JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
A 2 a.m. accident involving an unidentified vehicle tore off a section of a temporary sewer line in Hawaii Kai yesterday, releasing untreated waste water onto Lunalilo Home Road and into the adjacent marina. Signs posted later warned the public to stay out of the water.
Sewage spills after hit and run
A line rupture on Lunalilo Home Road sends 2,500 gallons into Kuapa Pond
About 2,500 gallons of raw sewage spilled onto Lunalilo Home Road in Hawaii Kai early yesterday after a vehicle was believed to have struck a temporary sewer bypass line that snakes its way along the surface.
According to Hawaii American Water, a private company that provides waste-water service to the area, a vehicle struck part of the polyethylene bypass line in the 700 block of Lunalilo Home Road at about 2 a.m.
The line, about a foot in diameter, runs above ground in the center of Lunalilo Home Road between Kalanipuu Street and the intersection of Lunalilo Home Road and Hawaii Kai Drive.
Hawaii American Water manager Lee Mansfield said it appeared that the driver of the vehicle was heading makai and lost control. The driver is believed to have crossed the center line and pushed the bypass line to the mauka-bound lane.
No information was available on the vehicle, but police were notified about the incident, Mansfield said.
The untreated waste water spilled onto Kalanianaole Highway, then into a storm discharge at 770 Kalanipuu Street and into Kuapa Pond, he said.
Mansfield said the bypass line was not in use at the time of the incident, but the line was full of waste water.
Had the line been in operation, the spill could have been worse.
"It's a very small spill, luckily," he said.
Nevertheless, company officials called the Department of Health to inform them of the spill. Signs were also posted at small private parks located on opposite sides of the marina, warning the public to stay out of the water. Samples were taken, and the company will notify the public when water quality returns to normal, Mansfield said.
Marina patrol officers also warned boaters of the spill, he said.
Mansfield estimated that it will take about three to four days before they receive the results of the water samples.
The bypass line was installed to help contractors make repairs to the aging main sewer line on Lunalilo Home Road. The main line was installed sometime in the early 1960s.
Hawaii American Water has been working on the project for the past three months. It is slated to be completed by the beginning of December, Mansfield said. The contractor for the project is Instutiform, which is expected to make minor repairs to the line.
Anyone with information on the vehicle that struck the bypass line should call police, Mansfield said.
In a separate project, the city is currently working on installing a new force main between Puuikena Drive and Niuiki Circle to replace an aging main that had ruptured several times last year. The city installed an above-ground temporary bypass line along a section of Kalanianaole Highway to serve area residents. Installation of the new force main is slated to be completed in December.