EPA Completes Critical Step in Restoring Lahaina

EPA Completes Critical Step in Restoring Lahaina's Drinking Water

Following wildfires in Hawaii, the move gets Lahaina closer to lifting the Unsafe Water Advisory.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed drinking water sampling in the wildfire-affected areas of Lahaina, Hawaii. This effort aids the County of Maui in assessing when it will be safe to lift the Unsafe Water Advisory currently in place for parts of Lahaina Town.

“EPA has worked closely with county, state and community leaders since the fires to assist in restoring drinking water and wastewater services to Lahaina Town,” EPA Incident Commander Dawn Ison said in a statement. “Finishing drinking water sample collection is a major step towards achieving that goal. EPA is honored to do our part in getting families back home.”

The water sampling focused on the lateral service lines connecting water mains to properties with burned structures. If contamination was detected or if a lateral was too damaged for sampling, the line will be isolated from the main distribution line and marked for future replacement. The main drinking water distribution lines were also tested at hydrants.

"EPA’s assistance has been absolutely critical to the speedy recovery, and I’ve been extremely impressed with the skill and dedication of the EPA staff. They have coordinated seamlessly with County staff and applied excellent problem-solving skills,” County of Maui Drinking Water Supply Director John Stufflebean said via statement. 

The completion of the sampling is a significant step in the EPA’s ongoing effort to restore safe drinking water to Lahaina. The County of Maui will continue to analyze the data to determine when it is appropriate to amend the Unsafe Water Advisory. Residents can stay informed about the safety of their drinking water and access to safe water by visiting mauirecovers.org.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor for Environmental Protection.

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