Paddlers clean Keehi Lagoon as brown water advisory remains for Oahu

Keehi Lagoon

A brown water advisory remains in effect for Oahu, and the state says even if the water looks clean, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to go in just yet.

The Hawaii Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch says it didn’t find anything unusual in the samples it took, but stresses the entire island is still under a brown water advisory.

“Wastewater can be laid with bacteria, viruses, parasites, and it’s an infection risk,” explained Dr. Jim Ireland, assistant clinical professor, University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. “Infections can include gastroenteritis, when it comes to E.coli, cryptosporidium, which is a parasite, and actually even hepatitis A is transmitted through wastewater.”

On Monday, North Shore native Ryan De Seixas took video of Waimea Bay. He says he’s never seen the bay look that brown before.

“I was pretty shocked to see how red and how thick it was. There was a pretty distinct line between the salt water and the fresh water coming out of the river,” he said. “I drove by (today) around like 2 o’clock and I was actually surprised at how much better the water looked. A lot of it must have settled or moved with currents.”

At Keehi Lagoon, piles of garbage have washed up on the shoreline. Residents say this is the worst they’ve ever seen it.

Keola O Ke Kai Canoe Club takes care of the area, and is cleaning it up because it’s keeping them from practicing.

Approximately 30 members of the canoe club were out cleaning Tuesday. They say they won’t be back in the water for a week and a half.

“It’s sad because a lot of our kids are down here doing positive things. They could be doing other things and that’s what organized sports is all about, keeping our kids off the street away from bad things, away from stealing and vandalism and all that,” said canoe club coach Gino Dayton. “They are not taking care of our park, and now the water quality with all of this. I think the state needs to step up.”

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources says it doesn’t have the resources to respond to trash pickup.

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