Heavy rains bring brown water concerns

Heavy rains bring brown water concerns

The last way anybody would want to remember this Memorial Day holiday is by catching Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease, but considering some of the conditions out there it is a possibility.

There is a brown water advisory in effect for Oahu, meaning people should stay out of flood and storm water runoff areas because of overflowing cesspools, sewers, pesticides, fecal matter and dead animals. Needless to say, it can all make you sick.

"Not too long ago me and my good buddy were paddling across the channel coming from Bowls Soon as we got out of the water not two minutes later we were both puking and had headaches and were sick the rest of the day. My buddy actually started to get a staph infection on his knee," said Zach Pillars, a surfer from Kailua.

"Bowls I think was pretty gross a little further over but I stayed where it was cleaner at Kaisers," said Tara Lavery, a surfer from Moiliili. "If the water is brown I definitely don't go in. I go somewhere else that is not right at the entrance. Just do some immune boosters when I get out of the water."

The State Health Department knows of several people who contracted Leptospirosis while in the water where streams and canals meet the ocean. We saw plenty of nastiness at the Ala Wai Harbor.

"It was brown and it kind of smelled like fecal matter and dead fish," said Pillars.

"The Ala Wai is what we call Kona brown today," said Tommy Berg, Paradise Watersports President & CFO.

Boaters also had to be cautious of floating debris including big logs and trees.

"You have to be real careful. There is some really big debris coming through here," said Berg. "It's always a concern you can get bacteria and stuff in the water heavy counts so it's best to stay out when it's this brown for sure."

More than 1,500 gallons of sewage spilled from the Wahiawa Wastewater Treatment Plant into Lake Wilson.

Up in Kaaawa the water was brown but down at Magic Island, where the Lantern Floating Festival is the water was clearer and plenty of people went in for a dip.

If there any doubt in your mind about the safety of the water the Department of Health says just stay out.