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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 13, 2006

Sewer pipe breaks in Salt Lake area

By James Gonser
Advertiser Staff Writer

Repairs to a ruptured 8-inch sewer pipe were complicated by the many underground utility lines in the Salt Lake area. Work also was halted for a time to ease traffic on the way to yesterday's Pro Bowl.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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An 8-inch sewer pipe ruptured early yesterday morning in Salt Lake, causing an unknown amount of wastewater to spill onto Salt Lake Boulevard and through storm drains to Hickam Harbor.

City crews arrived at Salt Lake Boulevard near Pakini Street about 4 a.m. after residents reported sewage bubbling up into the street, a city official said.

The sewer "force main" was capped and pumper trucks brought in to clear the lines while a trench was dug to repair the pipe.

City spokesman Mark Matsunaga said work was slowed because there are so many underground utility lines in the area, including a jet fuel line from Kalaeloa to the airport, requiring crews to be extra careful.

The repairs, which closed two lanes of traffic, were temporarily halted until the 1 p.m. kickoff of the Pro Bowl to avoid a traffic jam, Matsunaga said.

Environmental workers posted signs along the storm drain system and at Hickam Harbor warning people to avoid the water. Water samples were taken.

There was no evidence of foul odors or discoloration of the water, Matsunaga said.

The sewer pipe serves only the Aliamanu area, not Salt Lake or Foster Village, he said.

The pipe was installed in 1953 and the city had planned to replace it soon.

Reach James Gonser at jgonser@honoluluadvertiser.com.