New well to supply water to Kona
KAILUA-KONA » A new exploratory well drilling project is expected to have a dual benefit for North Kona.
The privately funded well is intended to serve a new light-industrial and commercial development near Honokohau Harbor, but also may benefit nearby customers of the county water system.
"It's being drilled partially to serve the needs of the development, but the availability of water will far exceed the need in the area," said Larry Beck, Department of Water Supply engineer.
Jim Greenwell, president of Lanihau Properties LLC, said a "reasonable estimate" is 1.4 million gallons of water per day will flow from the well, although exact production won't be known until pumping begins.
Drilling may begin within a week or two, Greenwell said, with completion expected as early as June.
Once testing for sustainability and quality is finished, existing residences in the Palani Road area, directly above Kailua town and to the north, also may benefit.
In addition, the reliability of water service could be improved.
"I know the water department is anxious to improve water availability," Greenwell said. "This is timely and really has larger scale benefits to everybody."
Greenwell said he is grateful the county's semiautonomous Department of Water Supply adopted a "cooperative spirit" in developing the drilling project.
The $8 million project, which includes a major reservoir tank and nearly 3,000 feet of transmission line, will be funded by Lanihau Properties LLC, and two of its affiliates: West Hawaii Business Park LLC and Palani Ranch Co. Inc.
The well site is about 4,000 feet north of an existing Honokohau well at an elevation of 1,700 feet. It is on undeveloped ranch land owned by Palani Ranch Co.
A 96-hour continuous pump test to determine the well's safe yield is slated for next year, as well as testing of water quality.