Health officials: Manhole mess in Palolo an act of vandalism

Health officials: Manhole mess in Palolo an act of vandalism
Lori Kahikina
Lori Kahikina

PALOLO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Debris, apparently including a tricycle, was thrown into a Palolo manhole sometime Monday night, resulting in a blocked line and a backup of sewer water.

City crews responded at approximately 10:30pm Monday and were still working midday Tuesday to unclog the line.

Environmental Services Director Lori Kahikina described the problem.

"There's actually rocks the size of the diameter of the pipe which is about 15 inches.  Honestly, if it's boulders they're talking about or other materials in there, it's going to be very difficult other than busting in there and pulling it out".

Crews were attacking the problem from two angles Tuesday.  At one end, a small team was physically trying to remove debris with a variety of handheld equipment.  At another opening, heavy trucks were trying to vacuum out more debris.

Kahikina implored residents in the area of 2171 Ahe Street to help their cause.

“If they could cut back on their usage--don't wash dishes or do laundry" she said.

The runoff poured into Palolo Stream and eventually the Ala Wai Canal.  Warning signs were put up telling people not to go into the water or fish because of the threat of illness.

Areas included were Palolo Stream, Ala Wai Canal, Magic Island, and surf sites Bamburas, Ala Moana Bowls, Rock Piles, In Betweens and Kaisers.

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