The following is a transcript for the video article above.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health has issued a Notice of Violation and Order to a contractor for the County of Hawaiʻi, after it allegedly discharged untreated domestic sewage into Reed’s Bay in Hilo.
Goodfellow Bros., LLC, was the contractor named in the health department notice of violation, which took place near the Ice Pond portion of Reeds Bay, a popular place for kids to take a plunge.
On November 30, 2020, the health department was notified of a sewage spill originating from the Banyan Sewage Pump Station. Hawaiʻi 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 health department Clean Water Branch issued an advisory the day of the incident, telling the public to stay out of the water until warning signs have been removed. The warning signs were posted for seven days until water quality returned to normal levels.
In a statement, the state Deputy Director of Environmental Health said the discharge of raw sewage into state waters is unacceptable.
Keith Kawaoka said “When working near our beaches and streams, contractors need to take extra care and pay additional attention to the location of underground utilities.”
The Notice of Violation and Order includes a requirement for Goodfellow Bros. to provide a report that describes how spills will be prevented in the future. The contractor must also pay a penalty of $25,000 dollars. Health officials say the company has twenty days to contest the findings and request a hearing.
The State’s Clean Water Branch responds to sewage spills which reach state waters. The Clean Water Branch protects public health and the environment by prohibiting discharges which impair water quality, keeping Hawaii’s waters fishable and swimmable for everyone. Owners and operators of wastewater systems must comply with environmental regulations that are in place to protect the public. Failure to do results in legal action by the state, federal partners and/or private citizens.