1996 Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Print
Big Island residents who rely on rain catchment for water know full well how unpredictable weather can leave them with a low tank. What they probably don’t know is that company they called to truck in replacement water may not be licensed to do so and almost certainly has not been government inspected for proper or sanitary conduct.
That’s because there are no regulations — county, state or federal — covering the purity or safety of drinking water hauled to homes or other small private water system.
The only related regulations apply strictly to trucks hauling water to large public water systems. State officials say on the Big Island that applies only to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea Military Camp and Pohakuloa Training Area. Everyone else who is not on the county water system, including the estimated 7,000 Big Island households on catchment, must rely on the integrity of the hauler for pure water.
Big Island Civil Defense Administrator Harry Kim says that is not good enough.
“There is no assurance (of water quality) other than the good will of the water hauler,” Kim said. “This is a major concern.” He said his department has received numerous calls from people who wonder about the source of their delivered water. Kim said since the county system is usually the source he tells callers [to] ask about the equipment the hauler uses.
“My concern is quality of the tank — and of the hose, too,” he said.
CREDIT: Big Island History is compiled by Brandon Haleamau for the Tribune-Herald using newspaper archives.