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<br /> <br />Wil Okabe <br /> <br />Managing Director <br /> <br /> <br />Harry Kim <br />Mayor <br /> <br />Barbara J. Kossow <br /> Deputy Managing Director <br /> <br />County of Hawai‘i <br />Office of the Mayor <br />25 Aupuni Street, Suite 2603  Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720  (808) 961-8211  Fax (808) 961-6553 <br />KONA: 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy., Bldg. C  Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i 96740 <br />(808) 323-4444  Fax (808) 323-4440 <br /> <br />April 3, 2017 <br /> <br />NEWS RELEASE <br /> <br />Blocked Sewer Line Sends Sewage into Wailuku River, Hilo Bay <br /> <br />A blocked sewer line sent raw sewage into the Wailuku River and Hilo Bay on Monday <br />morning, and the public has been asked to follow the posted signs to stay out of the <br />water, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) said. <br /> <br />The sewage spill took place when one of the Department’s main sewer feeder lines was <br />blocked by debris, sending sewage through a manhole and into a stream adjacent to <br />Waianuenue Avenue near Laimana Street. <br /> <br />DEM was first notified of the sewage release at around 9:00 a.m., and wastewater crew <br />was dispatched to deal with the blockage. <br /> <br />Department Director Bill Kucharski said that an estimated 41,000 gallons of sewage <br />flowed down to the river, and then to the bay. The blockage was cleared at around 1:00 <br />p.m., and clean-up operations were ongoing as of press time. <br /> <br />“As a precaution, the entire Hilo Bay area has been closed to fishing, swimming and <br />other water activities,” Kucharski said. “DEM has taken water samples in the Wailuku <br />River and west-east of the river outfall into the Bay.” <br /> <br />DEM has taken water samples as far east as Reed’s Bay, and will be doing the <br />analysis. <br /> <br />“We will continue to post warnings about the safety of the bay until it is established that <br />the water quality is safe,” Kucharski said. <br /> <br />For further information, please contact Bill Kucharski of the Department of <br />Environmental Management at (808) 217-2750. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />County of Hawai‘i is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer. <br />