Sewage Warning Signs Come Down at Kualoa Beach

Bathrooms are sprayed and cleaned at Kualoa Beach Park.
Bathrooms are sprayed and cleaned at Kualoa Beach Park.
The view of Chinaman's Hat from Kualoa Beach.
The view of Chinaman's Hat from Kualoa Beach.

WINDWARD OAHU (KHNL) - Warning signs finally came down Tuesday at a popular Windward side beach park. Sewage caution signs had dotted Kualoa beach park on Oahu for months. Since the warning signs were taken down, some beach goers felt it was safe enough to go for a swim.

"I think if they took the signs down most likely things are going to be okay. I don't think Hawaii will want to deal with the impact with a bunch of people swimming after being told it's okay discovering its not," says swimmer Rain Ross.

Six months ago it wasn't safe to swim here. Water samples showed high levels of human waste bacteria in the ocean. That's when the state began an investigation.

"When we investigated the issues with our waste water permit branch, we noticed that there were projects that were suppose to be done, but not completed. And we called the consulting company why the job wasn't completed, we got word the job was cancelled," says Clean Water Branch Supervisor Watson Okubo.

The holding tank under the toilets in the parks four restrooms was overflowing because of rust and corrosion. Since then the city has been pumping the tank twice a week. Bacteria levels are back to normal.

The empty park will be packed with people this holiday weekend. Some folks will head into the ocean and go for a swim. Most will use the restrooms.

"It'll be packed."

The city's planning to spend a million dollars to correct the situation. The Honolulu City Council will make the final approval. Until then,

"The ocean cleans itself and we'll see," says beach goer Holly Bartimus.

The city and state have been trying to fix the problem for the past three years.

Each could face fines for violating the Clean Water Act.  So far, there have been no reports of people getting sick.