Jul 24, 2007

Honolulu to Spend $30 Million on Wastewater Treatment Plant

The city of Honolulu plans to spend nearly $30 million on the Kailua Wastewater Treatment Plant in order to stop a stench that has been affecting the surrounding community for decades.

According to Honolulu Advertiser, the city has spent millions to stop the odor, but it hasn’t fixed the smell.

The plan, which will also address noise, will include a $25 million project where the city will work to control the odor and study the results. Gaskets will be installed to reduce the leaking of foul air, odor control units will be cleaned more frequently and chemicals will be added to the sewer collection system to treat odors before the wastewater even makes it to the plant.

Honolulu Advertiser stated that the city has also outlined longer-range projects to upgrade equipment or treatment processes that could produce odors if not fixed immediately.

Eric Takamura, director of city Department of Environmental Services, reported that the odor is caused mostly by the release of hydrogen sulfide and volatile acids.

In the 1990s, environmental groups sued the city over sewage spills and other system problems. A settlement was reached and a 20-year consent decree signed in 1995. At this point, the plant received $4.8 million in upgrades, but the odor problem was never fixed.

Another reason for the upgrades is that the city has been fined for emission violations that have nauseated schoolchildren. Residents also fear that the constant odor contributes to allergies and asthma problems.