Keehi Lagoon bathroom closure causes concern for park users - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Keehi Lagoon bathroom closure causes concern for park users

Closed bathrooms at Keehi Lagoon are causing concern for park users. Closed bathrooms at Keehi Lagoon are causing concern for park users.
KEEHI LAGOON, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

One of the busiest bathrooms at Keehi Lagoon is closed -- but with paddling season right around the corner, people are wondering when they'll reopen and when water for the park's only shower will be turned back on.

Paddling season starts the first Monday of November. Keola O Ke Kai Canoe Club paddling coach Gino Dayton says close to 1,000 people will be passing through the area daily and he's worried the situation will not be addressed before then.

The park has "two Porta Potties that are disgusting. The quality of the Porta Potties -- it looks like nobody even comes. I don't what their schedule is, but it doesn't seem usable and the smell is horrendous," described Dayton.

There are two other bathrooms at the park, but the one that is closed is closest to the water and the canoe clubs. The nearest restroom is now at least 200 yards away.

"It's no problem to walk to the other restrooms, it's just the water situation. We have to rinse off coming out of the Lagoon. We've got staph infections here and a couple months ago, we had that needle in the water. The quality of the water is not great. It's usable, but we do want to take the precaution to rinse off. We don't want to take home anything or leave it on your skin and infections start to settle in," said Dayton.

Paddlers say they saw crews boarding up the restrooms about a month ago, but the boarded areas aren't secure and neither is the men's restroom -- which is why park users say the bathrooms are instead turning into bedrooms for the homeless.

"I have no idea what the boards are for. It looks like they blocked it off -- either they're going to extend the bathroom or use it for storage -- but now it's becoming shelter for the homeless," said Dayton.

Eight club teams and eight high school teams use this area regularly.

"There are clubs that go year-round that use this area -- this is their home base -- and we have our meets here for OIA and the Na Opio season. This is a heavily-used area," Dayton said.

The World Sprints race tryouts is planned for Nov. 14, and there are expected to be at least 400 people there that day, but Dayton says organizers have been told to bring in their own Porta Potties because it's unlikely the restroom renovations will be completed.

Hawaii News Now reached out to the Honolulu City and County Parks and Recreation Department, which oversees Kee'ehi Lagoon, but officials have not returned calls for comment or clarification.

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