Water Board Stopping 1,500,000 Gallon Leak


POSTED: Sunday, May 10, 2009

”;Back in the Day,”; appearing every Sunday, takes a look at articles that ran on this date in history in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii's oldest continuously published daily newspaper. The items appear verbatim, so don't blame us today for yesteryear's bad grammar.


Stopping a 1,500,000 gallon-a-day water leak in an abandoned artesian well 600 feet underground is much the same as filling a cavity in an aching tooth.

Curious bystanders who see a drilling machine grinding away on a subterranean well hole far below Kapiolani Blvd. between Ward and South Sts. next Monday will know that the board of water supply is at work protecting Honolulu's water source.

It's artesian well 91 that is causing the water board trouble.

Abandoned years ago the iron casing has slowly rusted and holes have broken out in the 600-foot long pipe that brings water to the surface.

The top of the pipe is blocked off but the numberless leaks allow 1,500,000 gallons of pure artesian well water to flow daily into the ground and on to the sea.

The water board goes about plugging Mother Earth's man-made cavity by first drilling out the refuse and accumulated dirt that has broken through the original casing wall.

The leaks themselves are disregarded. Instead, the bottom of the well lying within the pocket of porous rock which is the source of the flow, is blocked off with cement poured in at the top.

Fred Ohrt, manager of the board of water supply, explained today that the leak reduces the reserve supply of water in the huge artesian water source under the city.

In order to cap artesian well 91, the water board had to first obtain consent of the original owners.