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February 27, 2004



            Heavy rains and lightning yesterday (Thursday, February 26) disrupted sewer systems on Windward Oahu, causing manholes to backup in Kailua and treated effluent to overflow at the Waimanalo Wastewater Treatment Plant.

            City workers spotted wastewater spilling from two manholes at 394 Wanaao Road at 5:30 p.m. last night.  An estimated 57,000 gallons of raw sewage mixed with rainwater from both manholes entered Kaelepulu Stream, which leads to Kailua Bay, before the spill stopped at 1:40 a.m. this morning (Friday, February 27).

            Yesterday’s rains also overwhelmed the Waimanalo Wastewater Treatment Plant at 41-1060 Kalanianaole Highway, overloading injection wells and causing 2,085 gallons of fully treated wastewater to overflow the facility grounds and about 300 gallons to enter an adjacent ravine.  The spill did not enter any public waters. The treated effluent had been processed at a high (“secondary”) level, which uses sand filtration and sodium hypochlorite for disinfection, but affected areas were nonetheless disinfected after the spill, which began at 4:15 p.m., stopped at 8:05 p.m.

             Meanwhile, a power disruption at the Aliamanu Wastewater Pump Station resulted in an estimated 24,000 gallons of untreated wastewater to overflow into the Navy-Marine Golf Course Driving Range grounds from 4:10 p.m. to 6:25 p.m. yesterday.  The pump station’s backup power generator system failed because lightning damaged the emergency power transfer switch.  The golf course manager was informed of the spill.

            The State Department of Health has been notified of all incidents and warning signs were posted along Kaelepulu Stream, Kailua Beach Park, the ravine adjacent to the Waimanalo Wastewater Treatment Plant and areas affected by the Aliamanu spill.  Affected areas will also be tested for contamination. 

            As a precaution, people are advised to avoid walking through puddles or ponding water in any area impacted by overflowing sewer manholes.




Friday, February 27, 2004

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