Maui News

Update, Advisory Lifted: High Bacteria Count Advisory at Wailea Beach

November 27, 2019, 4:24 PM HST
* Updated November 28, 3:11 PM
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Wailea Beach, elevated enterococci. PC: Maui Now file photo.

Update: 3:04 p.m. Nov. 28, 2019

The Water Quality Advisory for Wailea Beach, Maui has been canceled. Water sample testing results show that the enterococci levels no longer exceed the threshold level.

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The public is advised of a water quality exceedance of enterococci at Wailea Beach, Maui. Levels of 384 per 100 mL were detected during routine beach monitoring by the Department of Health Clean Water Branch.  That’s above the threshold of 130 enterococci per 100 mL.

The advisory for this beach is posted because testing for enterococci indicate that “potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or parasites may be present in the water.”

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Health officials advise that swimming at beaches with pollution in the water may make you ill.

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Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely populations to develop illnesses or infections after coming into contact with polluted water, usually while swimming.

“Fortunately, while swimming-related illnesses can be unpleasant, they are usually not very serious,” and “require little or no treatment or get better quickly upon treatment, and they have no long-term health effects.”

The most common illness associated with swimming in water polluted by fecal pathogens is gastroenteritis. Symptoms could include one or more of the following: nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, headache or fever.

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“Not all illnesses from a day at the beach are from swimming. Food poisoning from improperly refrigerated picnic lunches may also have some of the same symptoms as swimming-related illnesses, including stomachache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,” said health officials.

Signs have been posted at the beach and the advisory will remain in effect until water sample results no longer exceed enterococci thresholds.

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