Associated Press

Associated Press

Million gallons of wastewater closes another beach in Hawaii


Source: Associated Press

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HONOLULU (AP) -- For the second time in a week a popular Hawaii beach was closed Thursday after sewage from a treatment plant spilled near the ocean.

A million gallons of treated but not yet disinfected wastewater spilled from the East Honolulu Wastewater Treatment plant, closing Sandy Beach and its surroundings. The closure comes a day after beaches near Waikiki were reopened following a similar issue.

The state Department of Health released a statement advising the public to stay out of the waters from Halona Blow Hole to Erma's Beach on Oahu's southeast shore until further notice.

Another spill from Monday near Hickam Beach on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was announced Thursday, prompting officials to tell the public to avoid those waters as well.

Officials said about 24,000 gallons spilled there, 12,000 of which went into a storm drain that leads into a canal near Hickam Beach. Water samples are being taken and the beach has posted with signs warning visitors of the potential dangers.

On Monday about 400,000 gallons of wastewater spilled in Ala Moana Beach Park after heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Kilo inundated the system. Officials opened the waters Wednesday afternoon after testing showed the water was safe.

Lori Kahikina, Honolulu's director of environmental services, said less sewage spilled than the half-million gallons the city initially reported.

She said Wednesday 129,000 gallons of wastewater flowed into the ocean. Another 264,000 spilled on land but never reached the ocean.

Officials said the Honolulu Zoo, which is in Waikiki, also flooded Monday, raising concern that untreated material from the zoo had entered the ocean.

A week of heavy rain made the ground saturated, and more rain was expected Thursday with flash flood watches in effect.

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