Sewage leaks in Lahaina

A broken force main sewage line in West Maui on Tuesday afternoon that closed beaches and forced residents to halt dish washing and showers was repaired about five hours later, according to county officials.

Contractors in Wahikuli broke a 20-inch sewer force main at about 2 p.m., according to Rod Antone, county spokesman. Officials with the county Department of Environmental Management said the break forced Lahaina 3 Pump Station to shut down.

Residents from Puamana to Lahaina Civic Center were asked to reduce the flows down their drains to cut back the potential for overflows.

The threat of overflows reaching the ocean led the county to close beaches from Mala Wharf to Canoe Beach.

“To the best of our knowledge, no spills reached the ocean,” said Antone on Tuesday evening. “However, the beaches remain closed overnight as a precaution.”

As of 7:30 p.m., temporary repairs were completed to the sewer force main, enough to allow Lahaina 3 Pump Station to return to full operation, Antone said. A small leak remained, and county crews were at the site trying to completely seal the leak.

With the return of the pump station to full service, the need to reduce flows into drains by residents was no longer necessary, he said.

The spillage that did occur was contained and cleaned, Antone said.