Heavy rain during the past week has saturated the lower section of the Lihu’e Refuse Transfer Station, where workers have positioned a truck to be filled with residential rubbish before making its way to the Kekaha Landfill for dumping.
Troy Tanigawa, an engineer and solid waste programs administrative officer for the county of Kaua’i Department of Public Works, confirmed that “a large pond of standing water approximately six to eight inches deep” was created.
“Solid waste (and) refuse materials, which fell to the lower section during loading of the trailer, have since mixed with the standing water, and is now contaminated and emitting a bad odor,” he said.
Last week, the water was so deep that one county worker on a back hoe had to drive down into the water, holding his free hand over his nose and mouth because of the odor, and extract the driver of the tractor-trailer so he wouldn’t have to walk through the contaminated, smelly water.
County DPW Wastewater Division officials sampled and tested the water to ensure compliance with treatment-plant protocol, Tanigawa said.
“An emergency procurement has been processed to obtain services to address the situation,” he said.
“Water will be pumped as soon as possible, and delivered to the Lihu’e Wastewater Treatment Plant, where it will be managed,” he concluded.