Mar 14, 2018

Storm Water Runoff Leads to Hawaii Beach Advisories

The brown water advisory has been issued for the island of Maui

Hawaii water threatened by storm water runoff

A brown water advisory has been issued for Maui, Hawaii, after heavy rains led to storm water runoff in coastal waters. While not all coastal areas may be impacted by the storm water runoff contaminants, the public is advised to stay out of brown waters. The brown water advisories were issued for Oahu along Haleiwa Beach Park, Kaluanui Beach and Punaluu Beach Park. On Kauai, the advisories were issued for Lumahai Beach, Lydgate Park and Hanalei Bay, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

“The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris,” according to the Hawaii state Department of Health Clean Water Branch advisory.

Cesspools have long been a problem on Hawaiian islands because the rocky, diverse terrain the makes it difficult to lay sewer lines and the sheer volume of cesspools would be hugely expensive to replace with cost estimates of at least $1.75 billion. Sen. J. Kalani English estimated a cost of $100,000 per cesspool. In rain events, the sheer volume of cesspools threaten overflow bringing contaminants from storm water runoff into drinking water systems and the beachfront. Hawaii has 88,000 cesspools across the eight major islands, more than any other state, according to the Wall Street Journal.