State closes Haleiwa eatery for spilling sewage on property used by kids

State closes Haleiwa eatery for spilling sewage on property used by kids
Published: Jun. 2, 2016 at 9:08 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 3, 2016 at 12:54 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HALEIWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state has ordered Haleiwa Beach House to shut down because the eatery's septic system is spilling sewage on a property frequently used by children.

The state Department of Health has suspended the eatery's food permit until the restaurant addresses the problem.

The new restaurant is developer Andy Anderson's larger remake of the old Jameson's by the Sea restaurant.

Anderson, a former City Councilman, has said he is seeking to address the issues.

The state said in a news release that the issue is "causing an imminent threat to public health by spilling wastewater onto a neighboring property used by children for educational purposes."

"Community members have been raising questions over the last several weeks and months, now the Department of Health has validated a lot of those concerns and questions that were being raised," said North Shore resident Blake McElheny.

Stuart Yamada, state Environmental Management Division administrator, said the eatery's septic system is overloaded.

"The department is ordering the Haleiwa Beach House to cease operation," he said, in a news release. "Unfortunately, the recent expansion of this restaurant was completed without the necessary State and county approvals and as a result, the wastewater system cannot adequately handle the expanded capacity of the restaurant."

"If you're not managing the waste as the allegations are and the state is saying, then that is severe. That's a serious matter," said Carroll Cox of Envirowatch.

The wastewater system is authorized for a capacity of 114 people. With an unauthorized expansion, the restaurant has increased its seating capacity to serve up to 388 people.

"I think it points to some gaps possibly in the regulatory system.," said McElheny. "Why were there no ongoing inspections? How come no one realized that the number of seats were being tripled, if not quadrupled?"

The state in inspections earlier this month, DOH officials confirmed that the eatery's wastewater system was spilling onto a neighboring property in close proximity of a fish pond. The property and fish pond are frequently visited by school students.

I think overall it's very sad and distressing situation," said McElheny. "The hope is that the regulatory agencies and the landowner can work this out so that the threat is no longer there."

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