Excessive rain resulted in stormwater runoff, which mixed with treated wastewater and overflowed from the Waimea area to the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor yesterday, county officials announced in a press release.
According to Edward Tschupp, head of the county Department of Public Works Wastewater Division, treated wastewater from the Waimea Wastewater Treatment Plant is normally reclaimed for irrigation purposes, but, due to the heavy rains, flooding and storm damage, the reservoir that contains the treated wastewater needed to be opened to avoid additional damage.
Overflow from the reservoir lead to the mixture of treated wastewater and storm runoff to flow via the Kikiaola Ditch into the ocean at Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor.
Tschupp said that county officials posted warning signs at Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor, and have been advising members of the public to avoid contact with surface and storm water at the harbor and in other low-lying areas.
The mixture of storm water and treated wastewater might contain harmful microorganisms that can cause illness, noted Tschupp, adding that further instructions from state Department of Health officials will be issued through media releases as to when the harbor and low-lying areas will be safe to enter.