A dirty mess along some of Oahu's waterways - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

A dirty mess along some of Oahu's waterways

Justine & Chad Godfrey Justine & Chad Godfrey
Lee Mansfield Lee Mansfield
Bob Clark Bob Clark

By Teri Okita – bio | email

HAWAII KAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A brown water advisory is still in effect for the islands of Oahu and Kauai. That means stay out of floodwaters because they could carry run-off from cesspools, pesticides, sewer manholes, and debris. Kuapa pond in Hawaii Kai has been one of the biggest trouble spots on Oahu.

Chad and Justine Godfrey made an afternoon trip to the coffee shop next to the Hawaii Kai marina. They were hoping to do a little tubing or water skiing around their neighborhood this week. Not anymore. Not after seeing the chocolate brown water.

Justine Godfrey says, "The holidays are coming so, of course, you want to spend it in the place you care about the most - which is the ocean and marina. So much to do, but now that it looks like this, I'm not too sure."

When the rain came down Sunday, so did the power at the sewage treatment plant in Hawaii Kai. 85 thousand gallons of untreated sewage - about the size of 10 average swimming pools - flowed into Kuapa pond. It feeds directly into the marina.

"For us, it was a big spill," says Lee Mansfield, the manager at Hawaii American Water. The company owns and runs Hawaii Kai's only wastewater treatment facility. " I don't think we've had as large a spill since 2003."

Hawaii American Water posted warning signs around the neighborhood - advising people to keep out of the water. It's also testing the water above and below the spill. In three or four days, the company should know if the water is safe for return. You'd think the smell from the spill would be bad. It's not. Still, you wouldn't want to touch this water right now.

"We take it very seriously," says Bob Clark, the president of the Hawaii Kai Marina Association. The association says it's contacted businesses, as well as residents, to warn them about the spill. "We had our patrol people out making sure. We notified boaters who we thought might go in the water," says Clark.

It's not just Hawaii Kai. Sewage poured into Palolo stream, as well. So far, the heavy rains have made a mess of more than half a dozen Oahu waterways - as sewage and other run-off pour in.

In some spill areas, like Kuapa pond, water quality samples are being tested. Until those results are in and the water is back to normal, it's best to just stay away.

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