Yet another water pump in North Kona has failed, making it five in the last few months.
The pump that failed today was the largest.
Even Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim calls it “unbelievable”…
Now all North Kona businesses and residents are under a mandated emergency water restriction tonight.
An official from the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply says they believe 30-thousand people and businesses are impacted by this water shortage.
People in that area still have water, but are urged to consume less of it.
Hawaii County announced at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday that the Honokohau deepwell pump shut down. It is investigating what caused the failure.
The county says all residents and customers in North Kona must restrict water use immediately. People are being asked to only use water for health and safety needs only, which include drinking, cooking, and hygiene.
Residents should stop using water for irrigation, washing cars and boats, and the like.
“In each of the repairs it’s the motors that has given us issues. There’s things like the motor thrust bearing that supports the weight and everything above it, and in previous projects we’ve seen that fail,” Kawika Uyehara, deputy manager of the county Department of Water Supply, explains.
“A repair is not known at this time how long it’s gonna take because the pump literally has to be pulled out of the shaft and make a review of what the problem is. Worst case scenario, if the pump has to be shipped to the mainland obviously you can see how long it will take to repair that pump,” Kim said.
The Department of Water Supply says it will suspend service to all temporary service and irrigation accounts.
That means farmers will not be able to irrigate their farmland at this time.
The last time one of the pumps broke, farmers couldn’t irrigate their land for about a week.
Once the county knows why the deepwell failed, it can work on bringing it back on line, and it will better know how long that will take.
KHON2 News will be following up with this story and bring you the latest.