Friday, September 5, 2003

Grant will aid
in establishing
water facilities

Hawaii County will use a $970,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant to improve North Kona water lines and water spigot sites around the Big Island, the federal agency announced yesterday.

The county will provide six sanitary water spigot sites where residents can get drinking water for household use in Puna, Kau, South Kona, North Kona and Hilo. The spigot stations will have a permanent structure, lighting and security.

"It is important that everyone be provided access to a safe and clean supply of drinking water," said Corine Li, drinking water manager of the EPA Pacific Southwest Region.

Because of concern about water supplies during drought and possible lead contamination in some household catchment systems, the county has been providing emergency drinking water at temporary public water spigots. But these sites, located next to fire hydrants along roads, posed a traffic hazard and health and safety concerns.

A second project funded by the EPA grant will upgrade existing water lines along Mamalahoa Highway to provide access to water supplies from the Keahuolu Well to the Kailua-Keahole areas of North Kona.

The new waterlines will reduce the area's dependency on the Kahaluu water shaft.

Both projects are estimated to begin construction in the fall of 2004 and be completed by the summer of 2005.


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