After a huge sewage spill in his neighborhood, this homeowner is dealing with a stinky mess

The dried wastewater left a gray crust on the ground of nearby properties.
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 8:23 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2023 at 3:12 PM HST

EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s been nearly a week since the city completed fixes to a wastewater main that broke in an Ewa Beach neighborhood.

But there are still signs — and smells — that the wastewaster left behind.

“It was coming out of the cover, coming right out of the sewer cover,” said Ewa Beach resident Gordon Fujisue.

The main broke right in front of his property on Makule Street.

He said the wastewater flowed into his yard and also killed one of his wife’s chickens.

The repaired main is now covered with fresh asphalt, but the nearby grass is still covered by a thin, gray crust.

“That’s all the sewage. And it’s dried now,” said Fujisue.

City Environmental Services Director Roger Babcock said some 60,000 gallons of untreated wastewater was spilled into the neighborhood.

“This is the stuff that goes down your drain, including your shower water and your sinks and your toilets,” he said.

Crews vacuumed up as much as possible and trucked it to the Honouliuli wastewater treatment facility, but heavy rain delayed repairs.

“We had to pump water out of the area and use it (the main), even through it wasn’t repaired yet, and that was in order that everyone in all of Ewa Beach, their sewers wouldn’t back up,” said Babcock.

The repairs were finally completed last week Friday, but the gray stuff remains on the ground, especially around Fujisue’s property.

Residents said crews sprayed some disinfectant, but Fujisue remains concerned.

“They shoot that chemical, and then they just leave it, so I guess they think it’s alright,” he said. “But then it wouldn’t have that smell if it was alright, yeah?”

Babcock said his department is working with a contractor to clean up the remaining mess.

“We’re hoping it will be within the next few days, for sure,” he said.

As for the layer of gray that remains, “We wouldn’t want people to be touching it or doing something else with it,” said Babcock. “You should just leave it where it is and we will take care of it.”