Sewage Warning Signs Removed from Beaches in Waikiki - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sewage Warning Signs Removed from Beaches in Waikiki

Sewage warning signs like this one have been removed from beaches in Waikiki. Sewage warning signs like this one have been removed from beaches in Waikiki.
It took Rachel Murphy a couple of years to save enough for her senior class trip to Hawaii. It took Rachel Murphy a couple of years to save enough for her senior class trip to Hawaii.
The Townsend family enjoys a day in the sand. They say not being able to go in the water will not prevent them from visiting again. The Townsend family enjoys a day in the sand. They say not being able to go in the water will not prevent them from visiting again.

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - The state has removed the warning signs on beaches in Waikiki, after advising people to stay out of the waters for two days.

Officials say bacteria levels have dropped back to normal. But for some visitors, it may be a little too late.

"I'm probably the most disgruntled one here," said Rachael Murphy.

It took Murphy a couple of years to save $1,600 for her senior class trip to Hawaii.

"Since sophomore year, I've been recycling cans and doing stuff around the home and getting money from both my parents," said Murphy.

For the past two days, she and the rest of her classmates have been surrounded by warning signs, advising them to stay out of one of the world's most popular beaches.

Friday's storm pushed bacteria levels over the top, more than tripling numbers in waters from the Hale Koa to the Sheraton Moana Surfrider. The state posted these signs late Sunday.

Officials say this sewage spill has had a minimal impact on the tourism industry. Hotel bookings remain strong and there have been few cancellations.

"You don't know what the long-term effects of a sewage spill on one of the most famous beaches in the world are going to be but in the short-term, I think we're in pretty good shape," said Rex Johnson, chief executive officer with the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

"We stepped on the sand, three days, and the beach, water, zero," said Nicole Townsend, visiting from Georgia.

It's the first time the Townsend family has been to the Islands and they've been spending it out of Hawaiian waters, but they say, they will return.

"It's something we can look forward to the next time we come here, everything else is great," said Cedric Townsend, Nicole's husband.

And even though Murphy hasn't had a perfect time in paradise, she says she may come back to see "if it can get any better."

Although Waikiki beaches are returning to normal, others, especially those on the Windward side, are not. Bacteria levels there remain high.

Powered by Frankly