Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Water from North Shore
supplier OK to drink again

Contamination forced Mokuleia
Land clients to boil or buy water

Star-Bulletin staff

Well water supplied by the Mokuleia Land Co. was approved for drinking yesterday, after several days of contamination with fecal coliform bacteria.

Residents of the North Shore community who are supplied by the company -- 52 homes and Camp Mokuleia -- had been advised last Wednesday to boil drinking water or buy bottled water until further notice, said Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

Fecal coliform and total coliform bacteria can come from the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals, Okubo said, and "though they themselves are harmless, they are indicators there could be more serious contamination."

Associated health risks could be stomachaches or gastrointestinal upsets.

The contamination was discovered during monthly sampling done April 17, Okubo said.

Ethel Takahashi, a Mokuleia Land Co. manager, said the company "got everybody involved" and distributed fliers to customers' houses with warnings about the water as soon as test results were received.

"There was a problem with some of the equipment and we're still trying to find out what caused it," Takahashi said.

Customers served by the Honolulu Board of Water Supply were not affected, said Glenn Kaleiheana, Board of Water Supply foreman for Central Oahu.

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