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Brown water advisories proliferate throughout island chain

State Department of Health brown water advisories against ocean activities are in effect for several beaches around the islands where rivers and streams empty into the sea.

The cause of the brown water was listed as heavy rain by the department’s Clean Water Branch, which issues beachwater advisories.

On Oahu’s north shores, brown advisories were issued today for Waimea Bay and Kualoa Beach Park, and advisories for Pounder’s Beach and Laie Beach Park on Friday and Hauula Beach Park on Feb. 24 remained in effect; all four areas are popular swimming and surfing spots.

Also today, Koloa Landing, a popular dive spot on Kauai’s south shore, was placed under brown water advisory along with the Garden Isle’s Wailua and Nawiliwili bays, while an advisory remained in effect for Lumahai Beach, a spot with perilous currents on the island’s north shore.

A brown water advisory posted Mar. 1 along the Big Island’s scenic Hamakua coast from Honokaa to Hilo and Keaukaha,, remained in effect today.

The Clean Water Branch reported that stormwater runoff was entering coastal waters, and advised the public to stay out of brown water due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris.

“Not all coastal areas may be impacted by runoff, however, if the water is brown stay out,” the branch said, warning of an elevated risk of waterborne illnesses and exposure to toxic pollutants.

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