The state Department of Health on Thursday said it issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Goodfellow Bros., a contractor for the Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management’s Wastewater Division for discharging untreated domestic sewage into Reed’s Bay last fall.
On Nov. 30, the department was notified of a sewage spill originating from the county’s Banyan Sewage Pump Station, located at 280 Banyan Drive in Hilo. County officials reported that approximately 28,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled from a sewer main when contractors accidentally punctured the pipe while installing a sidewalk. The spill, which started about noon and lasted for 20 minutes, entered the “Ice Pond” portion of Reed’s Bay.
In response to the spill, health officials oversaw bacterial monitoring of the nearshore waters around the spill site. Warning signs were posted for seven days until water quality returned to normal levels.
The notice includes a requirement for Goodfellow Bros. to provide a report that describes how spills will be prevented in the future and pay a penalty of $25,000. Goodfellow Bros. has 20 days to contest the findings and request a hearing.
“The discharge of raw sewage into state waters is unacceptable,” stated Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health. “When working near our beaches and streams, contractors need to take extra care and pay additional attention to the location of underground utilities.”