Sludge spill cleaned up

LIHUE — It took county workers about five hours to clean up 90,000 gallons of sludge that overflowed from the Lihue Wastewater Treatment Plant Monday night.

A pump didn’t shut off properly at the WWTP and for 10 hours the sludge overflowed, spilling partially-treated sewage into a drainage ditch.

The spill was contained about 7 a.m. Tuesday and cleanup was completed by about noon, according to county officials. Repairs have also been completed on the pump.

“The issue has been identified and the pump is working properly,” said Deputy County Engineer Lyle Tabata.

The deep ditch that received the sewage runs alongside golf’s Ocean Course at Hokuala. Signs were posted to keep golfers out of the drainage channel.

State Department of Health officials said Wednesday that the ditch isn’t located in an area that is accessible to the public, and also confirmed warning signs were posted.

“It’s all safe and good out here,” said Kellie Hines, head golf professional at Ocean Course at Hokuala on Wednesday just before noon. “It didn’t impact the golf course or the ocean.”

DOH said Wednesday that 90,000 gallons is considered a large spill and that staff visited the site. DOH confirmed that no wastewater sludge reached state waters.

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