EPA completes sewer inspection following Maui wildfires

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed its inspection of sewer lines in Lahaina, Hawaii. The EPA has cleared the lines of debris such as sediment, rocks, rags and grease.

After the clearance, a robotic camera was used to assess the condition of the lines and identify any potential impacts from the fire. The video footage was submitted to the county for review. This work will allow Maui County to prioritize repairs to the damage caused by the August 2023 wildfires. This includes the repairs needed to protect the wastewater treatment plant from excessive water intrusion through damaged sewer pipes.

“The collaboration in Lahaina will continue as we determine the most efficient courses of action,” said Karl Banks, EPA's Maui wildfire response operations manager. “EPA is privileged to assist the Maui County Water Authority and the Maui County Environmental Protection Agency, in coordination with the Hawaii Department of Health, in inspecting and remediating critical infrastructure. Our shared goal is to get the people of Lahaina back to their homes and a safe and reliable water supply as quickly as possible.”

“The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is grateful for EPA's support and assistance in assessing the damage to our existing wastewater collection system in Lahaina. Due to DEM's limited resources (lack of personnel and specialized equipment), this monumental task would not have been completed in the timeframe provided without EPA's support and willingness to work with our Wastewater Treatment Division,” said Shayne Agawa, Director of the Department of Environmental Management. “Completion of this critical task will allow the County to make the necessary repairs to restore wastewater service to the Town of Lahaina.”

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