Kalapaki Beach remains closed following spill

LIHU‘E — County officials announced Friday afternoon that Kalapaki Beach will remain closed this weekend until further notice.

State Department of Health officials are awaiting the results of two rounds of water quality tests before determining whether to reopen Kalapaki Beach to the public, states a county press release.

The tests are being conducted at a lab on O‘ahu and are expected to be completed sometime this weekend.

Signs notifying beachgoers of the closure will remain posted along the beach until the water is deemed safe by health officials. The public is advised to stay out of the water until the signs are removed.

County crews continue to follow the direction of DOH officials in the management of the spill.

Kalapaki Beach has been closed since Thursday morning after it was reported that between 400,000 and 500,000 gallons of treated effluent had spilled into the storm drain that leads into Kalapaki Bay.

The spill occurred at approximately 5 p.m. on Wednesday following a partial power outage at the Lihu‘e Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The cause of the outage was due to an internal circuit that powers the newly installed tertiary plant processes required to produce R-1 quality irrigation water. The outage did not involve Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative.

Officials have begun to take the necessary steps to prevent a reoccurrence of Wednesday’s spill and will be limiting the production of R-1 quality irrigation water used at the Kaua’i Lagoons golf courses until a new alarm system that monitors power interruptions has been installed and tested in the tertiary plant facility at the Lihu‘e plant.

Updated information will be released as it becomes available.

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