Sewage Spill Anniversary Approaches

Craig Nishimura
Craig Nishimura

WAIKIKI (KHNL) This weekend, Oahu marks one year since the island's worst sewage spill.

On March 24, 2006, an aging sewer pipe in Waikiki broke, sending 48 million gallons of sewage into local waters.

Honolulu officials say since then, they've come a long way, but they still have a ways to go.

Now, crews work on digging a huge pit on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki, and get ready to bore a second sewer line underground.

"We've got one in already we need to go and hook that one up to the pump station and to the existing bypass line," said Craig Nishimura, design deputy director.

The second line and pit will mirror the first one. The lines will give the city an emergency backup in case one fails. Officials say they're state of the art pipes, expected to last well into the next century. It's all part of the Beachwalk Wastewater Emergency Bypass Project.

It began last May and crews completed the first phase two months later. It gives the city the ability to bypass another sewer break.

The city knows the construction has affected residents and visitors for almost a year.

"We thank them for the patience and we would appreciate that they have a little more patience with us as we complete the project," said Nishimura.

The majority of the work should wrap up in July. The second phase is expected to be completed in October.