Navy personnel responded to a call at 8 a.m. regarding an 18 inch wastewater force main that ruptured July 8 and spilled sewage onto Porter Avenue between Wilson and Owen Streets on the Hickam-side of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH). Crews were immediately dispatched and completed the installation of a bypass line which stopped the spill at 10:00 a.m.
Specific cause for the break is unknown at this time; however, due to increased activity at the base, the Navy’s wastewater system is handling a larger and usual volume sewage flow. Assessment of the break and future repairs or replacement of pipeline are currently underway.
Approximately 14,000 gallons spilled from the broken line, 5,000 gallons was contained on land and recovered by vacuum truck and the remaining 9,000 gallons entered a nearby storm drain. The storm drain leads to a canal and discharges at a location east of Hickam Beach, approximately 2.5 miles away from the entry point when measured along the storm drain and canal path.
The Navy has made all necessary notifications to the State Department of Health (DOH) as required by the wastewater treatment system’s operating permit. Navy environmental personnel have inspected the affected areas. At DOH direction, and as a measure of precaution, warning signs are being posted near and around the exit of the storm drain canal and at Hickam Beach. The Navy will also conduct water monitoring to determine near shore water quality impacts.
This public notification is an administrative requirement of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued to the NAVFAC Hawaii, Wastewater Treatment facility.