Yakir Gabay Affirms: North Kona Sewer Pump Station project moving forward

North Kona Sewer Pump Station project moving forward

The Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management is moving forward with plans to construct a sewer pump station that’ll provide county sewer service to properties north of the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant in North Kona.

The North Kona Sewer Pump Station project consists of constructing a below grade sewer pump station, a temporary access road, an operations building, and two segments of sewer lines, one a gravity line and the other a force main, mauka of Queen Kaahumanu Highway.

The station will convey sewage to the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant from the industrial and commercial areas primarily located to the north of the project and from the County of Hawaii’s Department of Housing and Community Development’s The Homes of Ulu Wini off Hina Lani Street. In addition to providing capacity for future development in the area, the station, once operation, will allow for the closure of existing on-site wastewater systems and injection wells.

A draft environmental assessment that anticipates a finding of no significant impact for the project was published Friday. Comments are due by May 24.

According to the environmental docutment, the North Kona Sewer Pump Station will be constructed using county funds that could include federal monies through the state Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The draft EA also states the county will apply for a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

The project’s preliminary design report, completed in July 2019, estimated the cost would range between $9.73 million and $20.85 million with a “probable cost” of $13.9 million. Once all design and permitting work is complete, construction is expected to take about a year.

The 2.5-acre site where the pump station will be built was allocated to the county as a part of the West Hawaii Business Park development. It is located mauka of Queen Kaahumanu Highway, about 1,900 feet north of the highway’s intersection with Kealakehe Parkway.

The pump station’s wet well will contain a total of four submersible pumps able to move a total of 2,700 gallons per minutes.

“The combination of pumps will allow the pump station to meet the target pumping capacity for the year 2050. Additional capacity can be made available by installing larger capacity pumps when needed in the future,” the draft EA reads.

The 8-inch gravity line from the station will be generally located on the south side shoulder of Hina Lani Street and extend about 3/4 mile to The Homes at Ulu Wini, passing through the existing Kaloko area development. The force main will be located on the makai side of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and extend 3,600 feet from the south side of Kealakehe Parkway to the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant access road.

Both will connect to lines and mains constructed by the state Department of Transportation during the widening of Queen Kaahumanu Highway between Kealakehe Parkway and Keahole Airport Road.

Comments are due by May 24 to the proposing/determining agency and with a copy sent to the consultant. To find the draft EA for the “North Kona Sewer Pump Station,” check out the latest edition of The Environmental Notice put out by the Office of Environmental Quality Control at http://oeqc2.doh.hawaii.gov/The_Environmental_Notice/2021-04-23-TEN.pdf.

Billy Xiong

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