WAILUA – The Lydgate ponds were reopened Friday following an eight-week restoration project, according to a county press release.
State Department of Health officials on Friday released the results of a water quality test conducted this week on the ponds, indicating the water is safe for the public.
“The Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park wish to express our appreciation for the county’s lead effort that has restored the ponds closer to their original depth and sea wall height,” said General Coordinator Tommy Noyes, noting that the Friends had appealed to the county for several years to proceed with the restoration.
The DOH report states that turbidity levels have been fluctuating since the pond’s restoration as expected and bacteria levels remain acceptable. Turbidity is a measurement of light blockage in water.
DOH officials conduct water quality tests at the ponds twice a week, to ensure that the water is safe for the public.
Signs warning swimmers about the sudden drop-off in the large Lydgate pond were posted in three locations shortly after the ponds were reopened. Anyone with questions is urged to ask a lifeguard posted at the Lydgate tower.
Noyes also said that he expects the recently completed project will prevent much of the driftwood that has been littering the beach from entering the pond enclosures.
In a follow-up report submitted to the county on Thursday by Oceanit, the restoration consultant, the following information was provided:
• Any body of water will temporarily have a low level of visibility after being dredged. The murkiness or slightly elevated levels of turbidity in the Lydgate pond is the result of the dredging work exposing fine grained muddy sediments that could not be removed by mechanical dredgers. Over the next few months, the murkiness is expected to slowly dissipate as the water courses through the pond and beach sand covers the muddy sediments.
• The water in the Lydgate pond is not stagnant, and at this point in time, there is no algae growth on the soft sediments in the pond. While it is highly unlikely that any bloom of macro-algae will occur in the pond, if it does happen, it will be dealt with in a manner that is least harmful to the environment.
• The submerged portion of the wall has sufficient spaces between the rocks that allow adequate water flow along the entire length of the wall.
• Replacement of the rocks on the top portion of the wall provides a higher degree of wave attenuation resulting in a calmer water condition in the pond.
• The fish are returning to the ponds, and are expected to reach quantities similar to what they were prior to the dredging work.
Goodfellow Brothers was awarded a $274,450 contract for the Lydgate Pond restoration project.
The scope of work for the Lydgate project included:
• Dredging the large pond to increase its depth from about 3-1/2 feet to between seven to nine feet.
• Placing the boulders that fell inside the pond back in their original positions along the border.
• Removal of the excavated sand.
• Removal of the debris that spilled into the ponds during the recent storm.
The Lydgate ponds were built in 1964 to provide residents and visitors with a year-round protected area for swimming.
Contact the county Department of Parks and Recreation at 241-4460 for more information.