Maui News

Debris Causes Kahului Christmas Wastewater Spill

December 26, 2012, 11:34 AM HST
* Updated December 26, 12:36 PM
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By Wendy Osher

A wastewater spill on Christmas Day was caused by rags and debris in the mainline, county officials said today.

An estimated 566 gallons of wastewater overflowed from the line along Ani Street in Kahului at around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 25.

The wastewater flowed from a sewer manhole on Ani Street and entered a storm drain, but no wastewater reached the ocean or other waterways. Officials from the County of Maui’s Department of Environmental Management say the spill was stopped by 6:30 p.m.

Workers cleared the line, pumped up the wastewater, and cleaned and disinfected the spill site before notifying the state Department of Health.

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Authorities say this kind of overflow can be avoided if residents avoid flushing cloth and other insoluble material down their toilets.

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“We’ve found all sorts of things in our pipes that shouldn’t be there,” said Environmental Management Director Kyle Ginoza in a statement today. “Underwear, hand towels, feminine hygiene products and other items such as wet wipes should go into the trash can instead of the toilet. Wet wipes especially are a huge problem.”

County officials say most wet wipes, wet naps, moist towelettes and anti-bacterial hand wipes do not dissolve in water and can clog a drain as easily as rags and other insoluble refuse. Some brands do make flushable/dissolvable wipes, but users should check before deciding how to dispose of the products properly.

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