The Blue Water Task Force is our water quality testing program. It is comprised of a group of individuals who, on the second Saturday morning of the month, paddle out to various surf spots or go to streams on the island, and collect a water sample to be tested later in our lab. We test for Enterococcus bacteria that indicate contamination from feces of warm blooded animals, especially humans. It is the standard test for both the Hawaii Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

We also test some of the streams and County Beach parks not tested by the Hawaii Department of Health. We are now testing approximately 25 sites on a regular basis. The monthly results are posted on our website (below) and also on the Surfrider national website.

Surfrider sampling over the years has documented chronic levels of pollution at Hanamaulu stream, Nawiliwili stream at Kalapaki Bay, Niumalu Beach Park, and Waikomo stream at Koloa Landing. More recently we discovered that Waiopili Stream at Mahaulepu is 10 times more polluted with feces than the others above. We provide this data on the website below and to the Hawaii Department of Health and the U.S. EPA, trying to get them to post warning signs at these spots and then take measures to stop the polluting.

If you are interested in participating in the BWTF, or would like to find out more, contact Project Manager Dr. Carl Berg: 808-639-2968 or

Mahalo to the BWTF samplers who went out in the rain, in the muddy waters, and collected samples on Saturday.
The results show why DOH should be posting warning signs on the beaches when there is a Brown Water Advisory listed.
Rains wash fecal matter off the land and can saturate the ground enough to flush cesspool contents through the groundwater.
All of the streams, canals, and areas where streams go out in to the ocean had very high counts. South shore sites had high counts.
Waikomo Stream at Koloa Landing had counts greater than I could measure, yet DOH refuses to put up a warning sign there.
The Bowl, Middles, Kalapaki Bay and Pakalas surf sites which get river flow are all high.
Remember. if it has been raining, rinse off when you get out of the water.

Recent Blue Water Task Force news:

Recent Blue Water Task Force events: