Friday, February 12, 1999

Sewage spill
spurs demands from
condo board

The Kaneohe residents
don't want construction work
done at night

By Harold Morse


Residents of Kauhale Beach Cove condominiums in Kaneohe were angered by trucks driving through their property at night to remove sewage pumped from a broken force main, and they don't want a repeat performance.

At a board meeting last night, they told city officials they want guarantees in writing they won't be unduly disturbed by installation of a new sewage line or related activity. About 25 people, including guests, attended the meeting at the beach-side complex.

Roy Abe, vice president of Hawaii Pacific Engineers, consultant to the city, said the broken force main is some 30 years old and that over the past 10 years or so, it has experienced five breaks from corrosion. It's a cast-iron line, a type expected to last 50 to 100 years, Abe said.

"But in Kaneohe, because of the wet soil, the wet weather, it does tend to corrode."

The trend now is to use plastic pipes, Abe said.

A draft environmental assessment has been prepared for replacing the main with plastic pipe and also to install a new pump for a waste-water station on the Kauhale Beach Cove property, Abe said.

More than one board member said he didn't get any sleep for two nights while sewage was pumped from the broken line to be hauled away.

The break was less than 50 feet from Keaahala Stream, and about 7,200 gallons of untreated sewage went into the stream and adjacent Kaneohe Bay. The break occurred about 10 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Waikapoki pump station at 45-180 Mahalani Place.

City crews stopped the spill about 3 a.m. the next day, and trucks continued to go onto the condo property to take sewage to haul out. Noise, odors and exhaust fumes drove some residents to spend at least one night elsewhere.

Board members voted last night to agree to further city drilling for soil tests as part of planning for installing the new sewer line and related improvements. But they will ask the city to pay 20 percent of maintenance or repair costs for their parking lot after construction work is done, plus other provisions to be agreed upon later.

Abe assured residents work wouldn't go on at night.

Jerry Kami, of the city Department of Design and Construction, said daytime construction noise would not be as loud as last week's disruption.

The city is allowing for up to a year for this construction, Abe said.

E-mail to City Desk

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