February 2, 2024
Water Preparedness for Extended Power Outages
The Department of Water Supply (DWS), County of Hawai‘i, requires a significant amount of dependable electricity to move approximately 25 million gallons of water each day and deliver it to more than 45,000 homes, businesses, farms, and community facilities located throughout much of Hawai‘i Island.
Hawaiian Electric issued a statement urging its customers to prepare for heavy rains and winds expected to impact Hawai‘i Island through the weekend. “During severe weather, strong winds can blow trees or debris into power lines, causing outages and damaging electrical equipment. Falling trees can hit utility poles or overhead lines, knocking lines down or causing poles to lean, which may result in outages. Heavy rains can also lead to flooding of underground cables or other equipment,” Hawaiian Electric said in the statement. Outages in areas designated by the State as at-risk for fires may experience longer outages due to the possible need to conduct visual or aerial inspections before power may be safely restored, it added.
DWS utilizes backup generators at key well sites to help maintain a limited amount of water service during temporary power outages, however, an extended power outage could leave portions of DWS’ water systems empty and customers with no water. Should this scenario be anticipated, DWS will instruct its affected customers to use their tap water only for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes to preserve the limited amount of available potable water. Irrigation, car washing, and non-essential uses of water would be suspended until power is restored.
DWS strongly urges its customers and those who depend on a continuous supply of DWS water to review their personal situations and prepare accordingly. Customers should have alternate sources of potable water and enough supply to meet their essential needs during a prolonged power outage that disrupts DWS service. Ways to safely store drinking water are listed in the Water Emergency Preparedness guide available under the “Community” drop-down menu option on the Department’s website, www.hawaiidws.org.
Updated messaging will be posted at www.hawaiidws.org and on the DWS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HawaiiDWS/. To reach the DWS, please call (808) 961-8050 during normal business hours, (808) 961-8790 for after-hour emergencies, or email: email@example.com.
This is your Hawaiʻi County Department of Water Supply.