Surfrider tests Ke‘e water

KE‘E — Citizen scientists with the Kaua‘i branch of Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force have tested the water at Ke’e beach and said Saturday the water tested clean.

That’s after a July 2 advisory sent out by the Department of Health which advised the water at Ke‘e Beach had elevated levels of enterococci bacteria.

DOH’s July 1 testing indicated bacteria levels at Ke’e Beach were 222 enterococci per 100 mL, above the threshold level of 130 enterococci per 100 mL.

DOH issued a high bacteria advisory that will remain in effect until water sample results no longer exceed the threshold level of 130 enterococci per 100 mL.

Carl Berg of the Kauai Surfrider BWTF said their organization took a sample early morning of July 3rd and tested it in the same way as DOH. “Less than 10 bacteria per 100mL were detected in the sample, far less than the threshold level of 130.”

“The water at Ke‘e tested clean by Surfrider’s BWTF,” Berg said in a Saturday email to The Garden Island.

Staff at DOH Clean Water Branch tests the water quality around the island periodically and is set to sample again on July 6 at Ke‘e Beach.

The public is reminded that swimming in water with high bacteria counts could develop illnesses or infections. According to DOH, while swimming-related illnesses can be unpleasant, they are usually not very serious – they require little or no treatment or get better quickly upon treatment, and they have no long-term health effects.

The most common illness associated with swimming in water polluted by fecal pathogens is gastroenteritis. It occurs in a variety of forms that can have one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, headache or fever. Other minor illnesses associated with swimming include ear, eye, nose and throat infections. In highly polluted water, swimmers may occasionally be exposed to more serious diseases.

2 Comments
  1. new kamaaina July 5, 2020 8:33 am Reply

    Ke’e has been so overrun with miscellaneous people recently. And now the word of clean water will attract even more. Ke’e was so nice after the flood for Haena residents. No tourists, just Haena residents able to ride our bikes without worrying about cars. Please restrict everyone but us from using this beach, and maybe Tunnels too.


  2. Mia July 7, 2020 1:38 pm Reply

    @newkamaaina Aloha is the spirit of Kauaʻi, and your way of thinking is already removing the essence of Aloha. These “miscellaneous people you speak of, are most likely residents from other sides of the island who normally AVOID Haena because of the crowds of visitors during a normal season. They are exploring and enjoying parts of the island that they live on as well. “New Kamaaina”, I presume you were not born and raised here? I was born and raised along Hanalei Bay, I have experienced the changes and onset of new arrivals, “malahini”, encroaching on the land and into the sea, who visit for a short time, and fail to respect such special places. Yet I understand change is inevitable, and there will always be visitors, because any of us will be a visitor at some point wherever we travel to. The best that we can do is help educate the importance of caring for our natural resources. It is incorrect to think that only those who live in one area are the only ones who are allowed to enjoy and connect with those natural surroundings. Please recall beaches are not private, Chapter 115 HRS gives the public a right of access to beaches and other shorelines throughout the State, with that beach area specifically being defined by “the upper reaches of the wash of the waves.” Before speaking and making such claims, maybe consider the people that came before you and cared for the land, fished seasonally and sustainably. Do you live off the land? Care for the land, and leave the land in a better condition than how you found it? Just a few things to consider.


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