Storm water from landfill dumped down drain - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Storm water from landfill dumped down drain

Steve Tyahia Steve Tyahia
Gary Kanahele Gary Kanahele

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

NANAKULI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is in the process of collecting thousands of gallons of storm water from the Waimanalo Gulch landfill and then sending it right down the drain.

One truck after another emptied its load.  The water is going down the drains in front of the Nanakuli Pump Station and will end up at the Waianae Waste Water Treatment plant.

Joining the efforts is Pacific Commercial Services. They are sucking up all the liquid that seeped out of the rubbish and sunk to the bottom of the landfill.  The yellowish liquid is going down a drain in Waianae.  It too will be treated at the wastewater plant then it will be pumped out into the ocean.  City and private trucks each carry between 2,000 to 5,000 gallons and they're making dozens of trips.

It's more work but done to avoid dumping the water directly from the landfill into the environment which Sky News Now caught them doing on Friday.

Engineers with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are in town.  They're hand holding with the city and state on the cleanup and would not answer questions about a possible investigation or if any violations or fines are possible.

"Any discharge to the environment is our concern, is our business so naturally it is for our city and state partners," said Steve Tyahla, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Engineer in the Waste Management Division. "We're helping follow up with the debris that got released from the facility and ensuring that it's stable from future rain events."

The landfill closure affects bulky waste pickup.  You can still dump appliances, tires and green waste.  However the city will not take things like furniture or anything that cannot be burned at the H-Power plant, whether you leave it at the curb or truck it to a convenience center.

"If I can't bring bulky waste I have to find someplace to store it for the time being and it's kind of inconvenient," said Gary Kanahele, who brought a pickup truck with bulky waste to the Waipahu Convenience Center.

In his case he was able to drop off everything but the kitchen sink and if the city doesn't take all the bulky waste the concern is people will dump it illegally.

"If they cannot find anyplace to get rid of the items they have to get rid of then you'll have people just dumping it anywhere," feared Kanahele.

The city won't take all the bulky items until the landfill reopens.  If all goes according to plan the landfill could reopen again by this Saturday.

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