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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 9, 2004

Restricted beaches reopen

By Robbie Dingeman and Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Staff Writers

The state Health Department gave the go-ahead yesterday for swimming and other activities at all of the O'ahu beaches and waterways that had been restricted because of pollution levels associated with last week's heavy rains.

That news probably was most welcome at popular Kailua Beach, where officials got the most inquiries about when the beach would be reopened. In 1998, the beach won mention as the best beach in the nation with its wide sandy shore and blue water.

Results of water samples yesterday also cleared Wailupe Beach/'Aina Haina, Honolulu Harbor and Ka'elepulu Stream/Enchanted Lake.

Even after the warning signs came down, Kailua lifeguards yesterday said fewer than the usual number of people went into the water.

Some residents who went to the beach in the afternoon said they still wouldn't swim in the water because it wasn't its normal light-blue color.

Courtney Wells of Lanikai said the green murky water along the shoreline still didn't look good enough to go in. "I know this beach — that water there, no way," Wells said. "If you know these waters, you know you shouldn't be in it."

Two visitors from Washington, D.C., Bruce Dodd, 22, and Laura Cylke, 20, said they would have gone into the water if the sun had been out. They knew about the warnings and trusted the government to keep them from harm.

Dodd said: "It looks fine. I would definitely get in if it were warmer."

Three other areas still have warning signs posted year-round because of chronic pollution: Ala Wai Canal and Kalihi and Nu'uanu streams.

Reach Robbie Dingeman at rdingeman@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2429.