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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, July 20, 2000

Illegal dump
of waste likely
caused odor

The "horrible odor" a Kailua resident complained about in the July 12 Kokua Line apparently came from effluent illegally dumped into a city storm drainage ditch next to Kaelepulu Elementary School in early June.

Not finding anything obvious when she visited the area, a state environmental health specialist had speculated that the odor may have come from Enchanted Lake.

Not so, says Katherine A. Kelly, president of the Enchanted Lake Residents Association, which owns the lake. She said the "really really horrible odor" was detected in the area between June 10 and 23 and did not originate in the lake, but came from either septic or grease-trap waste dumped into the ditch.

A Kukilakila resident reported seeing a white tank truck dumping something into the ditch about 2 a.m. June 10, but did not alert authorities, Kelly said.

She was off island until June 18, returning home to numerous telephone calls about "the stink in the lake." However, once she found out about the dumping, which had begun draining into the lake, Kelly called the fire department, which sent out a hazardous materials crew.

Gerald Takayesu, head of the city Department of Environmental Service's Storm Water Quality Branch, said the city didn't learn about the dumping until June 15, after several days had passed.

It's important for the public to call 911 immediately if they see such illegal dumping, providing a license number, if possible, he said.

As soon as his office learned about the dumping, a road crew opened a fire hydrant and washed the odoriferous matter away. Takayesu said state and city officials are trying to track down the culprit, but have not identified any suspects.

"It may or may not involve grease-trap haulers," he said. However, a letter was sent to several grease-trap hauling companies informing them of the incident and advising them that "knowingly discharging wastewater into a storm drain is a criminal offense."

Question: Our office has yard-long fluorescent light bulbs. How do you dispose of them safely? I don't want to just throw them away in the trash and risk having the refuse collectors get cut from shards. Is there any way to safely dispose of them, especially businesses that have a lot of them?

Answer: Just wrap them in newspapers, said refuse collection Administrator David Shiraishi.

As for businesses that may have a large number of such bulbs to dispose of, if they don't have an account with the city, "that's a different issue," he said. They should check with their private disposal company.


To the individuals who maliciously tore down the bulletin board at Salt Lake Elementary School, which was generously donated by a former parent. The board, which was outside my classroom, is unsalvageable. Our kindergarten memos cannot be posted any longer due to their thoughtlessness. -- Upset teacher


To a nice Caucasian lady in a SUV who picked up my lost son by the Waialae Iki soccer field Tuesday night, June 27, and dropped him off near the Mormon Church in Kahala. We were visiting from Seattle and my son somehow got lost at 7:30 p.m. He didn't know where his grandma lived. We appreciate what she did. -- Clarence Chong

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
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