The untreated wastewater discharges have been reported and the public is advised to stay out of floodwaters
Heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Lane led to three wastewater discharges in Hilo, Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Discharges occurred at the Paukaa and Wailuku sewage pump stations into Hilo Bay, while a spill at the Pua sewage pump station occurred in the Puhi Bay in Keaukaha. The total amount of untreated wastewater spilled currently is unknown, but the county’s Department of Environmental Management said that the spills were caused by abnormally high flows.
The initial spills occurred at 5:45 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24, but residents are being advised to remain cautious around floodwaters where the risk of bacteria may be high. Warnings have been issued to remain out of the water at Wailuku River, Hilo Bay and the coastal waters near Paukaa, as reported by West Hawaii Today.
The rain is, “more than we’ve ever had in a long time,” said Wastewater Division Chief Dora Beck. “The grounds are becoming saturated so the rain waters are ending up entering the collection system and into our pump stations, and the pumps just can’t keep up.”
A statewide brown water advisory was issued Aug. 23, due to storm water runoff entering coastal waters.