Communication concerns after Kauai boil water advisory

Kauai officials gave the all-clear Friday after laboratory testing found the water in Lihue and Hanamaulu was not contaminated.

Officials issued a boil water advisory Wednesday night after work on a waterline caused brown water to flow out of faucets.

Some people said they were notified.

“People were handing out fliers at the mall and on my doorstep,” said resident Clarissa Amaral. “Then I saw notifications from Facebook and through your guys’ website, so I was aware of the water.”

But others KHON2 spoke to say it took hours for officials to put out that advisory.

“Were you aware?” KHON2 asked Lihue resident Charles Duaiz.

“No. Not until I got the message at 10:30 (p.m.),” he replied. “If it happened in the afternoon, they should have notified people sooner.”

Most people KHON2 spoke with Friday were angry that a notification wasn’t sent out sooner. Some didn’t know until almost two hours later.

“I’m pretty shocked. We found out because we were eating out and they wouldn’t serve us water, ice or anything,” said resident Kristell Kaauwai. “There was no notice. Nobody ever came and told us.”

KHON2 spoke to Department of Water spokesperson Kim Tamaoka, who says when something like this does happen, the best way to be informed is through the Connect CTY system.

“It gets them texts, phone messages and emails so we really encourage that,” she said.

“What do you tell people who say they weren’t notified in a timely manner?” KHON2 asked.

“We did the best we could with the resources we had available,” she replied.

Some schools in the area were canceled because of the advisory and restaurants that didn’t close down had to take certain safety measures.

“We boil all our water up to 212 degrees and do our dishes in that water,” said restaurant owner Steve Gerald. “People like coffee in the morning, but we’re not doing coffee, we’re not doing soda.”

After this recent incident, now the Department of Water says it will look at how things can be fixed.

“We’re going to do a discussion with our whole team here after this and see what can do better and how we can improve for next time,” Tamaoka said.

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