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Breaking News

DOW mainline break causes homeowner flooding

KAPA‘A — A county Department of Water main line break on Kahuna Road was the cause of a homeowner’s 17-day-long flooding.

As part of a potential-leak investigation, Monday a DOW crew conducted a three-hour test shutdown in Kapa‘a to access the underground mainline, DOW spokesperson Jonell Kaohelauli‘i said Tuesday.

Then, crews discovered a waterline break between the intersection of Waiakea Road and the Kahuna Road bridge by isolating sections of the mainline across the street from homeowner Kim Murriera’s Kahuna Road property, which flooded in early February as a result.

“When the Department of Water turned off the water, you could watch the water (on my property) dry up,” Murriera said.

For over two weeks, Murriera’s property filled with underground seepage, eating away at her home. One engineer estimated the water on her land to be at least 6 feet deep.

While the water stopped, the damage to the foundation of Murriera’s stilted home had been done.

“There’s still a whole lot of work to make my property safe,” Murriera said.

Last week, Murriera was looking at an $85,000 repair to dig a trench and filtration system that would have diverted water away from her home. Murriera said her insurance company is working with her to save her house.

The result of her flooding came from a vein that sprouted from the water line break and to Akulikuli Bridge. Now that the pressure of the water has been removed from those underground veins, concerns for the safety of the road and bridge still remain. This decreased water pressure in these concentrated areas could potentially lead to sinkholes.

As of mid-day Tuesday, DOW had not identified what caused the “unforeseen break,” but a mainline break can be natural, accidental, or caused aging infrastructure.

The DOW operates over 400 miles of underground water lines across the island.

By 3 p.m. Monday, the mainline was repaired and water services restored.

“The initial customer report, follow-up investigations and urgent repair led to a successful resolution of the leak on Kahuna Road,” Kaohelauli‘i said. “We encourage customers to report water leaks that occur near a water meter or county roadway.”

Murriera said this is a “successful first step, but we’re not done.”

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Sabrina Bodon, government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

4 Comments
  1. Kauaidoug February 24, 2021 9:08 am Reply

    At least now the property owner knows what is going on and who to turn to for making whole. Good luck


  2. Mona February 24, 2021 9:51 am Reply

    Don’t understand- why now risk for sink hole? What does “ vein” mean as it is used in this article? Please explain better??


    1. Read February 24, 2021 3:15 pm Reply

      Water shoots out of pipe. water digs holes underground. no more water, holes still left underground. Dig a huge hole under your house, it might sink


    2. Pam Woolway February 24, 2021 4:57 pm Reply

      To the person asking what a “vein” is as it was used in this article, it’s the empty space that now exists, that water once filled. Water rushing from the pipe made a pathway and when water ceases that space is now vacant and can collapse. For 17 days a deluge of water rushed under Murriera’s home and north of the property out a bridge abutment pipe. There’s a vacuous space now under Kahuna and her foundation. That is how I understand it. Sabrina wrote another well cited article. I love when there’s a follow up to a story.


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