FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2004
WAIMANALO WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT CONTINUING INTERMITTENT SPILLAGE FOLLOWING HEAVY RAINS
Disruptions to Oahu’s sewer system eased a bit today (Saturday, February 28), as heavy rains dissipated, but at least one wastewater treatment plant was still being affected by the residual effect of the storm and a power problem caused another to bypass treated sewage.
The Waimanalo Wastewater Treatment Plant continues to overflow treated wastewater intermittently and the City has posted warning signs along, and will do contamination tests of, affected areas of Bellows Beach as a precaution.
The treatment plant has been spilling wastewater off and on since Thursday, when heavy rains first overwhelmed it. The wastewater was already partially treated, or treated at a high (“secondary”) level, which uses sand filtration and sodium hypochlorite for disinfection. The spillage has also been in areas not accessible to the public. However, to ensure public safety, people are being warned against entering the waters at Bellows Beach.
A nine-minute power disruption at Wahiawa Wastewater Treatment Plant today resulted in a discharge into Lake Wilson of 40,000 gallons of effluent that had undergone tertiary treatment, but not the final ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. Because tertiary treatment is a high level of wastewater treatment, State health officials consider the discharge a “disinfection bypass,” not a sewage spill. However, warning signs were posted along affected areas of Lake Wilson, which will also be sampled for contamination.
The following is an update of other sewage spills that were reported yesterday:
· The Sand Island Treatment Plant spilled 47,250 gallons between 3 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. onto the facility grounds. The State Department of Health was notified and contaminated areas were disinfected, but no signs were posted since the property is not generally accessible to the public.
· The Kaneohe Preliminary Treatment Facility estimated that 45,000 gallons of raw sewage backed out of a manhole and overflowed the facility grounds, and about 25,000 gallons entered Kawa Stream, which discharges into Kaneohe Bay. The spill ended at 10:30 p.m. yesterday. Warning signs have been posted at affected areas and waters have been sampled for analysis.
· The Aliamanu Wastewater Pump Station Number 1 estimated that 2,800 gallons of raw sewage (note: yesterday’s estimate of 24,000 gallons was incorrect) overflowed onto the Navy-Marine Golf Course Driving Range, where it was contained and did not reach public waters. The spill lasted about five hours, ending at 7:15 p.m. yesterday.