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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    March 31, 2006                                                                                 




HONOLULU The Hawaii State Department of Health clarifies that it is not predicting that Waikiki beaches will remain posted for weeks, let alone months.  If no further raw sewage from the City system enters the ocean and weather conditions are favorable, nature will clean itself in a matter of days.  Water samples will be taken on a daily basis until bacteria levels return to normal. The processing of samples takes at least 24 hours to run.


The Department of Health may allow beach warning signs to be removed as early as this weekend, once testing indicates that sewage is no longer a factor there.  After the rain stops, general island wide storm water advisories will be withdrawn.


Under Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapter 11-62: all wastewater system owners and operators whose systems spill sewage into state waters are required to immediately post warning signs in areas likely to be affected by a spill and where public access is possible. Owners and operators must also start bacteria sampling, notify the department of spills over 100 gallons, and issue a news release for spills of 1000 gallons or more. The department must approve the removal of warning signs.


Past and present practice is for the City and DOH to consult on water quality sampling results where the issue is posting more warning signs after the initial posting, and DOH acted promptly with the City to have signs posted at Kahanamoku and DeRussey beaches after receiving the results of the March 27 sampling from the City on March 28.




For information contact:

Janice Okubo                                       Kurt Tsue

Communications Office                                   Communications Office

Phone: (808) 586-4445                                   (808)586-4402

Cell: (808)368-6006

Monday, April 03, 2006

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