HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Department of Health Clean Water Branch officials are warning of elevated bacteria levels at a highly popular Oahu beach.
Officials said Wednesday afternoon water samples from Ala Moana Beach Park showed nearly eight times the safe amount of enterococci bacteria.
During routine beach monitoring, officials found enterococci levels of 1013 per 100 mL. On average, safe levels of detectable bacteria are around 130 per 100 mL.
Officials warn swimming in contaminated waters can make individuals ill.
"The advisory for this beach is posted because testing for enterococci indicate that potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or parasites may be present in the water," DOH officials said.
The Clean Water Branch posted the information on a web site that people can subscribe to for the latest information.
"Information is power and at least we know and we can warn people that okay, this is not a good time to go to the beach," said Stuart Coleman of the Surfrider Foundation, which helped the Health Department develop the web site.
Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are most at-risk to get ill if they come in contact with contaminated water. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, headache or fever.
The advisory will remain posted until bacteria levels return to normal.
Late Wednesday, city officials said the elevated bacteria levels were not caused by any recent sanitary sewer over flows. The cause of the spike is unknown.
In addition to the elevated bacteria levels, the monthly jellyfish influx hit Oahu shores.
Ocean safety officials reported over 40 stings, sic of which happened at Ala Moana Beach. Some 560 were also sighted at the beach, which was the largest chunk of the total 660 sightings island wide.