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Thursday, August 27, 2015
After Lying, Caldwell Admin Finally Admits Waikiki Flooding is Purely Due to City's own Incompetence
By Selected News Articles @ 2:00 AM :: 8659 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Tourism

Caldwell 'Running from Controversy', 'Wasn't Around' During Crisis, 'Not the First Time'

KHON Aug 26, 2015: ...The mayor confirms that miscommunication is to blame for not having one of two pumping stations on line when the storm hit on Monday.

“It’s unacceptable,” Caldwell said. “We do not want to see this occur again. Lori (Kahikina) is meeting with her staff. We’ve talked numerous times about this issue. It’s not the first time this happened, but I think people are learning to be more aware.

“I would share the blame with everyone (else). I think every time we go through one of these, we are better prepared and it was unacceptable what occurred,” he said.

As for why the mayor wasn’t around when the crisis was occurring the past couple of days, Caldwell said he felt it wasn’t necessary, because (insert excuse here) the spill had been contained.

“When you asked ‘where’s the mayor,’ my director of communications (Jesse Broder Van Dyke) said you’ll have me here and here I am now. Some people think I’m running from controversy. I’ve been mayor now for two years and 8 months, front and center on rail front and center on homelessness.” (Oh yeah.  Rail & homelessness.  Those are two big, big successes.)

SA: Sewage spill from Hawaii Kai plant reported

read ... Mayor: ‘I would share the blame with everyone’

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After Lying, Caldwell Admin Finally Admits Waikiki Flooding is Purely Due to City's own Incompetence

HNN Aug 25, 2015: ...City officials said the problem stemmed from heavy rains Sunday night and debris clogging the city's storm drainage. Plus, they said people illegally opened manholes in their neighborhoods to alleviate flooding -- sending rainwater into the sewer system -- but Tuesday they backed off those claims.

"We can't say for sure. We received anecdotal reports, but they're unsubstantiated and we don't have any photographic evidence or any other details that we can provide at this time," said Ross Sasamura, the Director of Honolulu's Facility Maintenance Department.

City officials also said the situation was exacerbated because a nearby pump station was closed for construction. Tuesday, they took responsibility for failing to have a crucial part installed in preparation for the storm.

"We did not have a flange installed and that was purely our fault. Between my department and the department of design and construction, we definitely should have improved our communication so that that flange was put on. We have two pump stations there -- Ala Moana pump station #1 can only pump about 60 million gallons. pump station #2 can do 100 million gallons. So you do the math. We really should have had pump station #2 ready to go when that storm was coming," said Kahikina. "We have a huge meeting tomorrow with the two department heads and the chiefs on how can we improve communication because this never should have happened."....

HNN: Brown water warning affects Waikiki beach businesses

SA: Don’t allow sewage spill repeat

2014: 20 Million Gallons of Sewage Spill on Sand Island

read ... Caldwell Admin Lies Busted

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UPDATE Aug 30:  New Lies--Caldwell Now Claims no Sewage Pumps Were Offline

SA: Caldwell said the sewage system is separate from the storm drainage system and does not have the capacity to handle storm runoff, which has led to past sewage spills. City officials have also confirmed that no city sewer pumping stations were offline due to construction, which was the cause of a spill at Ala Moana Beach Park on Monday. (Read that sentence again very slowly.)

Tim Houghton, deputy director of the city's Department of Environmental Services, said workers have already positioned extra pumps and generators in case there is flooding....

read ... Sewage

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Caldwell Coverup: Environmentalist criticizes city for not testing for sewage in Waikiki on day of spill

HNN: When nearly half a million gallons of raw sewage poured into Ala Moana Beach Park on Monday, the city tested nearby areas for bacteria levels caused by the sewage spill. But it didn't test for sewage in Waikiki that day.

"I'm very concerned that there was no testing for sewage on Monday," said Marti Townsend, director of the Sierra Club of Hawaii. "Common sense dictates that we have more sampling than less."

The day that human waste gushed out of the sewer line beneath Atkinson Drive, the city and the state closed beaches between Kakaako and Kapahulu.

The city tested at 19 different locations that day. But it only conducted tests for sewage in Waikiki the next day after it was told to do so by the state Health Department.

Here's how the city explained its reasoning:  "There was additional testing that the Department of Health asked us to add on but my crews had already done the first day's sampling," Lori Kahikina, director of the city Department of Environmental Services, said during a news conference on Wednesday.

"The first day of sampling was not available. It's the second day that we have."

The Sierra Club's Townsend questioned the city's motives, saying she suspects the city didn't want possibly sewage-related bacteria counts in Waikiki making more national news.

"We know that the story is circulating around the globe and that our reputation is taking a serious hit because of the brown water alerts and the possible sewage spills," she said.

read ... Caldwell Coverup

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City facilities reopen after flooding, water sample results due tomorrow

News Release from City and County of Honolulu August 25, 2015

Honolulu – Several city facilities that were closed yesterday due to flooding have reopened to the public today.  The Honolulu Zoo and all city golf courses are now open, as well as the Waipio Soccer Complex and other city parks.  The Waikiki Grass Shack Bistro in the Kuhio Beach pavilion also reopened today.

Fields at Waipio District Park reopened this morning, but are closed again due to heavy rains and thunder showers in the area today.  Fields at Central Oahu Regional Park, the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, and the pools at Kaneohe District Park and Pearl City District Park have also been closed due to today’s weather.  All permitted teams will be notified by their organizations.

The Department of Parks and Recreation will reopen Ala Moana Regional Park tomorrow morning, though the ocean will remain off limits until further notice.  The Department of Environmental Services (ENV) sanitized the portion of the park that suffered the spill today and it will be safe to open tomorrow.

Please note that Ala Moana Beach is closed due to the wastewater overflow, while Waikiki beaches are closed due to a brown water advisory.

The Department of Environmental Services is working with the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) to expedite testing of water samples from the beaches affected by the wastewater spill and brown water advisory.  DOH and ENV did water sampling yesterday and are doing more today.  The results are expected to be available mid-day tomorrow.  At that time, an announcement will be made about reopening the beaches.  The earliest the beaches would reopen to the public would be tomorrow afternoon, if the DOH determines that contaminant levels are acceptable.

The city’s Waikiki beachboy surf rental concessions remain closed today due to the water quality issues.

Lifeguards will remain at the impacted beaches to warn the public not to enter the water.  Mayor Kirk Caldwell approved overtime for the lifeguards, who came in early today at 7 a.m. and will stay until sunset and will do the same tomorrow to warn beachgoers and keep signage in place.

  *   *   *   *   *

Non-compliance discharge at Wahiawa WWTP

News Release from City and County of Honolulu August 25, 2015

HONOLULU The city’s Department of Environmental Services was notified of a non-compliance of its permit when an intermittent discharge of partially disinfected secondary treated effluent went through the outfall of the Wahiawa Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Wahiawa Reservoir.

The discharge occurred between 6:02 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. Monday, August 24.  The total volume was estimated at approximately 187,153 gallons.

The effluent went through full secondary treatment and partial ultraviolent disinfection (UV).  Of the four UV banks of lights, the last one did not come online during the time high flows were pumped through the UV channel.  ENV is investigating why the last bank of lights did not activate.

ENV notified the Hawaii Department of Health. Water sampling is on-going and warning signs are being posted

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Flooding, Sewage Spills Across Oahu


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