People ignore caution signs posted at Kahaluu Lagoon - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

People ignore caution signs posted at Kahaluu Lagoon

KAHALUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Caution signs have been posted all along Kahaluu Lagoon warning people to keep out of the water because the Health Department says there is bacteria in the water that can make people sick.

Despite the signs, people in Kahaluu say it won't keep them out of the water.

"Probably not…most of the people around are probably gonna still use the bay who's used to it," said Kalani Watson.

The Department of Health began testing the water on September 18th after the Neighborhood Board complained that some people who had gone into it got infected.

Lenny Soarez says he got a staph infection after he fell into the water while fishing a couple of weeks ago and the rock cut his knee open.

"Couple days after that, my leg when swell up…when swell up like one balloon…the color was really bright red, Soarez said.

Soarez says it's sad that the water he grew up playing in isn't the same anymore.

“Growing up as a kid we used to jump off that bridge and swim. Maybe a few weeks ago, I was fishing over here with my cousin and I when jump in maybe four times," said Soarez.

The Health Department says the bacteria levels in the water are extraordinarily high. Officials say a normal bacterial level can reach 100 on a scale. But now, in the lagoon, they're finding it in the thousands.

The department isn't sure if it's human sewage, animal waste, or agricultural runoff. But they do know that nearly 600 cesspools immediately surround the area. So while the DOH is working to locate the source, neighborhood board members are asking residents in the area to check their cesspools for any leakage.

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