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.