Heavy rains from Tropical Depression Kilo contributed to a massive sewage spill near the intersection of Ala Moana Boulevard and Atkinson Drive on Monday.

The spill shut down Waikiki Beach from Kuhio Beach to Point Panic. Some tourists were still wading 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.

Waikiki Beach closed by sewage spill

Waikiki Beach is practically deserted Monday after a 100,000-gallon sewage spill near Ala Moana Shopping Center.

Nick Grube/Civil Beat

The State Department of Health has advised that the public stay out of the water in those locations and to avoid contact with any standing water near Ala Moana and Atkinson.

City work crews have responded in an attempt to stop the discharge, and signs have been posted warning people of the possible dangers.

There were several other sewage spills around Oahu on Monday, including along Kalanianaole Highway in Wailupe and at the Kailua and Kaneohe wastewater treatment facilities.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, raw sewage continued to flow into Kawa Stream in Kaneohe. City officials didn’t have an estimate of how much wastewater had spilled.

The Navy issued a press release about an estimated 1,000-gallon sewer overflow at the Merry Point Landing near the waterfront of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Work crews were notified of the spill around 10:20 a.m., and were able to stop the spill by 11 a.m.

Honolulu’s decrepit sewer system has a history of failure, which 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.

The federal action stemmed from several violations of the Clean Water Act, including a massive sewer spill in 2006 that dumped 50 million gallons of raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal and onto Waikiki beaches.

Even before the spills, the DOH had issued  a statewide brown water advisory due to the heavy rain. Parts of Oahu saw up to 6 inches of rainfall over the past 24 hours.

“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.”

More rain is expected in the coming days.

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