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Landfill waste washing up between Ko Olina and Kahe Power Plant

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:11 p.m. HST, Jan 13, 2011

Tonight the state Department of Health is advising Oahu residents to avoid waters and shore areas between Ko Olina and Kahe Power Plant after the operators of the city's only municipal landfill discharged stormwater into the ocean.

At the landfill, operator Waste Management of Hawaii discharged an uncontrolled volume of storm water from the landfill into the ocean via a storm drain between Ko Olina and Kahe Power Plant.

"There is evidence of refuse , including but not limited to, medical waste, washing ashore at the Ko Olina Lagoons," the Health Department said in a press release. The city has posted warning signs in the affected areas and nearby resorts have closed their beaches until further notice.

Continued discharge of contaminated water can be expected over the next few days because storm water has collected in landfill cells, the Health Department said.

In Kaneohe earlier today, 3,000 gallons of untreated wastewater made its way out of a manhole and into Kawa Stream, which leads into Kaneohe Bay, the city Department of Environmental Services said.

In Central Oahu, the Schofield Barracks Wastewater Treatment Plant began discharging an undisclosed amount of treated effluent into Kaukonahua Stream around 11:50 a.m. today. The diversion of the flow from the Dole irrigation ditch was requested by Dole Foods because of overflowing of its storage reservoirs due to the heavy rains. 

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