Businesses on honor to conserve water
Every Sunday, the entire walkway around the building on the mauka, Ewa corner of Bishop and King streets (housing the 24 Hour Fitness Center, Starbucks, Territorial Savings, etc.) gets washed down with water. I understand the need to wash the stone walkway in front of Starbucks because of spills, etc., but it seems like a HUGE waste of drinking water to be washing the walkway in front of the entire building with high volumes of water running for about an hour. Is there something that can be done to prevent squandering of water?
Q: I would be grateful if you could make a general reminder to businesses to conserve water. On weekends, downtown grounds and maintenance personnel for larger buildings (e.g., Territorial Savings Bank Building) will commonly hose large expanses of pavement for hours to clean off debris and collected dirt. The problem is, it is fresh sweet water that is being used, and in quantities that defy sense. Is it possible for the owners to consider what is done in every clean European city: using a bucket and a push broom, and covering the same area with a few tens of gallons instead of hundreds to thousands?
Answer: There is no current restriction on the use of water to clean areas surrounding either commercial or residential properties.
But the property management company for the building at 1000 Bishop St., cited above, say the washing is necessary for safety and cleanliness and that water is not being wasted.
The Board of Water Supply said it contacted Kurisu & Fergus, the property management company, after we asked about any guidelines regarding the use of water to clean off walkways and other areas.
"As with other water waste calls, the (board) relies upon the good faith efforts of the customer to repair a reported leak or broken pipe, or to minimize and/or correct a reported wasteful use of water on private property," said Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Wanda Yamane.
In light of health and safety regulations that property owners need to conform to, and with no mandatory water restrictions in place, the building's maintenance personnel in this case appear "to be trying to use water as efficiently as possible," she said.
The board has asked that they be careful about the use of water for cleaning open areas and it will be monitoring the situation.
The washdown occurs every Sunday, said Warren Wong, of the property maintenance office.
Workers use a pressure washer with a flow restricter, "so that the water is not just free flowing," but with enough force to do the cleaning, he said.
Yamane said pressure washers do use less water under greater force. But, those using pressure washers are advised to "monitor their efforts to minimize any water waste," she said.
Considering what needs to be cleaned at 1000 Bishop St., Wong said he does not believe water is being wasted.
"There is no water restriction at this time," he noted, but "if there is, we will, of course, restrict that water use."
As in other areas where there are fast-food restaurants, food and drink tend to spill onto sidewalks and other common areas. There also are bird droppings to contend with.
But the big problem, Wong said, are "a lot of homeless people" who not only sleep on the building's stoops, but who urinate and defecate in front of doors, in planters and on adjacent public sidewalks, which fall within the building's maintenance responsibility.
It happens mostly at night, but also during the day, Wong said.
Meanwhile, Yamane said the Board of Water Supply appreciates the public's vigilance in conserving water year-round. Water conservation is no longer just a seasonal concern, she said.
If "efforts to bring a wasteful situation to a property owner's attention are unsuccessful," Yamane said to call the board's Water Waste Hotline, 748-5041.
As for using a broom, "Washing down European-style is not totally unrealistic or wholly realistic," she said. It depends on the situation.
The Board of Water Supply recommends using a broom to sweep up leaves, grass and rubbish from driveways and open areas, and to use a broom to scrub away more serious droppings and accidents with soap and water.
"However, businesses in areas like downtown Honolulu and Waikiki also have to deal with public urination and defecation," Yamane said.
The bottom line: Use common sense in using water and be conscious of how that water is being used, she said.
Getting State IDs
The state ID office will be on the road again, including from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Saturday, at Kahuku High School.
It will be the first time staff from the ID office will be in that area, according to Administrator Liane Moriyama.
Future outreach sites will be at Kalani High School, Aug. 26; Mililani High School, Sept. 30; and Lanai Community Center, Oct. 14.
The fee is $10 for senior citizens 65 years and older, and $15 for others, cash only.
Applicants will not be processed without the required documents.
If everything is in order, ID cards will be mailed within 10 working days.
New applicants must provide an original Social Security card, or a Social Security health insurance card with an "A" designation, or a valid or expired Hawaii driver's license with a Social Security number, plus proof of legal name, such as a certified copy of their birth certificate or a resident alien card, if applicable.
If you are renewing a current state ID card, with no change in name or citizenship, then no other documents are required.
However, any changes in name or status must be supported by certified documents. Copied, altered or illegible documents are not acceptable.
For more information, call 587-3111, or check the Web site www.stateid.hawaii.gov, where application forms can be downloaded. If you still need more information, call 587-3112.
Priority will be given to applicants with completed application forms and required documents.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers