Thursday | May 28, 2015
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Ocean View well fails for second time

The Hawaiian Ocean View Estates well is out of service for the second time since it opened last year, Department of Water Supply officials said Tuesday.

The well broke down sometime Monday, said Water Supply spokeswoman Kanani Aton. Water Supply staff was analyzing the problem Tuesday afternoon to determine the needed repairs. Officials did not have a time line for the repairs or know the cause of the failure.

Aton said the department was procuring an emergency contractor for the repair. The selected contractor will have to get to the site, pull the pump from the well, and assess the needed repairs.

The department closed the standpipe facility for commercial water haulers. The drinking water spigots remain open for the community to use, but the public is asked to limit consumption to potable water needs only. Commercial haulers were told to use the standpipes in Naalehu or Honaunau until told otherwise.

The well’s 300,000 gallon tank was full as of Tuesday afternoon, Aton said.

The well’s motor broke in September, officials said, prompting its first closure less than two months after the it became operational.

Hawaiian Ocean View Estates residents spent more than a decade petitioning state and county officials for a well. In 2007, then-Gov. Linda Lingle released $6 million for the project to create a basic drinking water system including the well, storage tank, transmission pipeline and fill stations for the Ocean View community. The county broke ground in late 2007.

In the intervening years, DWS encountered unexpected voids in the ground where the well was being drilled, which needed to be filled. That slowed the process.

At the same time, Ocean View residents questioned plans for the storage reservoir and the number of spigots. Former county councilman Guy Enriques spearheaded efforts to change the specifications for the reservoir and get more spigots. Enriques’ efforts secured an increase in the reservoir size from 100,000 to 300,000 gallons, which was smaller than the original 500,000-gallon-tank DWS said it would build.

In 2010, the slow pace of completing the project led state legislators to investigate how the state funding was being spent. The Legislature’s investigative committee eventually found “major obstacles to the project have been resolved.”

The final obstacle involved problems with the compatibility of the well’s pump and the voltage serving the site.