Sewage discharge station hinders plans for food trucks near Kahului Harbor

Plans to beautify a shoreline parcel on Maui have hit another obstacle as the site is also where wastewater pumping trucks are allowed to discharge.
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 6:48 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2022 at 7:13 PM HST
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KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A plan to beautify a shoreline parcel on Maui has hit yet another obstacle.

A lot near Kahului Harbor is finally cleared of homeless and ready for food trucks thanks to a local nonprofit organization. But it’s got a pretty foul neighbor — a sewage discharge station.

“You can smell the sewage as they dump,” said Vince Razo, Inmate Initiative president. “You can see some of the spills that they have there, and that’s not good with the spills, especially right next to the ocean.”

Last year, the location was covered with homeless encampments. Razo and his team cleared out and cleaned up the lot. His vision is to turn the entire lot into a community gathering place.

“We’re trying to make it nice, clean it up, and our vision is to put food trucks in here, make like a hangout spot, hopefully make a camping site for families to come down and enjoy the area,” he said.

The area off Kahului Beach Road is where wastewater pumping trucks are allowed to discharge what they have collected into the county’s sewage system.

“As a food truck owner, would you want to sell your food to customers with this happening? And also, as a customer, would you want to come here and buy food?” Razo asked.

According to County Wastewater Infrastructure maps, it is a “sanitary sewer manhole” installed in 1955.

Meanwhile, Mark Recopuerto, owner of Maana Wagon, secured his spot in the lot two months ago.

“It’s bad for my customers,” Recopuerto said. “They say it really stinks. But I can’t tell them I can stop it.”

Razo and Recopuerto both hope the county can utilize another location for sewage trucks to discharge so they can move forward with their vision.

“I wish they could just go straight to the plant and dump there instead of come here. Because we’re trying to start a business and get these things going for the community,” said Recopuerto.

Hawaii News Now sent a request to Maui County for answers and is still waiting on a response.

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