In the case of Lydgate Park, when it rains, it pours, literally and figuratively.
Contractors under a County of Kaua’i contract had just finished clearing out tons debris from multiple storms from the tidal pools at Lydgate Park, when another storm began dumping more debris from the Wailua River into the ponds yesterday.
In the late-night hours of Saturday, or the early-morning hours of Sunday, a power outage caused county sewage treatment plant at the park to malfunction, sending 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the area where the main and several smaller park pavilions are located, as well as the Kamalani Playground.
The sewage, mixed with rainwater, created large ponds in the popular park, and caused county leaders to close the park for health and safety reasons yesterday, according to a county press release
According to Edward Tschupp, head of the county Department of Public Works Wastewater Division, the intake basin at the Wailua Waste-water Treatment Facility overflowed at about 6 a.m. yesterday.
That resulted in approximately 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilling into Lydgate Park and mixing with a large pond of rainwater spanning the pavilions and Kamalani Playground.
Tschupp said county officials posted a number of signs in the area, including “Accidental Sewage Spill,” “No Swimming,” “No Fishing,” and “Keep Out.”
State Department of Health workers also posted warning signs.
The mixture of storm water and untreated wastewater might contain harmful microorganisms that can cause illness, noted Tschupp.
Further instructions from officials as to when it is safe to return to Lydgate Parkwill be issued through media releases, Tschupp added.