Bacteria Count Soars In Kahaluu Lagoon

Following an investigation of complaints about the water, state health officials issued a warning Oct. 31 for the public to stay out of Kahaluu Lagoon, especially if they have open cuts.

Taking samples in recent weeks, monitors with state Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch found bacteria readings to be abnormally high and posted warning signs around the lagoon, which was built for flood control and located mauka of Hygienic Store. The lagoon waters lead into Kaneohe Bay, where fishermen gather and canoe clubs train regularly.

“One likely source of the high bacteria readings …may be the large concentration of residential cess-pools that discharge untreated human waste into the groundwater,” stated deputy environmental health director Gary Gill, noting that further tests are underway.

Kahaluu Neighborhood Board originally reported to DOH that paddlers, boaters and fishermen had developed infections and illnesses after being in the lagoon and stream waters.