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Water Quality Reports

Frequently Asked Questions



Water Sources

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I getting this brochure?


The Safe Drinking Water Act has been amended to require water systems to provide its customers with an annual report of the quality of their drinking water. This brochure is a snapshot of the quality of the water we provided last year.  Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains and how it compares to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state standards. 


We are committed to providing you with information because informed customers are our best allies. 



Is my drinking water safe?


Yes. The Department of Water regularly conducts microbiological analysis and has contracted for extensive chemical testing in order to comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Hawaii State standards.  The standards are very strict in order to ensure safe drinking water.



How do contaminants get into our drinking water?

The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. 


As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.


Therefore, drinking water, including bottled water may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.


Contaminants that may be present in source water before we treat it include:

•     Microbial contaminants: Viruses and bacteria from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.

  Inorganic contaminants: Salts and metals which can be naturally occurring or from other sources, such as urban  storm water runoff,  industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming.  

  Pesticides and herbicides: Variety of sources such as agri culture, urban storm water runoff and residential uses.

  Radioactive contaminants: Naturally occurring.

     Organic chemical contaminants: Synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, also from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.


To ensure safe tap water, EPA sets limits on these substances in water provided by public water systems. 


Should I take special precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.  Immuno- compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders,some elderly and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their healthcare providers. 


EPA/CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline



More information about contaminants can also be obtained by calling the EPA’s Hotline.


Why do I notice off-odors or taste in my water?

Sometimes if water in your house is not used, the microbes in the pipes can grow and cause odors and funny taste.  Flushing the water can resolve this problem.  Water should be flushed in the morning or when not used for an extended period of time.


What causes my water to look milky when it comes out of the faucet?

Air trapped in the water lines causes this problem. Let    the water sit in a glass. The water becomes clear from the bottom up if air is the cause. The water is safe to drink.


Why is chlorine added to my water?

Chlorine is added to control microbe levels in the water distribution system to keep the water safe. The chlorine level ranges between 0.1 to 0.5 ppm. The small amounts of chlorine in the water do not pose a health hazard. If you want to remove chlorine, either let it sit for a while or filter it through an activated carbon filter.

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