A water quality advisory warning was issued by the Hawaii State Department of Health last Friday due to exceeding levels of enterococcus bacteria found within the water at Kailua Bay. According to SF Gate, six times the accepted limit of bacteria was recorded on April 28th and May 1st due to an influx of wastewater from the nearby Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. Kailua Bay is located just over 10 miles from Honolulu, and is a popular tourist destination. A press release issued by the health department detailed how many days the water has exceeded bacteria levels in recent weeks.
"The City documented wastewater discharges that exceed the bacteria limits in its state permit on 13 days beginning on April 8, and most recently on May 4. The highest exceedances, reported on April 28 and May 1, were over six times the limit set by DOH. The exceedances were first reported to DOH on April 9 and have occurred periodically since." As bacteria levels remain high, the health department plans to post warning signs along the beach and monitor the water regularly.
"DOH will continue to oversee the City’s response to the ongoing discharge violations. Due to the location of the outfall and the high recreational use of Kailua Bay, DOH directed the City to post warning signs and to continue effluent and shoreline monitoring. Warning signs will remain up until DOH is confident that coastal waters have returned to normal and the City returns to compliance with effluent discharge limitations."
If bacteria continues to remain along the bay, people who swim in the water could become sick.