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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, January 10, 2002

Pollution of Kaua'i's Kalapaki Beach a mystery

Advertiser Staff

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — County and state officials kept no-swimming signs posted at Kalapaki Beach yesterday, but are trying to determine whether high pollution counts may come from a source other than a sewage spill Sunday.

Meanwhile, the popular quarter-mile-long white sand beach fronting the Kaua'i Marriott Hotel was virtually deserted on a sunny day yesterday.

The county's Lihu'e sewer plant suffered a pump and alarm failure Sunday morning, and roughly 50,000 gallons of treated effluent reached the bay. The effluent had been chlorinated.

State Department of Health and county Wastewater Division officials are taking samples at the Nawiliwili Stream mouth and at two locations along Kalapaki Bay. Preliminary results indicated the water did not meet standards required for swimming.

"The test results in the bay are inconsistent with the effluent quality coming out of the plant. So we're working with the state to determine the source of the problem," said county engineer Cesar Portugal.

The agencies are awaiting the results of tests of stream water from above the spill site to determine if other sources could be causing the pollution.