3 state projects underway to fix water problems at Hāpuna Beach on Big Island
Three state projects are underway simultaneously to restore water service at the Big Island’s Hāpuna Beach State Recreation Area, which recently was named the top U.S. beach for 2023 by Travellers World despite the water issues.
The separate projects address temporary, short-term fixes and permanent, long-term solutions, according to a news release from the Hawai’i State Division of State Parks.
An investigation is underway to determine the causes of the recurring leaks that have plagued the current water system over several years. Findings will be analyzed with attention to design elements and materials to avoid similar miscues with a new system.
“Getting a temporary water system back online as soon as possible is our top priority,” said Curt Cottrell, administrator of the Division of State Parks. “Priorities two and three are to determine the causes for past leaks and designing and installing a permanent, resilient water system that will not prematurely degrade as this system seems to have done.”
The temporary system will feature above-ground piping to deliver potable water for use at a pair of restrooms and showers at the beach. This short-term repair is set to be completed by July.
Design, permitting and installation of the new water system will be more complicated, with regulations, codes, availability of materials and contractors, and other related logistics to navigate. Completion for the long-term fix is slated for April 2024.
“We understand people’s frustrations around timing and the construction process in general,” Cottrell said. “The constant need to close and repair since 2018 has also been a challenge for our limited staff, especially in obtaining repair services in a timely manner.
“This is a favorite beach for residents and visitors to the Big Island. We want to ensure a reliable and long-term source of fresh water for rinsing and drinking and remove the need for portable toilets.”