Sunday, July 15, 2001

Some customers in Kailua
also were affected by Kaneohe
water main break

By Diana Leone

Castle Hospital and a number of customers in Kailua had no running water between 6 and 9:15 a.m. yesterday, the delayed effect of a water main break in Kaneohe Friday.

However, there were no surgeries in progress and no serious emergency room needs for water. Three surgeries scheduled for yesterday morning were postponed, said hospital spokesman David Earles.

The 63 patients in the hospital were given bottled water to drink and waterless soap for handwashing. Other than that, Earles said, "We continued an absolutely normal routine."

The hospital's air conditioning shut down during the water outage and fans were placed in key circulation points throughout the hospital, Earles said.

The emergency room "lucked out and had a very nice morning," ER nurse Stacey Trout said. "There were only five patients, and they had bumps and scrapes and an allergic reaction," none of which required a lot of water.

Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Denise De Costa said an unknown number of Kailua customers also were without water for a few hours yesterday morning. 

Board of Water Supply water trucks drove around Kailua dispensing water to residential customers for drinking and cooking. A larger water tanker was sent to Castle Hospital, but it got there about the time water was restored, she said.

De Costa said workers for RCI Environmental were installing a 36-inch water line along Kahekili Highway near Ahuimanu Valley at 2:15 p.m. Friday when they broke into the existing 30-inch main. It took some time to shut off all the valves and begin repair work, which RCI completed early yesterday morning, she said.

Some Ahuimanu customers were without water Friday night and were supplied by water truck, De Costa said.

"This is the major transmission line that brings water from Waihee Tunnel and Punaluu wells into Kahaluu, Kaneohe and Kailua," she said. In Kailua, water is then stored in a six-million-gallon cement reservoir above Pohakupu subdivision.

"Last night (Friday) it had over three million gallons left," which officials thought would be enough. However, the reservoir was dry yesterday morning.

"It was Friday the 13th for us," De Costa said.

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