Video by Baron Sekiya, Hawaii247.com | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
Hawaii County crews are working to fix a leaking wastewater pipe beneath the ground at Hilo International Airport.
The County Department of Environmental Management says the wastewater was discovered bubbling to the surface on Saturday on state-owned land at the airport. A 24-inch county force main, which carries untreated wastewater to the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant, is buried about four feet below ground level. The exact cause of the leak is not known.
This video was filmed on Wednesday by Baron Sekiya of Hawaii247.
County Wastewater Division crews are attempting to fix the leak without having to shut down the Pua Pump Station in Keaukaha.
County officials say that if the pump station needs to be shut down in order to fix the leak, it could result in a controlled release of untreated wastewater into Hilo Bay. The release would be through the County’s ocean outfall, which discharges eight-tenths of a mile from the shoreline outside of the Hilo breakwater.
The county says there is no immediate health or safety threat to residents, and airport operations are not affected by the underground leak and will not be affected by the pipeline repair work.
The wastewater force main was installed in 1991 to connect portions of the Hilo community to the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant located behind Hilo International Airport.