Puako Beach Drive Water Main Break

This is a Department of Water Supply (DWS) message for Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 3:45 p.m.

Customers along Puako Beach Drive may experience no or intermittent water service while DWS crews repair a water main break near the Ascension Mission Catholic Church. Repairs are estimated to be completed within 6 to 8 hours.

A DWS water tanker will be stationed near the Puako General Store for the public’s use. Please call (808) 887-3030 or (808) 961-8060 during normal business hours, (808) 961-8790 for after-hour emergencies, or email: dws@hawaiidws.org. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

North Kona Water Restiction Update – Spare Motor Defective and Cannot Be Used

This is an Emergency Water Restriction update for North Kona. The Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Honokohau Deepwell is out of service. Therefore, ALL residents and customers in North Kona must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes) only. Cease all landscape irrigation activities.

During today’s work, it was discovered that the spare motor is defective and cannot be used. DWS is now working on several options to obtain another spare motor before resuming the installation work. The updated repair schedule is to be determined.

DWS appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water use during this time. Government agencies, businesses, and other customers that use recycled wastewater or reclaimed water, in lieu of potable water, for their daily operations are to be commended. Adjustments were made to the water distribution system and a minimum level of water service is being maintained.

However, without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures. We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water tanker located on Hina Lani Street between Anini Street and Manu Mele Street as well as water spigots on a fire hydrant along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe Parkway and Kealakehe High School. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Keith Okamoto Confirmed as County of Hawai’i Department of Water Supply Deputy Manager

The County of Hawai`i  Water Board, unanimously confirmed Keith Okamoto as the Deputy Manager of the Department of Water Supply at their monthly meeting yesterday.

Keith Okamoto

In a letter addressed to the Water Board, newly selected Manager – Chief Engineer Quirino Antonio detailed the many reasons for his selection of Okamoto as his Deputy.  In his letter, Antonio wrote about Okamoto’s beginning at the Department in 1996 as a licensed civil engineer in the Water Resources and Planning Branch of the Engineering Division.  Then, in 2000, Okamoto was promoted to the supervisor of the Water Quality Assurance and Control Branch in the Engineering Division.  The main task of this Branch is to insure the Department remains compliant with the numerous rules related to the Safe Drinking Water Act.  In this capacity, Okamoto represented the Department as liaison with the State of Hawai`i regulating authority, the Safe Drinking Water Branch of the Department of Health.

From there, Okamoto was promoted to Assistant Engineering Division Head in 2003.  In this role, Okamoto assisted the Engineering Division Head in all duties of the position, including budget and personnel needs.  He was also specifically assigned to oversee the status of the Department’s CIP projects as well as professional services procurement.

Throughout the various capacities in which he has served at the Department, Okamoto has developed in-depth understanding and knowledge of the potable drinking water industry, applicable Federal and State laws, County codes and ordinances, Departmental rules and regulations, and various policies.

After yesterday’s confirmation, Manager Chief-Engineer Antonio offered the following congratulatory remark, “I feel very confident that we complement each other well and will make a great team in moving the Department in a positive direction.”

Originally from O‘ahu, Okamoto has lived on Hawai`i island for 15 years.