Department of Health issues a Notice of Violation and Order for unauthorized discharges to Reed’s Bay in Hilo

Posted on Jan 7, 2021 in Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order (NOVO) to Goodfellow Bros., LLC, a contractor for the County of Hawai‘i, Department of Environmental Management, Wastewater Division, for discharging untreated domestic sewage into Reed’s Bay.

On November 30, 2020, the DOH was notified of a sewage spill originating from the County of Hawai‘i, Banyan Sewage Pump Station, located at 280 Banyan Drive in Hilo. County of Hawai‘i 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 spill, which occurred between approximately 12 p.m. and 12:20 p.m., entered the “Ice Pond” portion of Reed’s Bay. 

“The discharge of raw sewage into state waters is unacceptable,” stated Keith Kawaoka, Deputy Director of Environmental Health, “When working near our beaches and streams, contractors need to take extra care and pay additional attention to the location of underground utilities.” In response to the spill, health officials oversaw bacterial monitoring of the nearshore waters around the spill site. Warning signs were posted for seven days until water quality returned to normal levels. 

The NOVO includes a requirement for Goodfellow Bros., LLC to provide a report that describes how spills will be prevented in the future and pay a penalty of $25,000. Goodfellow Bros., LLC has twenty days to contest the findings and request a hearing. 

The DOH 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.  

PDF: DOH issues NOVO to contractors for unauthorized discharges to Reed’s Bay in Hilo

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