People warned away from water at Ko Olina

People warned away from water at Ko Olina
Sydni Kobayashi
Sydni Kobayashi
Dale Mikami
Dale Mikami
Markus Owens
Markus Owens
Sweetie Nelson
Sweetie Nelson

KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Signs planted at Paradise Cove warned about contaminated water made Sydni Kobayashi and her daughter pack up their beach gear.

"We were planning on coming here. This is one of her favorite spots now," Kobayashi said.

The city Department of Environmental Services estimates more than 1,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled out of a busted pipe on Aliinui Drive and into storm drains that lead to the ocean.

Water samples will be tested for bacteria and viruses. The danger for beachgoers is real.

"They could get gastrointestinal problems. Or if they have wounds, there's always the chance that they may get an infection from it," said Dale Mikami, spokesman for the Department of Health's Clean Water Branch.

The 16-inch force main is part of the line that moves sewage from Ko Olina and the Disney Aulani resort to the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant. The city said about 1.1 million gallons flow through the pipe every day.

"They'll probably cut the pipes in half, put a sleeve in there, seal them together and put concrete around it to make sure it stays," city Environmental Services Dept. spokesman Markus Owens said.

With the line disabled, sewage tankers trucked waste to a pumping station.

Signs saying no fishing or swimming were put up over three quarters of a mile of coast line from Paradise Cove to Ko Olina's lagoons,

"They can't use lagoon 1 and 2 until further notice, but lagoons 3 and 4 are just a short walk down, and those are open and unaffected at the moment," said Sweetie Nelson of Sheila Donnelly and Associates.

"I guess we'll have to find somewhere else to go," Kobayashi said.

Force mains take sewage from a flat surface to where gravity takes over. The Ko Olina pipe that broke was installed in 1987.

"Most force mains last about 50 years of a life span," Owens said. "You do get some wear and tear here and there on them because of the gas inside the pipes."

The ocean samples will be tested and analyzed before the Department of Health orders the signs be taken down and people be allowed back in the water.

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