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EPA and Hawai’i Department of Health present award to City and County of Honolulu County receives ‘Aquarius Award’ for Board of Water Supply work

Release Date: 05/14/2007
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(05/14/07) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawai’i Department of Health today honored the City and County of Honolulu with the 2006 Hawai’i Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Project of the Year Award.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply is being recognized for its work on five projects that will provide public health benefits by providing drinking water that meets all standards. The major projects totaling over $28 million include:

* Replacing a water well in Waimanalo that has been closed due to contamination from the pesticide Alachlor.

* Building a treatment facility in Ewa to remove pesticides from a new leeward Oahu water source that was used for sugar cane irrigation. The effort would benefit over 173,000 residents. Another treatment facility will be built in Kunia to remove elevated nitrates from a central Oahu well.

* An ongoing effort to replace the aging water supply system in Ewa Beach and Wahiawa.

“We are pleased to honor the Honolulu Board of Water Supply for its work on five projects that will supply safe drinking water to over a million people,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “These projects will help renew aging drinking water infrastructure, improve drinking water service, and drinking water quality for the residents of Oahu.”

“These projects will protect and improve drinking water for Oahu residents, and the Department of Health is pleased to assist the BWS financially,” said Larry Lau, Deputy Director for DOH’s Environmental Health Administration.

“While we may differ on some matters, this award demonstrates that the City can indeed work with the EPA,” said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

The treatment projects highlight the Board of Water Supply’s commitment to provide high quality drinking water by treating the water before contaminants exceed drinking water standards.

The “Aquarius Award” recognizes the most innovative and effective drinking water loan projects. Since 1997 the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has provided $9.5 billion dollars in assistance nationwide. Through the fund water utilities have access to low interest loans and states can fund programs to protect source water and provide technical assistance to drinking water utilities. The State of Hawaii Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Loan Fund has provided over $53 million dollars in assistance throughout the state and is capitalized by grants from the EPA and the state.
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