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LETTER: Testimony Needed on Keaukaha Waste Water Issue

August 2, 2017, 8:46 AM HST (Updated August 2, 2017, 9:14 AM) · 0 Comments
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Please please please email testimony to COUNCILTESTIMONY@HAWAIICOUNTY.GOV by 12 noon tomorrow 7/31 so it can be considered for the Council meeting agenda on 8/1.

People can show up to testify at 2:30 today in Hilo Council Chambers, or via satellite from Kona, Pahoa, Kamuela, etc.

If this info is important to you and it freaks you out, please share this to spread the info and get more testimonies. This was a problem that came up at Council meetings last year! The Council said the delays were from the people in charge of those departments, the Council wants this problem resolved but they need testimonies from our community to light the fire and get this taken care of! It’s difficult to get people to send in testimonies, please let your friends know you submitted testimonies and encourage them to send in testimonies too.

Aunty Terri Napeahi has devoted countless hours to researching and exposing the Keaukaha waste water problems and health effects on the Hilo Community. She is doing a presentation in front of our County Council on Tuesday, 8/2 at 2:30 in Hilo Chambers. Thank you Aunty Terri for all of your hard work!!!

And thank you Simmy for all your countless hours researching and exposing the problems in our Kahalu’u waters!

This is an islandwide problem and now that Aunty Terri got it on the Council’s agenda this is our chance to make our voices count! Please come and testify 8/1 2:30 in person in Hilo or via satellite from Kona, Pahoa, Kamuela or please please please send in your testimony to COUNCILTESTIMONY@HAWAIICOUNTY.GOV by 12noon tomorrow 7/31.

Testimonies can be super short: I am a resident of __________ and I am concerned about waste water and beach water safety for me, my Keiki, and our future.

Also say if you are a surfer, fisherman, diver, cultural practitioner, a paddler, a triathlete, if you eat seafood, if you work on the ocean, if your family spends time at the beach (especially kids!), etc

Some facts:

Pine Trees currently has a high advisory for bacteria exceeding safe levels. The safe level is 130 enterococci bacteria (staph) per 100mL, their test showed a level of 364 per 100mL.

Kahalu’u has been closed a few times in the past months for high bacteria counts.

Every bay along our coastline was deemed “impaired” by the Environmental Protection Agency.

It was said in the meeting that they don’t want to do testing and reporting of staph because it could negatively affect tourism. There have been countless residents and tourists that have gotten staph.

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“Staph thrives in warm water, and HAWAIʻI HAS THE HIGHEST RATE OF STAPH AND MRSA INFECTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES!” Published in a report by Dr. Tracy Weignar, a Professor at UH Hilo

Bacteria is 2-3 times more prevalent in the sand (where our children play!). Children and kupuna are affected more because their immune systems are not as strong as adults.

Staph symptoms include nausea, influenza, stomach problems, runny nose, diarrhea, joint and muscle pain, rash, blisters, open sores, ear infections, and even bruises!

Over 3 million gallons of non-disinfected human waste are released into the ocean EVERYDAY, and these are just numbers for Kealakehe and Kahalu’u! The temporary pit at Kealakehe is 25 years old, you can smell it from miles away!

Remember when that pipe broke on Palani? A leak was reported 4 days before the pipe burst, but our Waste Water Division is 4 Engineers too short. This pipe was 50-55 years old! There are 8-9 other sections over pipes 50+ years old in Kona and Hilo. And our population has been increasing drastically…and all these earthquakes we’ve been having…

The pump station in Kona is 20-30 years old, at the meeting I went to they said this is a crisis waiting to happen.

Hawaiʻi County has the lowest sewer rates in the state (rates from 1998). Even if they double our sewer fees we would still have the lowest sewer fees in the state.

All of the TAT Transient Accommodations Tax (hotels rooms etc) that we collect in Hawaiʻi County go to Honolulu to pay for Rail.

Our monies we collect in our county need to stay here, we have our own problems we need to deal with. We all know waste water and beach water safety are huge problems, NOW is our time to show that we as a community are concerned…please submit testimonies ASAP

Please feel free to share any info that would be helpful. If there is any info that is wrong on this post let me know so I can correct it immediately.

Letters, commentaries and opinion pieces are not edited by Big Island Now.

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