By Associated Press - Monday, July 13, 2020

KAILUA, HI (AP) - Officials closed a swimming area and part of a road after a rupture released untreated sewage on Hawaii island.

The sewer line break discharged about 20,000 gallons (76,000 liters) of sewage onto a street in Kailua-Kona Saturday, West Hawaii Today reported.

Crews quickly diverted the sewage to a different pump station, Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management Wastewater Division Superintendent Alika DeMello said.

Swimmers were told to leave the area of Niumalu Beach at Kailua Bay and signs were posted warning of contaminated water.

Officials did not know how much sewage entered the water.

Alii Drive was shut down for several hours Saturday as crews used a tank truck with a vacuum to suck up the waste and minimize the amount of sewage that entered a storm drain in front of the seawall.

Crews hosed down and sanitized the street before it was reopened.

The cast iron pipes, which are nearly 60 years old, were already slated to be replaced beginning next month. Work is expected to begin Monday to repair the rupture, DeMello said.

Kailua Bay will remain closed to swimmers until the state Department of Health deems the water is safe to enter.

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