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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, April 26, 2002

Saltwater pool rules lacking, experts say

Advertiser Staff

A children's doctor and a swimming pool expert criticized the state Department of Health yesterday, saying the state's rules for saltwater pools are inadequate and disregard the recommendations of a panel of experts.

Dr. Marian Melish, head of infection control at Kapiolani Medical Center, and Jim Williams, head of the Hawai'i Swimming Pool Association, have both testified before the state in a series of public hearings held in each county to discuss concerns over the saltwater pool on Kaimana Beach at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. At a press conference yesterday held by the Kaimana Beach Coalition, a group opposed to the Natatorium restoration, Melish and Williams said that under the proposed rules, the pool would be unsafe and the measures should be reconsidered.

Melish said the state's proposed rules fail to address concerns for staphylococcus, which causes infections, some of which can be dangerous.

City officials maintain that the design of the pool will allow the water to be constantly replenished by ocean water, which will hinder the growth of bacteria.

The rules have been a major stumbling block preventing the city from completing the beachfront war memorial, which opened two years ago to visitors, but not to swimmers.