Curiosity kills
cat that causes
sewage spill

About 4.6 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into Honolulu Harbor, Nuuanu Stream and Kapalama Canal last night after a stray cat caused a short-circuit at a Kalihi pumping station, city officials said this morning.

The cat sneaked in through a small hole in the pumping station on Hart Street, one block mauka of Nimitz Highway, about 8 p.m. and caused a short-circuit that shut down the station's electrical system, the city said.

Sewage is normally pumped from the Hart Street station to the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The short-circuit also damaged the station's transfer circuits so when city crews arrived about an hour later they were unable to use the emergency generator the keeps the plant running during power outages.

City crews were alerted to a problem by the plant's automated monitoring system.

Some sewage was diverted to another pumping station on River Street in downtown Honolulu and tanker trucks were brought in to move sewage to the Sand Island plant.

The city notified the state Department of Health and posted warning signs in affected waterways.

City officials were monitoring the harbor, stream and canal, according to a news release.

The Hart Street pumping station serves the area between Salt Lake and Kalihi.

City crews worked through the night to repair the electrical system and the plant was expected to be back in operation by 9 a.m. today, the city said.

The cat did not survive, according to the city's information office.


E-mail to City Desk


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