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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 4, 2010

Council may restrict use of emergency water faucets

Advertiser Staff

The Hawaii County Council may consider a bill to regulate the use of emergency water faucets as early as this week.

The measure would limit water to 55 gallons per day and require the use of containers no larger than 55 gallons. It would also set penalties of up to $500 and 30 days in jail for violators.

County Civil Defense maintains 15 water faucets around the Big Island. They were established in 1988 as an emergency source of drinking water, a precaution against lead contamination in catchment systems caused by acid rain.

Big Island Civil Defense Administrator Quince Mento said the water is intended for drinking and cooking use only.

However, Mento said, he's heard reports of people using the water to hose down boats and cars, and to create water slip-and-slides.