Stretch of Lahaina Shoreline Re-opens After Testing

May 9, 2013, 10:39 AM HST · Updated May 10, 5:09 AM
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Maui near shore waters, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui near shore waters, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

(Update: 5:24 p.m. 5/9/13)

The County of Maui issued an updated advisory this afternoon stating that West Maui beaches are now open after the completion of microbiological testing of ocean water today.

County officials say the “tests results indicate that no wastewater reached the ocean as a result of the May 7, 2013 overflow.”

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A stretch of shoreline from the intersection of Fleming Road and the Honoapiʻilani Highway to Wahikuli Beach Park, across the highway from Kainalu Road was closed earlier today.

The closure was to allow time for additional testing after initial tests showed higher than usual bacteria levels in the water.

County officials say warning signs along the shoreline have been removed, although warning signs on an affected drainage ditch in the 1300 block of Front Street will remain up until Friday morning.

The tests come following a recent wastewater overflow caused by the rupture of a 20-inch sewer force main at a Wahikuli construction site on Tuesday, in which a contractor accidentally ruptured the line.

(Posted: 10:20 a.m. 5/9/13)

County officials have announced the closure of a stretch of beach in West Maui this week to allow for daily water quality analyses.

The tests come following a recent wastewater overflow caused by the rupture of a 20-inch sewer force main at a Wahikuli construction site on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.   County officials say a contractor accidentally ruptured the line.

The closure extends from the shoreline access at Fleming Road and the Honoapiʻilani Highway to Wahikuli Beach Park, across the highway from Kainalu Road.

County officials say crews managed to stop wastewater from flowing into the ocean, but say tests conducted after the spill “show higher than usual bacteria levels in the water.”In an earlier statement, County Communications Director Rod Antone confirmed that a spill did occur over land in Lahaina, but the size and exact location was not specified.  He indicated on Tuesday evening that, the spill was “contained” and “cleaned.”

The source of the bacteria, county officials say, is unknown at this time.

County officials issued a press release this morning saying tests are expected to be conducted over the next several days.

The closure is being implemented by the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management.  The state Department of Health has reportedly been notified about the tests.

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