April 16, 2004
HONOLULU— The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has
issued a Notice and Finding of Violation and Order to the City and
County of Honolulu for twenty-three (23) sewage spills from pressurized
pipes, known as "force mains," from November 1996 through April 2004.
The volume of these spills totaled more than eight million gallons.
The 1995 Federal Court Consent Decree requires the City to reduce
the number and volume of all spills from their collection system.
However, the City has not included spills from force mains when
calculating their compliance with Consent Decree spill reduction goals.
The DOH Order requires the City to address the force main issue on a
system-wide basis by:
- Completing an inventory and assessing the condition of each force
main in the system
- Developing preventive maintenance plans for force mains
- Implementing maintenance and repair measures to prevent future
"We think that increased effort to prevent future force main spills
is especially important, given the volumes of sewage that some of these
mains carry," said Laurence K. Lau, Deputy Director of Environmental
Force mains convey sewage under pressure from pump stations toward
treatment plants. Sewage spills from the City’s pressurized pipes
reportedly have been caused primarily by breaks due to corrosion,
malfunctioning of air relief valves, and contractor-caused damage.
For more information, contact:
Clean Water Branch
Hawaii State Department of Health