About 1 million gallons of treated but not yet disinfected wastewater have spilled on the Windward Shore, forcing health officials to close beaches from the Halona Blow Hole to Erma’s Beach on Thursday.
Janice Okubo, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Health, said the wastewater hadn’t yet been disinfected with chlorine at the East Honolulu Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is located across from Sandy Beach.
Hawaii American Water, the company that runs the plant, said that the spill happened after an underground electrical cable shorted out because of heavy rains, interrupting the chlorination system, the Associated Press reported. The wastewater flowed from the treatment plant for about five hours.
Visitors enjoy the water at Sandy Beach in happier times — a month ago.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
On Monday, 393,000 gallons of wastewater spilled out of manholes near Ala Moana Park, with 129,000 gallons entering the ocean. That caused officials to close popular coastal areas from Kuhio Beach to Point Panic. Waikiki and Ala Moana Beach Park were reopened Wednesday despite brown water conditions still being in effect.
Meanwhile, another 24,000 gallons were spilled near Hickam Beach on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Monday. Officials are telling the public to stay out of those waters as well.
All of the mishaps have been partially blamed on recent heavy rains.
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