For those of you wondering which beaches have the cleanest water and which the worst, the NDRC recently released its annual report, Testing the Waters 2008: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches, which covers the whole nation. Hawai'i was about in the middle.
The thing is, the testing only tells the percent exceeding the maximum set by the standards, not actual bacterial count or types of bacteria. Still, it's something.
Article in today's Tribune Herald (the Hilo paper)
"2 million gallons of partially treated undisinfected wastewater the county dumps into a 14-year-old 'temporary' dump less than three-fourths of a mile from the ocean near Honokohau."
"Big Island beaches with excessive bacteria readings included Old Kona Airport (Pawai) (36 percent), Ohiaula Beach (22 percent), Kawaihae Harbor (19 percent), Kamakaokahonu (17 percent), Honolii Beach County Park (16 percent) and Hilo Bayfront (16 percent)."
If you don't recognize all of the above (I didn't) --
Ohiaula should be Ohai'ula, which is Spencer; Kamakaokahonu aka Kamakahonu is the King Kam beach at the Kailua-Kona pier.
Good news: volunteers are trying to acquire equipment to get better data on the Big Island coastlines as early as 2009.
The actual NDRC report, Hawai'i page:
There's a table on page 2, which shows the readings for the monitored beaches and a list of unmonitored for which there is no data.
Kauna'oa (Mauna Kea hotel) is 11%
Kapoho tide pools -- zero per cent!