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HHC tests Oahu sand for possible contamination

Honolulu – April 19, 2006

Healthy Hawaii Coalition (HHC) announced today that they’ll be stepping forward to test the sand at impacted beaches on Oahu for possible bacterial contamination from recent sewage spills.

Tulsi Gabbard collected samples of sand at the beach near Hilton Hawaiian Village (near the lagoon) and at other areas around the island today.

Gabbard, HHC’s co-founder and vice-president, said “The recent sewage spills have been the cause of great concern to everyone on our island. It’s scary to think that the sand we walk on and our children play in may be contaminated. Even though testing the sand is not required by the EPA, it is in the best interest of our residents, families, and visitors to do so. We have volunteered to step up to the plate, compare results from beaches around the island, and let people know the results.”

HHC will be testing for two types of bacteria -- enterococcus and clostridium perfringens. These are the bacteria the Hawaii State Department of Health tests for in the water, and are the best indicators for contamination from human waste.

HHC will be getting samples from beaches impacted by sewage spills: Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana Beach, and Kailua Beach. We will be comparing those results to sand samples taken from beaches not impacted by the recent sewage spills. HHC expects to have results from these tests within 24-48 hours.

HHC was co-founded in 2001 by Tulsi Gabbard and Mike Gabbard, and is made up of concerned citizens from across the state. Its two-fold purpose is to protect the environment and to improve individual and community health.

To see the sand test results: Click here.

See articles and news coverage of HHC testing the sand: