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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      July 17, 2006







That 5,000-foot long wastewater pipe that has been snaking down the Ala Wai Canal is being submerged today.


The City announced today (Monday, July 17, 2006) that contractors have begun the sinking of the 48-inch outside diameter  High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe.   


The floating pipe has become a familiar sight to residents on both sides of the canal who witnessed it winding its way down the canal over the last month. 


“This is a key part of completing the first phase of the Beachwalk Wastewater Emergency Bypass project,” said Eldon Franklin, chief of the Wastewater Division in the city’s Department of Design and Construction.  “The next step is to hook this pipe up to existing lines in Waikiki and near Ala Moana Beach Park.  Once that happens, we will have a way to divert wastewater, and avoid what happened earlier this year.”


Last March’s break of a force main on Kaiolu Street forced the diversion of 48 million gallons of wastewater into the Ala Wai Canal.  That resulted in the closing of Waikiki and other south shore beaches.  


Contractors on June 13 began welding the 50-foot sections of the pipe in a city park just behind the Ala Wai Elementary School.  They were able to slide four to five sections of pipe into the canal daily.  


Work on sinking the huge pipe began about 8 a.m. and is expected to take roughly eight hours. Contractors say it will take 400,000 gallons of water to submerge it. Two submersible pumps will be attached to the pipe and pump water from the canal into it on the Ala Moana Park end of the canal.  


Both federal and state agencies have approved submerging the pipe, and officials say it will be at a minimum of three feet below the surface.   


The emergency pipe will soon be filled with wastewater when the City begins phase two of the $20 million project.  That involves microtunneling under Kaiolu Street to replace the line that broke last March. 


Microtunneling is a trenchless construction method that uses a remote-controlled boring machine combined with pipe jacking to directly install pipelines underground.  The impact on a community is far less intrusive as crews don’t have to open trench a street to install sewer pipes.


The City plans to eventually pull the emergency pipe out of the canal after a permanent line is installed to replace the aging lines that are at risk of breaking again.  The City believes the emergency pipe could be in the canal up to five years.




            Bill Brennan, 527-5767

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767



Monday, July 17, 2006

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