Partially Treated Sewage Discharged in PapaikouOctober 8, 2013, 5:14 PM HST (Updated October 8, 2013, 5:16 PM)
For the second time in less than two weeks, a breakdown at an East Hawaii wastewater treatment plant has resulted in ocean discharge of partially treated but disinfected sewage.
The latest event occurred at the Papaikou Wastewater Treatment Plan located near Waipahi Point several miles north of Hilo.
According to a statement from the county Department of Environmental Management, the breakdown occurred when a blower failed in the “grit removal system” and aeration tanks.
As a result, an estimated 30,500 gallons of effluent was released. Although it was only partially treated, the sewage was disinfected with chlorine, the county said.
The discharge occurred between 3 p.m. Monday and 8:15 a.m. today.
Warning signs were posted at the shoreline to discourage fishing and other ocean use.
The previous incident occurred on Sept. 27 when a power failure resulted in the discharge of nearly 72,000 gallons of partially treated, disinfected sewage from the Hilo treatment plant.