Honolulu Advertiser, August 4, 2008
By Leanne Ta
Hawai’i’s beaches are relatively clean compared with the rest of the nation, but storm-water runoff continues to contaminate waters and put swimmers at risk, according to an annual report.
In 2007, the nation experienced its second-highest level of beach closures and advisories in 18 years, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Testing the Waters report released last week.
The incidence of infections associated with recreational swimming has steadily increased over the past few decades, the report states.
Hawai’i fared relatively well in 2007, ranking 25th out of 30 states included in the study in terms of the percentage of water samples exceeding national standards.
Just 3 percent of nearly 5,500 water samples collected in Hawai’i in 2007 exceeded U.S. health standards. This compares with 23 percent of samples taken in Illinois, which had the highest rate, and none of the samples taken in Alaska, which had the lowest rate.