KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii County Department of Water Supply has scheduled a public meeting to discuss a project that will add a transmission line to the Waiaha system in an effort to ease transport of water from mauka to makai throughout North Kona.
The meeting is scheduled from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Kona Imin Center in Holualoa, 76-5877 Old Government Road.
A departmental release listed the project details and schedule as top talking points for a 16-inch transmission waterline DWS plans to install along 5,240 feet of Mamalahoa Highway. The line will extend between Water Pipe Road and Kamila Place with construction projected to span January-November, according to a project update accessible through the DWS website.
Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd. won the contract for the waterline, which is projected to cost more than $3.5 million and will be paid for with funds appropriated from the Hawaii Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Based on the release and project update, it doesn’t appear any of the work or cost associated with the waterline in the Waiaha area is associated with the Waiaha deep well itself.
That water source has remained offline since the summer of 2017 when Derrick’s Well Drilling and Pump Services lost heavy equipment down the well following a cable break during an attempted extraction.
DWS has yet to provide a concrete decision about how to proceed with repair of the well, noting over the last several months the options to either reduce well capacity and use existing assets or dig an entirely new well on the site.
The latter could cost upward of $1 million, for which DWS could demand payment from Derrick’s. DWS officials have long been quiet on the issue.
“Because of possible pending litigation, we are unable to comment further regarding the Waiaha Well repairs,” Nyssa Kushi, a spokesperson the department, wrote in an email to WHT.
The project update states the new transmission system will include connection to an existing 8-inch waterline as well as the Waiaha deep well and reservoir. However, DWS said the line will carry water from several other sources, even after Waiaha comes back online.
“This project is not dependent on the Waiaha Well repair project,” Kushi wrote.
Staff from DWS, along with a representative of the contractor, will be in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting.