Alii Drive was shut down for several hours Saturday as county crews cleaned up a sewage spill in front of Niumalu Beach in Kailua Village.
The sewer force main break Saturday morning discharged approximately 20,000 gallons of untreated sewage onto the street, however, crews were able to quickly divert the sewage to a different pump station, Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management Wastewater Division Superintendent Alika DeMello.
It was unknown how much sewage entered Kailua Bay, but swimmers were told to get out of the water and signs were immediately posted warning of contaminated water.
Once diverted, crews were left to clean up sewage that was on the road. In order to minimize the amount that entered the storm drain in front of the seawall, a vacuum tank truck was used to suck up the waste.
Crews hosed down and sanitized the street before it was reopened around noon.
The nearly 60-year-old 6-inch cast iron pipes at the force mains at Palani Road, Emma Square and Hale Halawai were already slated to be replaced starting next month — however, DeMello said work will begin Monday near Emma Square to repair the ruptured line.
That should only take a few days and traffic shouldn’t be impacted. The work will be completed by the Department of Public Works.
Kailua Bay will remain closed until the Department of Health deems it safe to enter the water.