Studies leave Kahaluu lagoon polluted

As published in the Honolulu Star Advertiser on November 28, 2016:

"Two years after the Department of Health warned residents to stay out of Kahaluu Lagoon and the channel leading to Kaneohe Bay because tests indicated raw sewage from cesspools was likely polluting the water, there’s no indication that the water quality will improve anytime soon.

Health officials say that while hundreds of cesspools in the area are likely causing the high bacteria counts, they are still studying the issue. Meanwhile, a statewide effort to provide incentives to homeowners to switch out their cesspools by offering tax credits is falling far short of expectations, and any effort to connect areas in Kahaluu to the city’s sewage system is likely more than a decade out.

State Rep. Jarrett Keohokalole, who represents the area, said he’s disappointed at the slow pace of addressing the problem. He said it seems clear that homeowners, many of whom have lived in the area for generations and don’t have a lot of money, will have to convert their cesspools, and that the state needs to do more to help them financially.

“There comes a point when you know enough about what the problem is that it is time to start looking at how you are going to fix it,” said Keohokalole (D, Kahaluu-Ahuimanu-Kaneohe)."

Read more here.

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