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More than 322K gallons of sewage discharges on Oahu; multiple water advisories remain

JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A layer of brown water flowing from the Ala Wai canal is seen on Monday in Honolulu during the kona low storm earlier this week.
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JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

A layer of brown water flowing from the Ala Wai canal is seen on Monday in Honolulu during the kona low storm earlier this week.

The torrential rains and storm brought on by the “Kona low” earlier this week resulted in at least nine sewer discharges across Oahu, with water advisories that are expected to remain in effect for several more days.

More than 322,000 gallons of wastewater are estimated to have discharged at sites from Halawa to Aina Haina, mostly on Monday and Tuesday, due to heavy rains, according to the Hawaii Department of Health Clean Water Branch.

The department advises the public to stay out of waters at multiple locations, including Keehi Lagoon, Kapalama Canal, Maunalua Bay, and Wailupe, Heeia and Manoa streams.

Brown water advisories also remain in effect for waters surrounding every major island, including Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii.

It will take some time to clear up, according to officials, and the public should definitely stay out, not swim, and exercise caution in these waters, including areas like Waikiki, which experienced a lot of runoff.

“Generally, we like to see at least three days of solid sunshine,” said Myron Honda, coordinator of the Clean Water Branch.

He said teams will head out Monday to assess the status of the sites, but will not be sampling water since entire isles are under brown water advisories..

Areas where the public should stay out of waters include:

>> Waters of Keehi Lagoon due to a sewer discharge on Enger Street at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. An estimated 6,000 gallons entered a storm drain leading to Keehi Lagoon due to heavy rains. The discharge has been stopped.

>> Waters from Moanalua Stream to Keehi Lagoon due to a wastewater discharge on Jarrett White Road near Tripler Army Medical Center. A total of 140,000 gallons, including wastewater mixed with rainwater, was discharged. Of that total about 133,000 entered a storm drain leading to the bay and Keehi Lagoon, while 7,000 was recovered. The discharge has been stopped.

>> Waters of Maunalua Bay near Niuiki Circle in Aina Haina due to a wastewater discharge near 126 Niuiki Circle. About 190 gallons of wastewater discharge entered a storm drain leading to Maunalua Bay. The discharge has been stopped.

>> Waters at Heeia Stream near 46-163 Hulaulani Street on the windward side of Oahu. Officials said about 1,200 gallons spilled into the stream, and that the discharge has been stopped.

>> Waters of Halawa Stream near 1718 Piikea Street, where about 8,000 gallons of untreated wastewater mixed with stormwater discharge has gone due to heavy rains. The discharge has been stopped and areas has been cleaned and disinfected.

>> Waters of Wailupe Stream and Maunalua Bay in Aina Haina near 5311 Kalanianaole Highway. A total of 31,200 gallons of wastewater was discharged, with 9,200 gallons entering Wailupe Stream. The discharge has been stopped, and the area cleaned and disinfected.

>> Kapalama Canal waters near 1015 N. School St., where the volume of wastewater discharge is unknown but estimated at more than 1,000 gallons. The discharge is still ongoing.

>> Manoa Stream near 2702 Lowrey Avenue. More than 30,000 gallons of wastewater was discharged, with 20,000 recovered and 10,075 having entered the storm drain. The discharge has been stopped.

>> Kapalama Canal waters near 1015 N. School St., where an estimated 154,020 gallons of wastewater discharge has flowed. The discharge has been stopped, and the area cleaned and disinfected.

Signs are posted in affected areas, and the public is advised to remain out of these areas until further notice.

“The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris,” officials said.

If the water is brown, the public should stay out, officials said.

The public can subscribe to water advisory notifications at eha-cloud.doh.hawaii.gov/cwb.

Correction: Sewage spills occurred near 126 Niuiki Circle and near 5311 Kalanianaole Highway. They did not originate on those properties. An earlier version of this story, based on information from the state Department of Health Clean Water Branch, said the the spills happened at those properties.
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