KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The City Department of Facilities Maintenance opened the Ka'elepulu stream mouth on February 8, 2016, but the last time it was opened before that was October 2015, and Kailua residents say that's too long of a wait.
Environmental Scientist Bob Bourke is working with the city to create a set schedule when it comes Ka'elepulu stream control.
"It's important that the city opens it on a regular schedule to keep water quality good, keep the flood threat down and just to make sure the residents know what's happening on a regular basis all the time," Bourke said.
Residents says that between October 2015 and February 2016, extensive debris graced much of Ka'elepulu pond and significantly deteriorated water quality.
"All that debris either drops directly into the water from people who have coconut trees that overhang the water or they come out through the storm drains," said Bourke.
The city told Hawaii News Now it opens the stream mouth to prevent flooding, but is not responsible for cleaning out debris. Bourke agrees and appreciates the city's help, but says the best way to tackle the problem is to have the city maintain a regular, monthly stream opening schedule in respect to the tides. Bourke claims it improves water quality in the pond, allows fish larvae from the ocean to come in, and allows large fish to go out to sea.
"If they open up the stream mouth at the right time, they can do so with a minimum amount of their effort, a minimum amount of our tax dollars and get the maximum flushing of the system," Bourke said.
The city has not set a date on when the next stream mouth opening will take place.