02/07/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/09/2018 18:21
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Nathan Serota (808) 829-0493
Elevated bacteria levels reported at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Sandy Beach Park, and Waimānalo Beach Park
No further visitors allowed into Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve until lower bacteria levels are reported
Hanauma Bay - The State of Hawai'i Department of Health Clean Water Branch has issued a water quality alert for ocean waters off of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Sandy Beach Park, and Waimānalo Beach Park after elevated levels of enterococci were detected Wednesday afternoon.
According to the Department of Health, levels of the bacteria at 393 per 100 mL (Hanauma Bay), 583 per 100 mL (Sandy), and 213 per 100 mL (Waimānalo) have been detected during routine beach monitoring.
Warning signs are posted at these specific test site locations. To view those locations on the Department of Health Clean Water Branch website, click here.
Enterococci bacteria can occur naturally in the environment independent of outside sources, and no sewage overflows have been reported by the Department of Environmental Services.
Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely populations to develop illnesses or infections after coming into contact with enterococci bacteria, usually while swimming. Fortunately, while swimming-related illnesses can be unpleasant, they are usually not very serious, require little or no treatment, get better quickly upon treatment, and have no long-term health effects.
No further visitors will be allowed into the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve as of Wednesday afternoon. Ocean Safety lifeguards, Department of Parks and Recreation staff, and volunteers will be notifying those within the nature preserve of this hazard.
Officials with the Department of Health will be back in the nature preserve on Thursday to conduct follow-up testing. If lab results determine that that levels of bacteria have reached a safe threshold of 130 enterococci per 100 mL, the nature preserve will be reopened. Those results are expected back on Friday.
In January, high levels of the same bacteria were reported in ocean waters off of Ala Moana Regional Park. Those levels were detected at 1013 per 100 mL during similar routine beach monitoring and were test results were back to normal levels the following Friday.
Follow the Department of Parks and Recreation on social media: