POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 16, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 2:19 a.m. HST, Jul 16, 2010
QUESTION: I am looking at the 2010 Annual Water Quality Report from the Board of Water Supply that came in the mail recently. It is many pages long and mailed to homeowners. Has the city ever surveyed how many people actually read and understand the report? Why does the city not just print it in the newspaper as well as online? This will save a lot of paper and postage. Perhaps the evening news can just make a brief comment each time the report comes out.
ANSWER: The report is not produced by the city, but by the semiautonomous Water Board.
Federal drinking water regulations require water utilities to send their customers a report on the quality of their drinking water by July 1 of each year, said BWS spokeswoman Tracy Burgo.
Whether someone actually reads the report would seem to be an individual decision—no surveys have been done.
The Consumer Confidence Report, better known as the Water Quality Report, identifies where each customer's water comes from, reports what contaminants were found in the water and how the amounts compare with the standards for safe drinking water, and describes any treatment process used to make the water safe to drink.
It also explains the terms used in regulating drinking water and lets customers know where to go for more information.
"Because (the board) has more than 175 water sources across the island and not everyone receives water from the same source, we would be unable to satisfy these requirements with a single report," Burgo said.
She said federal regulations also require water utilities to use their "best efforts" to reach all of its customers, with noncompliance resulting in significant penalties.
The board spends about $30,000 to produce, print and mail out more than 190,000 reports each year, which amounts to 16 cents for each report, Burgo said.
"We believe that keeping the public informed about the quality of its drinking water is an important part of our job," Burgo said.
QUESTION: I paid off my mortgage a couple of years ago and was told the ownership papers would be sent to me by the state but that it could take a while. Where can I go to inquire about getting a copy?
ANSWER: You can obtain official public records from the Bureau of Conveyances, which is part of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Call 587-0154 to order a recorded document.
You also can order documents through the bureau's Land Title Records Online Search and Ordering System. Go to ehawaii.gov and click on Order Conveyance Documents under New Online Services.
To Michelle Najem and Crystal Knox, first-time visitors to Hawaii from Houston. On Sunday night, July 11, they found my wallet on the ground at a gas station near Central Middle School and contacted me. When I met them at a Waikiki restaurant to get my wallet, they declined to accept any sort of reward. They said they believe in karma and that good deeds will bring their own rewards. I am fortunate that these karmic angels found my wallet. -- Mike Yuen, Honolulu