Kaka'ako residents complain about bad smells from sewer linesUPDATED 6:33 PM HST Oct 30, 2013Video Transcript
Trying to figure out what's turning Kakaako 2 C1 Trying to figure out what's turning Kakaako into Kaka-ICK-O! A foul stench is in the air! Good evening, I'm Yunji De Nies. And I'm Paula Akana. Kakaako's reputation as a great place to live, work, and play is GROWING.. But so are concerns about the bad smells in some places .. The city's ready to get to the bottom of it. We go now to KITV-4's Andrew Pereira. He's standing by LIVE in front of One Waterfront Towers in Kakaako -- with some new answers tonight.. Andrew? Paula, Yunji... the Kakaako stench is apparently related to underground sewer lines. People who live in the condos behind me say they smell seeps into their apartments. John Thomson has worked in Kakaako for 20 years, and that's about how long he's been smelling THAT smell! JOHN THOMSON: "WE HAVE NICKNAME FOR IT, I WON'T PASS IT ON TO YOU. EMBRACE THE STINKY I GUESS." The smell has gotten so bad in recent years, City Council members are hearing stink from their constituents. In particular, those in high- priced condos like The Hokua and One Waterfront Towers. ANN KOBAYASHI: "THEY HAVE IT INSIDE OF THEIR UNITS BECAUSE IT'S COMING UP THROUGH THE SEWER LINE. SO, YOU KNOW THIS IS REALLY... IT HAS TO BE FIXED, AND WE WANT ANSWERS ." The Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Environmental Services has been sniffing out the problem since September with the creation of a task force. GUY INOUYE: "WE'RE LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITES TO IMPROVE THE ODOR SITUATION WITHIN KAKAAKO 2313 WE ARE RIGHT NOW EARLY IN OUR FIELD INVESTIGATIONS STAGE OF THE PROCESS." The city believes check valves in sewer pipes could be a short-term solution, but it doesn't pass the smell test for some condo owners. Check valves are known to get stuck. GEORGE OUTLAW: "AND EVENTUALLY THERE WILL BE ANOTHER PROBLEM ARISING BECAUSE OF THIS. SO, PROPOSING THIS AS A SOLUTION AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED MEANS THEY NEED TO GO BACK AND DO SOME MORE HOMEWORK." Some residents say if the smell is bad now, imagine what MAY happen when dozens of new high-rises are built in Kakaako under the HCDA. SHARON MORIWAKI: "WE DON'T KNOW THE CAPACITY, THEY'RE GOING TO GO BUILDING BY BUILDING RATHER THAN A COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT." LORI KAHIKINA: "AS EACH ONE COMES IN FOR THEIR SEWER CONNECTION, WE ANALYZE IT TO MAKE SURE THERE IS CAPACITY, AND IF THEIR ISN'T, THEN WE HAVE TO DENY THEIR HOOK-UP." The resident manager of One Waterfront Towers believes the foul odor is the result of standing sewage in underground pipes. John Horvath says the smell disappears when the pipes are pumped clean. JOHN HORVATH: "AND THE PROBLEM GOES AWAY AGAIN FOR ANOTHER FIVE TO SEVEN TO TWELVE DAYS." A resolution that demands the city find out what's causing the stench was deferred today... so that several drafts can be folded into one measure. The task force is expected to issue recommendation s by next spring. Live in Kakaako, Andrew Pereira, KITV4 News.