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<br /> <br />Wil Okabe <br /> <br />Managing Director <br /> <br /> <br />Harry Kim <br />Mayor <br /> <br />Barbara J. Kossow <br /> Deputy Managing Director <br /> <br />County of Hawai‘i <br />Office of the Mayor <br />25 Aupuni Street, Suite 2603  Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720  (808) 961-8211  Fax (808) 961-6553 <br />KONA: 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy., Bldg. C  Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i 96740 <br />(808) 323-4444  Fax (808) 323-4440 <br /> <br />April 4, 2017 <br /> <br />NEWS RELEASE <br /> <br />Water Sampling Shows Some Clearing Following Sewer Spill in Hilo Bay <br /> <br />Samples of Hilo Bay water taken after Monday’s sewer spill have indicated some <br />clearing in the water quality farther from the spill, while other areas of the Bay remain <br />signposted and closed to water activities, the County’s Department of Environmental <br />Management (DEM) said. <br /> <br />A diagram provided by DEM shows that six water sampling stations out of eleven <br />designated for monitoring was cleared by the Department of Health. The areas are <br />listed on the diagram as sampling stations 1 through 6, which encompasses the harbor <br />area and all of Banyan Drive and its hotels. Signage in those areas was being removed <br />at press time. <br /> <br />Meanwhile, the area near sampling stations running from the mouth of the Wailuku <br />River east to the Kamehameha Canoe Club shed area remain closed to water activities <br />until the Department of Health rules that the water quality is completely safe. Signage <br />will continue to be posted for the time being. <br /> <br />“We are handling this with an abundance of caution,” said DEM Director Bill Kucharski. <br />“We don’t want anybody getting sick.” <br /> <br />Sampling was conducted today at the sampling stations not cleared yet and will <br />continue until the Department of Health notifies us differently, he said. <br /> <br />Sunny weather conditions are helping to mediate the contamination; sunlight helps to <br />break down the bacteria, Kucharski noted. <br /> <br />A blocked sewer line sent an estimated 41,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Wailuku <br />River and Hilo Bay on Monday morning, and the public was asked to follow posted <br />signs and stay out of the water. <br /> <br />DEM took water samples in the Wailuku River and as far east as Reed’s Bay following <br />the spill. <br /> <br />County of Hawai‘i is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer. <br /> <br />