Waipahu canal pollution worsens

Waipahu canal pollution worsens

WAIPAHU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Illegal dumping at the Waipahu Drainage Ditch has been a problem for years but people who work in the area said it's getting worse.

At the mouth of the ditch near Leokane Street, there were 24 shopping carts, hundreds of pounds of trash and oil slicks polluting the waterway.

"It's an eyesore and it smells sometimes and it seems dangerous like it can flood and everything," said Dewayne Sprinkel of Waipahu.

Environmental activist Carroll Cox said the problem is a recurring one, caused by people who dump their garbage upstream. 

About a mile north of the mouth, someone dumped a water heater and shopping cart on the side of the canal. When heavy rains hit like today, the rubbish winds up in the canal and washes downstream.

"[The trash] comes from people having poor judgment dumping it on the edge of the stream or dumping it in the stream upstream and it all collects here," Cox said.

"Apparently, anything goes here and it's dumped. We've seen sofas. We've seen a treadmill ... We've even seen medical waste, needles, medical prescriptions."

City crews often clean up the canal. But like the heavy rains, the garbage always seems to come back.

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