On A Wing and Some Air

Waikiki Beach closes due to overflow!

Waikiki Beach closes due to overflow!

Know someone heading to Honolulu for fun in the sun?

You might want to warn them to stay out of the water for a while. The Hawaii Department of Health warns people to stay out of the water as crews try to contain more than 500,000 gallons of wastewater.

Heavy rains from Tropical Depression Kilo are to thank for a sewage spill at Waikiki Beach near the intersection of Ala Moana Boulevard and Atkinson Drive on Monday.

The gross spill apparently shut down Waikiki Beach from Kuhio Beach to Point Panic. However, some tourists decided they didn’t care and were still wading in, even though signs were posted for them to stay out.

It’s estimated that more than 500,000 gallons of wastewater have surged from manhole covers and into the streets and nearby waterways, including around Kewalo Basin and the Ala Wai Boat Harbor, according to the Honolulu Mayor’s Office.

Courtesy Nick Grube / Civil Beat

Courtesy Nick Grube / Civil Beat

Honolulu’s sewer system has a history of failure due to its age and poor maintenance. In 2010 this caused the city to enter into a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 that requires billions of dollars in upgrades to the municipal wastewater system, all of which are obviously complete.

“The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris,” the advisory stated. “Not all coastal areas may be impacted by runoff. However, if the water is brown stay out.”

The island of Oahu has been seeing huge rainfall totals over the past 24 hours, some parts of the island receiving as much as up to 6 inches of rain. What could possibly be better?

There is more rain in the forecast.



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