Public schools closed due to Boil Water Advisory on Kauai

A warning to Kauai residents: water in some areas of the island may be dangerous to drink.

The Kauai Department of Water issued a boil water advisory for Lihue and Hanamaulu residents. Officials are testing the water for bacteria and won’t lift the advisory until they get the all-clear.

That’s after the Department of Water and its contractors worked on waterline improvements to Hoomana Road on Wednesday.

“So when the Department of Water personnel turned on the waterline again, water, air and some sediment that was in there, began to mix and it was released into the neighboring service systems,” said Kim Tamaoka with the DOW.

That prompted officials to issue a do not drink water advisory to residents of Lihue and Hanamaulu. Residents with noticeable brown water are advised to use only bottled water for drinking and cooking until further notice. DOW is working on flushing out the affected waterlines and restoring the water system.

Because of the advisory, about 3,500 students will miss the first day of the new school year.

As a precaution, the Department of Education closed four schools for Friday: Kauai High, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle, King Kaumualii Elementary and Wilcox Elementary.

“Again this is to ensure that the health and safety for our students, teachers, administrators and several other staff is there for them,” said Bill Arakaki, Kauai Complex Area Superintendent.

People can get very sick if they drink water with bacteria.

“What would be some of the symptoms?” KHON2 asked.

“Early on, you might feel urpy and then frank nausea followed by vomiting and diarrhea, chills and fever can accompany you,” said Dr. Kalani Brady with the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

“We want to make sure the people are safe so we’re going to most likely if there is a positive, the water system will continue with the boil water advisory,” said Joanna Seto with the State Department of Health.

Results from the water sample are expected back on Friday.

Puhi is not included in the advisory, and all schools not located in Hanamaulu and Lihue are expected to open Friday.

Residents with noticeable brown water are advised to use the following procedure:

  • Flush your outdoor water hoses and faucets until the water appears clear.
  • When water is clear, flush for another 30 minutes.
  • Once water is clear, heat your water to a rolling boil for 1-3 minutes.
  • Let your water stand until cool, and water will be safe to use for drinking and cooking.

The DOW also recommends that if you have an ice maker, you should shut it off and discard all ice. If you have a water purification system, shut it down to avoid clogging the filter.

Residents and businesses will be notified when the results are available via Connect CTY notification service. To sign up for this service, click here or call Civil Defense at 241-1800.

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