Questions still unanswered after raw sewage spill at McCully Shopping Center

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Two days after thousands of gallons of raw sewage spilled into the parking lot and street from McCully Shopping Center, KHON2 went back to learn what caused the stinky mess.

Sofos Realty Corporation is the property owner, but no one answered the door to their management office at the shopping center.

KHON2 then dialed their main office number and got through.

“Who should take responsibility for the sewage spill?” KHON2 asked.

Sofos Realty told KHON2 they first need to determine whose fault it is, and what happened before commenting.

What shop employees want to know is why were signs never posted alerting people of the spill?

“There were no signs. No one told us anything,” said Diamond Nails employee Diana Fam said.

Nearly all day people driving, biking, and walking through it had no idea it was wastewater.

“Absolutely. They should have put up signs immediately to let people know. Pedestrians know not to come this way because it’s a hazard people can get staph infection,” Fam said.

KHON2 also checked in with local plumbers who say access to restrooms should have been shut off and businesses told to stop using the water.

But Saturday when KHON2 investigated, four hours after wastewater had been spilling onto streets, people were still flushing the toilets, adding to the problem.

“Whatever it is, it should not happen again,” Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi said.

The city inspects the McCully Shopping Center sewer line every year. In February, it was found in compliance. But the property owner is expected to clean and maintain it every four months.

The city will send a crew out Tuesday to do a special investigation to make sure they have been doing that properly.

“We have to work together private and public because in the end the public suffers,” City Councilmember Kobayashi said.

The state Department of Health is also looking into the spill.

If inspectors find negligence was a factor, the shopping center could be slapped with some fines.

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