End in sight for Ke’e Beach sewage problem

KE’E BEACH — The good news is that the end looms for the odorous portable

toilets at Ke’e Beach.

The bad news is that it won’t be soon

enough.

Construction could start as early as this month on improvements to

the Ha’ena State Park sewage system, which will spell the end of the need for

the portables.

But not for awhile. Work on the project is expected to

continue through late fall, meaning another busy spring, summer and early fall

for the portable toilets.

The notice to proceed on the $85,000 project is

expected to be issued to successful bidder Shioi Construction, Inc. either this

month or next, said Norman Shiroma, chief of the development branch of the

Division of State Parks in the Department of Land and Natural

Resources.

The work is expected to be completed by October or November, and

will include filling in the existing cesspools, constructing a new septic tank,

then building a leach field or absorption trench disposal system, said

Shiroma.

The sewage would flow first into the septic tank, where the solids

will settle.

The liquids would flow into the trench, also known as a leach

field, he said.

The septic tank will be pumped periodically to remove any

solids that don’t decompose.

The restroom facilities (bathrooms and

showers) that presently exist weren’t working properly, so the state had to

design a new system, and the portable toilets were installed for public

convenience, Shiroma said.

Once the new sewage system is installed, the

existing, permanent restroom facilities will be reopened, and the portable

toilets will be removed.

“So, hopefully, this would take care of the sewage

problem that we have in that area,” Shiroma said.

Ha’ena State Park, which

includes Ke’e Beach and the parking lot at the end of Kuhio Highway where the

Kalalau Trail starts, is among the most popular stops for visitors on the

island.

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