Residents say stench from Ala Wai almost unbearable

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Aug 10 2013 05:35:00 PM HST

Nobody's been known to describe the Ala Wai as pristine. But these days neighbors have other choice words for the canal in Honolulu.

HONOLULU -

Nobody's been known to describe the Ala Wai as pristine. But these days neighbors have other choice words for the canal. People try to cover their nose as they walk across Kalakaua bridge. However, trying not to smell the stench from the Ala Wai is becoming a challenge. Residents say ever since the city began working on removing the temporary sewer pipe from the canal the smell is almost too much to bear.

"It doesn't smell healthy. I'd be concerned about people's health," said Julie Youngblood walking along the Ala Wai.

"It's disgusting today ... I live right there, right by the canal and it's not nice for people who live by the canal or walk by here," said resident Curtis Curtis.

Honolulu's mayor says the stink comes from natural fumes of the Ala Wai and not from the removal of the temporary wastewater pipe.

"I would be surprised if it's anything with sewage. I think it's just the natural smells that get you have when you have a canal built here," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Workers at Magoo's Pizza truck just steps from the Ala Wai don't believe that. They think it is from the removal of the pipe and say it smells especially bad when the trade winds are not blowing. The stink they believe chases customers away from stopping to grab a bite.

"That smell could turn off anyone's appetite ... hopefully they are gong to get through that project and move on, the sooner the better," said Barry Solomon with Magoo's Pizza.

The pipe is expected to be fully removed at the end of this month.

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