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Wastewater Flows Into Reed’s Bay Following Monday Spill

November 30, 2020, 5:48 PM HST
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Boats are shown moored at Hilo’s Reed’s Bay. Photo by Dave Smith.

A wastewater spill on Monday dumped approximately 28,000 gallons of sewage into the “Ice Pond” portion of Reed’s Bay, according to a press release from Hawai‘i County’s Wastewater Division.

The spill occurred around noon at the Banyan Sewage Pump Station, located at 280 Banyan Drive in Hilo. The Wastewater Division was reportedly made aware of the incident nine minutes later when it began its response.

The County Wastewater Division said the spill resulted from a sewer force main break caused by employees of Goodfellow Brothers, Inc., who were repairing the sidewalk over the Banyan SPS force main Monday. While excavating to prepare the foundation, workers accidentally punched a hole in the force main, which is 10 inches in diameter.

Untreated wastewater was discharged onto the ground and made its way into surface water at the “Ice Pond” portion of Reed’s Bay.

In response, operators from the Wastewater Department turned off the pump at the Banyan SPS. It is currently being pumped down with pumper trucks until the force main is repaired. Goodfellow Brothers said the repair work should be completed by approximately 9 p.m. Monday, according to the county’s report.

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The division has posted approximately 12 warning signs on the north side of the bay, and a county chemist has thus far collected seven water quality samples along the same shoreline for analysis.

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