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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 />(Gives after-hours contact number, direct daytime contact number) <br /> <br />March 24, 2017 <br /> <br /> <br />NEWS RELEASE <br /> <br /> <br />Contractor for Aeration, Sludge Removal at Kealakehe Defaults <br /> <br />The contractor in charge of a project to provide aeration pump upgrades and sludge <br />removal at the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant has defaulted, and dredging of <br />the facility’s sludge ponds has come to a temporary halt, according to the Department of <br />Environmental Management (DEM). <br /> <br />The facility upgrades will ensure that the facility can treat the designed capacity of <br />wastewater of up to five million gallons per day. Currently, the facility treats about 1.8 <br />million gallons of wastewater per day. <br /> <br />“We are taking mitigation measures and will resume the upgrades as soon as possible,” <br />said DEM Director Bill Kucharski. “This situation will not put the R-1 project at risk.” <br /> <br />The long-awaited R-1 project is aimed at meeting demand for recycled water to irrigate <br />crops and landscaping in the relatively dry climate of West Hawai‘i. <br /> <br />Meanwhile, DEM is also working with the insurance company that bonded the <br />contractor, so that the sub-contractors may continue the upgrade work. <br /> <br />“The situation was incurred due to the financial status of the contractor we were dealing <br />with,” Kucharski said. “While we are sorry for the contracting company, we are protected <br />by a performance bond, and are mitigating the situation.” <br /> <br /> <br />For further information, please contact Bill Kucharski, Director of Environmental <br />Management at 961-8083 or after hours at (808) 217-2750. <br />County of Hawai‘i is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer. <br />