Residents frustrated with trash, stench from Nanakuli canal


Good news for a Nanakuli neighborhood.

The city is finally working to clear Ulehawa drainage canal, which residents say has been both an eyesore and a source of unbearable stench for months.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit was obtained to work on the stream mouth opening. Department of Facility Maintenance Director Ross Sasamura said in a press release Monday that “we are working on a de-watering basin near the beach that is used to dry the sand. Once the basin is complete, we will move the sand from the stream mouth to the basin. All work is near the beach area makai of Farrington Highway.”

KHON2 found piles of trash collected in the stagnant waters when we first reported the story nearly two weeks ago.

“If you open up the cover of a cesspool, that’s what you’re smelling. So filthy, you need to close all your windows, all your windows. That’s how filthy it is,” said Nanakuli resident Laura Taua.

“Yeah, it stinks. Sometimes you can smell dead animals constantly like that,” said Nanakuli resident Ted Lessary.

“Like sewer. Like water, like old molding, sitting water,” said Nanakuli resident Lauren Diaz.

Some residents say the smell from the canal has gotten so bad, it’s affecting their quality of life.

“This is really giving me a headache and I like to do a lot of garden stuff in the yard,” said a woman who lives on Maaloa Street.

So we took their concerns to the city. The Department of Facility Maintenance says it is aware of the problem and tells KHON2 that crews regularly maintain the canal.

“We go out there as often as necessary. I can’t say when the last time we were out there, but it would likely have been within the last quarter,” Sasamura said.

But cleaning out the canal has had its roadblocks. The city had to first obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and clearance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

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