Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 |
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WAIMEA — To prevent flooding from occurring in the Waimea area, the irrigation ditch was opened Monday morning allowing storm water mixed with treated wastewater to flow into Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor.
Warning signs are posted at the harbor to inform the public that treated wastewater is present in the outflow from the Kikiaola ditch.
The public is advised to avoid contact with surface and storm water at the harbor and the adjacent coastal areas. The mixture of storm water, treated wastewater, and brown water may contain harmful microorganisms that can cause illness.
Officials estimate that up to 2.25 million gallons of treated wastewater had been stored in the irrigation ditch, a county news release states.
Prior to the opening of the Kikiaola ditch, the Department of Public Works switched the flow of the effluent from the Waimea Wastewater Treatment Plant to the back-up injection well where it will continue to flow until the ditch is closed.
Water quality in the area is being monitored and coordinated between county and state officials, and a news release will be sent to the media when the water at the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor is deemed safe to enter, county officials said in the release.
The presence of the treated wastewater in the Kikiaola ditch that is now draining into the ocean constitutes a sewage spill in accordance with the state Department of Health procedures.
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