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State issues advisory for Punaluu Beach Park

A beachwater bacterial advisory for Punaluu Beach Park on Oahu was issued today by the state Department of Health Clean Water Branch.

During routine beach monitoring, a water quality exceedance of enterococcus, a fecal indicator bacteria, was discovered, with levels of 160 enterococci per 100 mL of beachwater, exceeding the threshold level of 130 enterococci per 100 mL established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Levels of enterococci above the threshold “indicate that potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or parasites may be present in the water,” the advisory said, adding that swimming at beaches with pollution in the water may make people ill.

It noted that children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to developing illnesses or infections after coming into contact with polluted water.

The most common illness associated with swimming in water polluted by fecal pathogens is gastroenteritis, with possible symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting, stomachache and diarrhea to headache or fever. Other minor illnesses associated with swimming include ear, eye, nose and throat infections, the advisory said.

Punaluu Beach Park was posted with no-swimming signs.

To view active water quality advisories, visit this link; brown water advisories issued for several beaches around Oahu Tuesday were still active as of this afternoon.

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