FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 21, 2006
ALA WAI WASTEWATER SPILL REPORTED
City crews are responding this afternoon to a spill of up to 800 gallons of untreated wastewater into the Ala Wai Canal that occurred in the switchover to the Beachwalk wastewater emergency bypass system.
The switchover occurred after a crack was found earlier today in the 42-year-old Beachwalk force main.
That discovery led the City to divert wastewater from Waikiki and nearby neighborhoods to the emergency bypass system (see the DDC news release distributed earlier today).
Within minutes of the switchover, which occurred shortly before 1 p.m., wastewater was discovered flowing from one of the smaller valves in the bypass system. Unfortunately, the contractor failed to close the valve, on the mauka side of the Ala Wai Canal.
Once the spill was discovered, the valve was immediately closed, but not before an estimated 500 to 800 gallons of wastewater had spilled from it. An unknown quantity entered the canal.
The state Department of Health has been notified. Warning signs are being posted along the canal, at the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and Magic Island. Water samples are being taken. The public is advised to heed the signs and avoid the affected waters. Environmental Services workers and Ocean Safety lifeguards warned beachgoers, surfers and canoe paddlers about the spill.
The Health Department requires that all spills of more than 1,000 gallons or that reach waters frequented by people must be publicly reported.
Ross Tanimoto, Chief, Environmental Services Monitoring & Compliance Branch, 692-5371