Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, August 30, 2001

Waimalu water main back on line

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Cars may have been a little dirtier yesterday, lawns a little drier, and your office cubicle neighbor's hair a little matted down. But that's because they probably heeded calls for water conservation while a major pipeline in Waimalu was being repaired.

Board of Water Supply workers successfully repaired a leak in a 36-inch main on Moanalua Road yesterday.

Cory Lum • The Honolulu Advertiser

And Board of Water Supply officials are thanking Honolulu residents for that.

"We got a good island," said Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Denise DeCosta. "People here are very helpful when we need help. Without their help, it would be a lot harder."

Water officials Monday night detected a leak in a 36-inch water main on Moanalua Road between Ka'ahumanu and Ka'ahele streets. The pipe transports about 12 million gallons of water a day from the Punanani Wells to Honolulu-area reservoirs.

Residents from Red Hill to Hawai'i Kai were urged to conserve water Tuesday and yesterday while crews fixed the leak. Failing to do so would have resulted in low water pressure throughout the system.

In addition to pleading for conservation, water officials made "internal adjustments," such as diverting water from other sources, to deal with the potential water shortage. DeCosta said that those measures worked and that there were no reports of water pressure problems yesterday.

"If it was a normal evening like Monday, we might have had problems with water pressure in the highrises in town," she said. "We did not have any problems with that. At the end of the line in Hawai'i Kai, they had plenty of water."

The leak was found during a routine check of the water system, and repairs were made before the main ruptured, she said.

The main was fixed by 3 a.m. yesterday, and water service returned to normal 12 hours later.

The cause of the leak was under investigation yesterday.

"It had to be done, because if we didn't take care of it it would eventually be a big huge rupture, and a 36-inch main, that would be a lot of water running down the road, and we would not want that," DeCosta said.

She said the Board of Water Supply monitors key pipelines that deliver large amounts of water to detect similar leaks. But because many of the island's pipes are old and in need of repair, breaks will occur.

"Like any utility, we will have our days," she said.

Reach Curtis Lum at 525-8025 or culum@honoluluadvertiser.com