmful contaminants, including benzene and other volatile organic chemicals, to enter the water system. As a precaution, the state Department of Health and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply are advising residents of the affected area to stop using tap water.
At this time, tap water in the impacted Upcountry areas cannot be treated to make it safe for consumption. Residents in the affected area should not attempt to boil, freeze or filter the water before using it for drinking or food preparation.
In addition, residents in the impacted Upcountry areas should:
- Limit their use of hot water
- Limit shower time/bathing (use lukewarm water and ventilate area)
- Use a dishwasher to wash dishes, and use air dry setting
- Wash clothing in cold water
- Avoid using clothes dryers (dry laundry outdoors)
- Do not take baths
- Do not use hot tubs or swimming pools
- Do not use ice from automatic ice makers
- Use proper ventilation when using water indoors
Potable water buffalo tankers are available at the following locations:
- Crater Road
- Copp Road
- Kula Fire Station
- Rice Park
- Kula Community Center
The Department of Water Supply is in regular consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State Department of Health (DOH), and Maui samples have been prioritized to allow for more samples to be tested at once.
The Department of Water Supply will continue to update residents and to conduct water quality sampling and testing, and the unsafe water advisory will remain in effect until it has been determined that the water is safe for drinking and cooking.
An unsafe water advisory also remains in effect for the Lahaina area. For more information on that advisory, please click HERE.