Hanalei water quality improves

HANALEI — Tuesday water quality tests from the Surfrider Blue Water Task Force show the bacteria level in Hanalei Bay has waned.

The state Department of Health said Tuesday they collected a sample on Monday and are still awaiting results.

Concern over the amount of the fecal-indicating bacteria enterococci in Hanalei Bay surfaced Aug. 12. That’s when the Blue Water Task Force testing data yielded results of more than 24,150 parts per 100 ML.

The state threshold for enterococci is 130 parts per 100 mL, and DOH tested the water after Surfrider reported their results. DOH detected enterococci levels at 238 parts per 100 ML at Hanalei Bay Landing, also known as Hanalei Pier.

Tuesday’s Surfrider data yielded results of 131 mpn/100 mL at the east bank of the Hanalei River, 121 mpn/100 mL at the West Stream at Princeville, and 41 mpn/100 mL at the East Stream at Princeville.

“No evidence of extraordinary levels of fecal indicating bacteria in either the stream or the east bank of the Hanalei River,” said Carl Berg, head of the Surfrider Blue Water Task Force.

DOH posted signs warning of water containing a high amount of fecal-indicating bacteria at Hanalei Bay Landing when their tests revealed high levels. The department is awaiting their latest sample results before removing the signs.

Members of Surfrider are still considering theories for the increased level of bacteria in the water, and are considering leakage from cesspools along Hanalei River, possible activity at the Hanalei Dairy Farm site along the river, and a sewage leak.

But a source for the increased bacteria level has yet to be pinpointed, and DOH said no sewage spill has been reported in the area that could have caused the elevated numbers.

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