Affected areas clearing up

  • photo courtesy of Carl Berg

    This photo shows the Department of Health contaminated water sign along the Wailua shore just 100 yards up from Morgan’s Pond at Lydgate Park.

LIHUE — Wailua Beach Park is still polluted with heavy bacteria concentrations, according to Sunday tests from Surfrider Kauai’s Blue Water Task Force, and warning signs are posted at Wailua Beach and the north end of Lydgate Park.

But, some areas affected by the Thursday night sewage spill are starting to clear.

Three entities are testing the water. Because the sewage spill came from a county facility, County of Kauai is responsible to test until water meets state standards of 130 bacteria per 100 ml.

State sewage spill protocol requires the monitoring of both enterococci and Clostridium perfringens.

The county sampled the area on Monday and is awaiting results. Signs were posted after COK notified Department of Health of the sewage spill.

DOH routinely tests on Mondays, but the sewage spill is not in an area where DOH routinely tests and as today is Election Day and a state holiday, DOH will not conduct their routine testing this week as laboratories are closed.

The first entity on top of water testing after the sewage spill was Surfrider’s BWTF, which tested waters around the Wailua River sewage spill over the weekend.

Testing targeted Lydgate Park and Morgan’s Pond because they are popular with both residents and tourists, particularly with families.

“Warning signs are still up at Wailua beach and the north end of Lydgate Park. Observe those signs and stay out of those waters,” said BWTF coordinator Carl Berg. “Morgan’s Pond at Lydgate Park appears clean with ocean water.”

On Saturday, Morgan’s Pond tested at 20 enterococcus bacteria per 100 ml and on Sunday it tested at 10 per 100 ml, so water meets state standards.

Saturday, BWTF tested the beach at north end of Lydgate Park as well, with bacteria counts testing at 199 parts per 100 ml. Sunday, that area tested at 86 parts per 100 ml.

“Water did not meet criteria on Saturday but was below criteria on Sunday,” Berg said.

At Wailua Beach Park, BWTF test results were at 19,863 bacteria per 100 ml on Saturday and at 146 per 100 ml on Sunday.

Berg said ocean waves will dilute and wash away pollution, “but the Wailua river appears chronically polluted with enterococcus bacteria, based on years of monthly sampling by Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force.”

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