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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 3, 2006

City to consider sewage investigation

Advertiser Staff

City Councilman Charles Djou has proposed that the council convene a special investigative committee to determine what led to the March 24 rupture of a city sewer main in Waikiki.

After the break, city officials pumped more than 48 million gallons of raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal to prevent sewage from backing up into homes and businesses while crews worked to fix the pipe.

Djou said such a probe might be needed because of the size, scale and scope of the break that fouled nearby waters and resulted in the closing of some of Waikiki's most famous beaches.

"This is not your typical sewage spill," Djou said.

Djou said that while the administration of Mayor Mufi Hannemann has been very open about the break and repairs, he maintains that an investigation could help determine why the sewer main break happened "and how do we make sure it doesn't happen again."

Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said the idea merits further discussion, noting that an investigation committee of this type was last convened 30 years ago, in the Kukui Plaza development case.

Mayor Frank Fasi was indicted by an O'ahu grand jury in March 1977 on a bribery charge for allegedly selecting Hal Hansen's Oceanside Properties as developer of the Kukui Plaza urban renewal project in return for Hansen's agreement to make payoffs eventually totaling $500,000. Fasi maintained that he was innocent, and the charges were later dropped.