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Ocean View Residents Finally Get Water Source

June 28, 2012, 1:40 PM HST
* Updated June 29, 10:24 AM
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***Updated at 10:23 a.m. on June 29 to correct time of dedication ceremony.***

After many years of waiting, the residents of Ocean View are finally getting their own steady source of water.

A dedication for the opening of the $6 million Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Water Facilities Project will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 5. The location will be the fill station site at the corner of Lehua Lane and Highway 11.

According to Kanani Aton, spokeswoman for the county Department of Water Supply, there are still some procedures to complete, such as final approval from the state Department of Health, but she said that should be in place by Thursday.

The county Water Board is expected to formally accept the project at a meeting late next month.

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The only current difficulty has been the well pump occasionally “tripping” off during the filling of the reservoir, but Aton said that problem appears to have been resolved.

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Virtually all of the residents of the sprawling HOVE and nearby subdivisions rely on rain catchment for their water supply. With a long-standing drought affecting the area, residents and businesses have been forced to either haul their own water or use professional water haulers to fill their catchment tanks.

But with the closest sources of county water in Ho‘okena or Waiohinu, residents and water haulers have had to travel at least 20 miles to fill up, according to the 2007 environmental impact statement for the project.

“The distances to water resources and the high cost of hauled water are problematic for residents, business owners and farmers,” the EIS said.

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The study estimated that having a standpipe in Ocean View, as the general area is known, would save area residents nearly $800 a year in water hauling costs, although that figure is from 2004 and the current savings would likely be higher.

Protecting public safety has also been an issue without a nearby water source, the document said. The lack of water has meant that new schools or medical facilities could not be developed in the area that contains more than 10,000 subdivided lots.

The new facility will have spigots for residents’ use and two standpipes for commercial haulers. The well and 300,000-gallon reservoir are located upslope.

No distribution lines for homes or businesses are included in the current project or are likely in the near future because of the costs and distances involved.

The residents’ wait for water has been lengthy. They thought it would come in the late 1999s after state lawmakers approved $1.35 million for construction of a well, but then-governor Ben Cayetano refused to release the funding which lapsed two years later.

The county Department of Water Supply maintains 24 systems and 67 water sources around the island.

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