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High bacteria counts prompt warning signs at Pokai Bay and Ko Olina

The state Health Department has issued high bacteria advisories for several beaches, including Hanauma Bay, the Ewa side of Ala Moana Beach Park and two beaches in Waikiki.

Late this afternoon, the department advised the public that levels of enterococci at Hanauma Bay at 137 per 100 milliliters, slightly above the threshold of 130, were detected during routine beach monitoring. At the Ewa end of Ala Moana Beach Park, officials detected enterococci levels at 659 per 100 milliliters.

Enterococci levels at two beaches in Waikiki — Public Bath Beach near the Barefoot Beach Cafe and Kapiolani Park near the Waikiki Aquarium — were significantly higher than the threshold, at 1,298 and 1,445 per 100 milliliters respectively.

Earlier this morning, the department also issued a high bacteria advisory for Pokai Bay as well as one of the lagoons at Ko Olina Resort in Leeward Oahu.

Levels of enterococci at Pokai Bay have been detected at 659 per 100 milliliters during routine beach monitoring, the department said, which indicates potentially harmful organisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or parasites may be present in the water. Levels of enterococci at the Kohola Lagoon at Ko Olina Resort have been detected at 178 per 100 milliliters during routine beach monitoring.

Swimming at beaches with pollution in the water may make you ill, health officials said, with children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems the most likely populations to develop illnesses or infections after coming into contact with polluted water.

Fortunately, while swimming-related illnesses can be unpleasant, they are usually not very serious and require little or no treatment — or get better quickly upon treatment — with no long-term health effects.

Signs have been posted at the beaches, and the advisories will remain in effect until water sample results no longer exceed the threshold level of 130 enterococci per 100 milliliters.

The public is also warned to stay clear of the waters of Kahauiki Stream and the lower portion of Moanalua Stream due to a wastewater discharge of 215 gallons from 1043 Middle St. Tuesday evening.

Updates on all water advisories and maps are available at this link.

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