Pāpa'ikou Water Quality Warning Update for May 18th, 2021
The County of Hawaii (COH) Department of Environmental Management (DEM) provides an update on the wastewater spill that occurred in Pāpa'ikou.
Published by: HIRSC - Weather Team
The County of Hawaii (COH) - Department of Environmental Management (DEM) reports that an estimated 67,800 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled onto the ground and possibly into the Kapue Stream in Pāpa'ikou, South Hilo.
The spill occurred near 27-2086 Hawai‘i Belt Road on Saturday, May 15th. The County Wastewater Division became aware of the spill at 10:30 a.m. the next day (Sunday, May 16th), according to COH - DEM press statement. The cause of the wastewater spill was due to a sewer blockage within the sewer manhole and within the gravity line along Pāpa‘ikou Bridge.
On Monday, May 17th, 2021, DEM personnel conducted work in the area of Highway 19 (Māmalahoa Highway) between the 6 and 7-mile marker in Pāpa'ikou while they conducted work to clear the blockage using a hydraulic jetter, and the area was disinfected and cleaned. The wastewater pump at Pauka'a SPS was turned off while work was completed.
DOH-CWB posted a water quality warning for the Kapue Stream and Lyman Beach (Bay) in Pāpa'ikou following the notice of wastewater spill that occurred in the area and CWB Staff posted signs around the area, advising the public to stay out of the water until the signs have been removed. CWB Staff will continue to conduct water quality samples daily in the area.
Initial Update from the Department of Health (DOH) - Clean Water Branch (CWB):
The public is advised to remain out of waters of Kapue stream below Kapue Bridge and Lyman Bay in Papaikou, Hawaii Island.
An unknown volume of wastewater overflowed from a nearby manhole and may have entered the stream and adjacent coastline. Warning signs have been posted.
The public is advised to remain out of the affected waters until the signs have been removed.