The National Park Service is asking for a water management area on the lands mauka of the national park to protect the park. Staff experts have been taking water samples in the ocean off of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park for almost 10 years.
We swam at least twice a week for years across Kukio Bay, near the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, and there was no algae. Then we started noticing heavy floating sediment on the north side of the bay closest to the expensive homes. We thought the liquid from the septic tanks leach lines was seeping into the sandy soils. We stopped swimming that side. I hadn’t been snorkeling at Kukio for almost a year, but we swam last Saturday. I was surprised at all the algae with less fish.
Why is a Water Management Area is a bad thing? Most of Oahu has water management areas. We need pure drinking water and we don’t want to pollute our ocean, wreck our reefs and destroy the fish. Too much development with cesspools and septic tanks will percolate in our porous soil down to our drinking water, hit lava tubes and shoot down to the ocean to add chemicals to hurt the reef and pollute the ocean water. I don’t think this idea is anti-development, but pro – pure drinking water and caring for our ocean.
So, what’s the problem??
Remember water goes into your house and comes out sewage — what happens at your house?
Maybe this is really a problem with control of sewage — we need to build a new sewer plant (expensive), and quit injecting water into the sewer well (like a cesspool) mauka of the highway near the plant. There has also been discussion of requiring that new subdivisions have self-contained sewer systems.
So what if we do nothing to protect the drinking water and ocean reefs? How will this end up?
I am happy the federal government is stepping in and asking for a Water Management Area. The state won’t even regulate the seeping septic systems at Honokohau Harbor. The county has not stepped up to build a new sewer plant out of the tsunami zone, yet it keeps approving subdivisions. Last count I saw that there are more than 35,000 new homes in the area mauka of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park.
The Board of Realtors is having a meeting on the Water Management Area on from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Elks Lodge, 74-5596 Pawai Place, Kailua-Kona. Tammy Duchesne, superintendent of Kaloko-Honokohau will speak, Riley Smith of Lanihau Development Partners, Kanani Aton from the Department of Water Supply, Peter Young, developer consultant and former Department of Land and Natural Resources chairman. Sherry Bracken will moderate. I hope you will attend.
Debbie Hecht is a Big Island resident.
Viewpoint articles are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the opinion of West Hawaii Today.