Something stinks about Hanauma Bay's bathrooms (and it's hard not to notice)

Something stinks about Hanauma Bay's bathrooms (and it's hard not to notice)
Updated: Aug. 21, 2017 at 5:40 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The nonprofit Friends of Hanauma Bay is complaining that the restrooms at the nature preserve aren't being cleaned thoroughly enough from opening through closing, making for unsightly and unsanitary conditions.

"Smells pretty foul. Urine smell," visitor Robert King said.

The New York native had just used the men's room near the tour bus parking lot. That was at noon.

"The restroom condition up there is pretty atrocious," Friends of Hanauma Bay president Lisa Bishop said.

She said lavatories throughout the site get a lot dirtier after 2:30 p.m., when the maintenance crew leaves for the day.

"They run out of toilet paper. They run out of paper towels. And the cleanliness of the facilities is very bad," she said.

The city Department of Parks and Recreation said it's looking into the matter.

"After 2:30 p.m. the park caretaker oversees the park, including restrooms. The city hopes the public feels a sense of ownership and uses the facility properly," spokesman Nathan Serota said.

But Bishop said it shouldn't be the caretaker's responsibility.

"He doesn't work on site. He works at another position for the Department of Parks and Recreation," she said.

She feels the city should either hire another person or move someone from the morning shift to care for the restrooms. But that's problematic given union requirements.

In the meantime, Friends of Hanauma Bay has been taking photographs of the restrooms to document problems and track repairs.

Bishop said it took about a month to re-open one restroom. She believes repairs should be handled more swiftly "given the number of visitors that come to the bay."

"We work hard to schedule our maintenance and repairs so facilities can re-open as quickly as possible." Serota said. "In some instances coordination between departments is necessary."

Some visitors to Hanauma Bay on Monday saw nothing wrong with the restrooms.

"I didn't come here for the bathroom. I came here for the view," Florida native Kylene Pontier said.

Friends of Hanauma Bay and the City will debate the restroom issue Tuesday before the City Council's Parks, Community and Customer Service committee.

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