Kakaako residents complain of sewer odors - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kakaako residents complain of sewer odors

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For some Kakaako residents, it's the smell of over development.

Over the past several months, residents at the One Waterfront Towers luxury condos say noxious odors have been seeping into their homes from nearby sewer lines. And they're threatening to sue the state over the problem.

"There are times when the stench becomes so unbearable that (One Waterfront employees) complain they can't stay at their post at the kiosk because of the stench," said John Horvath, resident manager of the complex.

Many of the homeowners have been critical of the state's plans to develop more high rises in Kakaako.They say the new developments will further tax the neighborhood's already stressed out infrastructure.

"I think the cause is that there is not enough sewage pipe or whatever to carry the load. My understanding is it gets channeled into one place an it gets overworked," said George Beavin, president of the One Waterfront Tower condo association.

"At this point, he sewers are overloaded at this point and can imagine when we imagine when we see a whole bunch of high rise buildings going in there adding to the sewage? It's going to be really, really bad."

City and state officials say they believe the problem is mostly due to a design flaw at the One Waterfront complex and that there's no cause for alarm.

They say the sewer system can handle existing and future demand.

But state Rep. Scott Saiki, who held a public meeting on the issue two weeks ago, isn't buying that argument.

"What comes across in our hearing two weeks ago was that HCDA's (Hawaii Community Development Authority's) consideration of infrastructure improvements seems to be piecemeal and after the fact, meaning that they are considering these issues after applications are being approved," said Saiki, D-Kakaako, Downtown.

Saiki said state lawmakers are considering legislation in the upcoming session to deal with Kakaako's infrastructure problems.

But in the meantime, the city says it will flush out nearby sewer lines to see if that will clear the air.

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