Grove Farm water-purification plant to go online Tuesday

Officials with the county Department of Water announced that the new water-purification facility located next to the Kapaia Reservoir will be placed online on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Members from DOW crews will open the connection between the water-purification facility and the water department’s new Ma‘alo Road transmission main on Tuesday morning, which will start water flowing towards Hanama‘ulu, and mark the beginning of the use of water from the facility for the entire Lihu‘e-Hanama‘ulu water system.

The facility has been approved by officials from the state Department of Health, and has a rated capacity of 3 million gallons per day. When this new water source is fully integrated into the water system, it will be the primary water source for Lihu‘e and Hanama‘ulu, DOW officials said.

Families and individuals living in the area mauka of Kuhio Highway in Hanama‘ulu, including the homes bounded by Laukona Street, as well as a limited area in the Kapaia Valley, will be the first ones to enjoy the new water, DOW officials said.

After the new water source has been integrated into the initial area, DOW leaders will gradually expand this service to the entire Hanama‘ulu community, then along the coast towards the Wailua River and, finally, to include all of Lihu‘e, Puhi and Hanama‘ulu, and the coastal area towards Kapa‘a, they said.

It will likely take several months to phase the new water into the entire service area, but water department officials said they believe that the full capacity of the new facility will be available for use before summer, when water demand is highest.

This week and over the next few months, members of DOW crews will be flushing fire hydrants in the service area to facilitate the introduction of the new water into the system, and to help maintain good water quality throughout the system, a DOW spokesperson said.

The plant is a significant new source of water for the Puhi-Lihu‘e-Hanama‘ulu water system, which has experienced source-water-capacity shortages for many years due to the low yield available from wells in the area, the DOW spokesperson said.

It is also an important part of the solution to the current affordable- housing crisis, making it possible for the construction of new housing developments such as Grove Farm’s Puhi-Lihu‘e master plan, Schuler Homes’ Hanama‘ulu Triangle project, as well as other future development in Puhi, Lihu‘e and Hanama‘ulu, according to county officials.

The new water-purification facility was a cooperative project between leaders of the county DOW and Grove Farm Company, which designed and constructed the $9-million facility.

The facility uses a state-of-the-art membrane filtration process developed by Zenon Environmental of Toronto, Canada, which treats surface water (from streams and reservoirs) to meet drinking-water standards by removing soil particles and contaminants from water collected in the Kapaia Reservoir.

Water supplied to the facility is obtained from the upper reaches of the South Fork of the Wailua River, and transported to the reservoir via a plantation-era ditch system.

If anyone has questions or concerns, please contact the DOW at 245-5455, or log on to the DOW Web site at www.kauaiwater.org, and send an e-mail to webmaster@kauaiwater.org.

The office is open from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For after-hours trouble calls, please contact the Kaua‘i Police Department dispatch operators at 241-1711, who will contact DOW operations personnel.

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