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Friday, July 28, 2000

Meeting to address
water-quality complaints

By Harold Morse


Residents have occasionally complained about copper plumbing systems and newly installed water heaters since 1995 in Leeward and Central Oahu.

Water customers there are invited to attend an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Leeward Community College cafeteria.

"I had an aqua-bluish color in my bathtub," said Adrian Salas who lives in West Loch Fairways. "I called for my water to be tested," he said.

The Board of Water Supply ran tests and gave him the results. "Apparently there were no metals inside the water," he said. "The water was drinkable, I guess, what they were saying."

Salas changed his faucets and some plastic fittings. "I went out and bought this thing from City Mill that took away the blue tarnish," he said. Salas had told the Board of Water Supply about the tarnish.

"They said the water wasn't being contaminated and this and that," he said.

"They sent me a letter with all the results on it. We haven't had any problems since then. This was some time last year ... early last year."

Copper pipe corrosion has caused pinhole leaks, water heater internal corrosion and corrosion of faucets and toilet tank fixtures, and although these misfortunes may not be common, they are noticeable, the Board of Water Supply said. Some believe the water is the cause.

Water service for Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Waikele, Makakilo and Mililani has been provided from its sources since the 1960s and 1970s. Tests done show the water content to be normal.

Nevertheless, the Board of Water Supply is initiating a study to determine if the water is the cause.

The board has hired Montgomery Watson Americas, a trouble-shooting entity with experience in water system corrosion, to do the study. MW Americas is an international engineering firm headquartered in Pasadena, Calif.

The study will collect information to characterize and determine the extent of corrosion. If strong evidence points to the water as the cause, additional examination will go on. The purpose of the Tuesday meeting is to introduce the Board's consultant, discuss the study and answer questions.

E-mail to City Desk

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