December 1987 Home   Newsletters

February 1988

April 1988

From the President (Anne Lee)
Speaking Out: Fear of Volunteering (Rhoda M. Dorsey)
Water Quality Issue Survey (Kiyoko Nitz)
Women's History Month
Lobbying Needed for Initiative (Marian Wilkins)
Join the Debate on Agriculture
New League Publication: Reapportionment in Hawaii
Fundraising Update
Initiative Forum (Marian Wilkins)
Natural Resources at the Legislature (Kiyoko Nitz)
From the Local Leagues...
And Other LWV/Hawaii News...
What Kind of School Would I Like? (Marion Saunders)

Water Quality Issue Survey

As a part of a National LWVsponsored effort, LWV/Hawaii recently conducted a Water Quality Issue Survey at the state level. Following are highlights of the Department of Health's responses to this survey and the interview that Martha Black and I conducted. We would like to thank Thomas Arizumi, Chief of the Drinking Water Section of the DOH, and staff member Melvin Hamano for their help.

  • Over 90% of the population of Hawai'i depends on groundwater for drinking water. Water system ownership is split between the federal government (primarily large systems), the counties (medium systems), and private holders (small systems).

  • Currently the state follows federally established drinking water standards. It conducts a finished water monitoring program for unregulated contaminants, but no routine source monitoring program.

  • The five major unregulated contaminants most commonly found in source and finished water supplies here are DBCP, EDB, TCP, Atrazine, and Trichloroethlene.

  • Between 1984 and .1986, 28 cases exceeding federal standards for microbiological contaminants (primarily in small and very small systems) were identified and enforcement actions were taken in 11 cases. Currently the state does not have authority to take over wells or turn them over to other managers.

  • The major impediments to implementing source protection programs are lack of 'funding and lack of authority. The state is heavily dependent on federal funding for the drinking water program budget, and at the time of the 1986 Safe Drinking Water Amendment, no federal funds were allocated to source protection.

    Though the 1987 State Legislature supported a jump in the drinking water-related program budget from $518,777 to $918,032, much of this increase is for strengthening lab facilities.

  • Other problems in implementing source protection programs are conflicts in authority, lack of public interest and support, and lack of governmental interest.

For those who are interested, all local League presidents have a copy of the full State Water Quality Issues Survey.

Kiyoko Nitz

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