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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              February 24, 2006






            Heavy rains are believed responsible for a sewage spill in Kaneohe this afternoon, the second spill reported in Windward Oahu today.

             A resident of Nahiku Street reported raw sewage overflowing from a manhole near her property about 1:30 p.m. City Department of Environmental Services workers responded and found a 6-inch force main inundated by runoff from earlier rains that had entered the sewer system.

            Pumper trucks were brought in to relieve the load on the system, and repair crews stopped the spill by 2:25 p.m. An estimated 2,780 gallons is believed to have spilled. Some of it flowed into nearby Kaneohe Bay, and some of the spilled wastewater entered a storm drain that also empties into the bay.

Workers are cleaning up the spill and planned to disinfect the area.

            Earlier today, prolonged overnight rain caused a spill of an estimated 1,625 gallons of untreated sewage from two Enchanted Lake manholes. The spill occurred at Hele Street and Keolu Drive, near the Kailua Heights Wastewater Pumping Station, between 7:40 and 8:45 a.m. Runoff from the heavy rains entered the sewer system in such volume that it overwhelmed the pump station’s ability to move it on. This was despite several hours of work by crews from the Department of Environmental Services Collection Systems Maintenance Division to reduce the amount of water flowing into the station with pumper trucks.

            “Runoff enters a sewer system through what we call inflow and infiltration,” said Eric Takamura, director of Environmental Services. “Heavy rain and flooding causes runoff to enter the system in volumes that it was never designed to handle. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to avoid illegal connections to the municipal sewer system from gutters and drains.”

            Warning signs are being posted for waters that may have been affected by each of the spills.

  Water samples are being taken and the state Department of Health has been notified.  The public is advised to heed the signs and avoid affected areas.



Contact:   ENV Collection System Maintenance Division, 768-7272

       Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Friday, February 24, 2006

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