EWA BEACH, Hawaii (KHON2) — Residents in Ewa are still being asked to conserve water after a wastewater force main break on Friday, Feb. 3.
The Environmental Protection Agency said about 63,000 gallons of raw wastewater spilled, but there are no reports of it reaching storm drains or the ocean.
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The City and County said the spill began at the Ewa Beach Wastewater Pump Station on Friday and lasted into Saturday, Feb. 3. Heavy rain also muddied the response but EPA officials and councilman Augie Tulba said the surrounding water is unaffected.
“The good thing is that the spill hasn’t gone into the water,” Tulba said, “so, they’re working around the clock and they’re doing their best and we’re challenged with resources. So, I know because I’m talking to the crews firsthand and they’re concerned like everybody else, and they’re doing their best to clean up that smell.”
KHON2 asked nearby residents about the smell over the weekend.
“I know you cannot put this on TV, but I mean it was really bad,” Ewa Beach resident Darrell Idica said. “You know, usually I come out here, clean up, clean the yard, dig weeds or whatever. Work on my truck, I even couldn’t come out here.”
Two small spills on Sunday, Feb. 5 and Monday, Feb. 6 near Fort Weaver Road and Popoi Place led officials to set up 24-hour monitoring sites to transport and redistribute the wastewater downstream.
Environmental Services expects repairs to be complete by the weekend of Saturday, Feb. 11 and said all spill sites were cleaned and deodorized, but the smell definitely still remained on Thursday, Feb. 8.
“And then you know, like cooking dinner and it’s like the smell coming in like, ‘I gotta smell my food! Is it spoiled?’ Like, ‘Come on, you guys,'” Idica said.
The City said a contractor is addressing the repair and said area residents should avoid doing laundry, using the dishwasher or taking long showers until it is complete.
Councilman Tulba is crossing his fingers that will be by Saturday.
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“Fingers crossed, that’s right,” Tulba said. Now the goal, the goal is to get this thing completed by the weekend and, you know, they’re putting up, updates on their website, I’m hopeful that they’ll get it completed and our residents will be taken care of.”