Posting Pollution Advisories on Kaua’i
October 14 2009 | Blue Water Task Force, Water Quality, Illness,
by Mara Dias
The Kauai Chapter has just succeeded in convincing the State Department of Health to post a pollution advisory sign at a chronically polluted, but very popular beach. This is the first time any such permanent sign has been posted on the island warning people of poor water quality. The advisory has been posted at a heavily used, recreational spot along the Hanalei River.
The Chapter, led by BWTF Coordinator Dr. Carl Berg, is continuing to petition the State to post the other chronically polluted beaches on the island as well. The Department of Health, however, wants more information about the source of bacteria pollution at these beaches before it posts any more signs. Specifically, the State wants to confirm that there are human sources (septic systems or leeching pools) contributing to these polluted beaches before further warning the public of the potential health risk.
The Chapter has been trying to facilitate some source tracking studies on Kaua'i to provide the information they need to convince the State to post more signs and take steps to prevent the pollution from reaching the beaches in the first place. So far, the University of Stanford has started sampling and will hopefully be able to shed some light on where the pollution is coming from.
Local coverage of this issue can be found on The Garden Island's website.