Blue Water Task Force
Everyone deserves access to clean water to surf, swim and play in.
Our Science-Based Approach
The Blue Water Task Force is Surfrider’s volunteer water quality monitoring program that provides critical water quality information to protect public health at the beach. Surfrider chapters use this program to raise awareness of local pollution problems and to bring together communities to implement solutions.
Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) labs measure fecal indicator bacteria levels in recreational waters and compare them to water quality standards set to protect public health. Chapter-run BWTF programs fill in the gaps and extend the coverage of agency-run beach monitoring programs by sampling ocean and bay beaches, estuaries and potential freshwater sources of pollution such as stormwater outlets, rivers and creeks that discharge onto the beach.
View Your Local Water Quality
Our Local Program
Ocean and nearshore waters around Kauai are monitored on a regular basis by the Clean Water Branch of Hawaii’s Department of Health and by the Blue Water Task Force of the Kauai Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Both organizations collect samples in similar ways and test for Enterococcus bacteria concentrations using the exact same method approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The DOH and Surfrider monitor different types of beaches and coastal recreational waters on Kauai to provide more extensive water-quality information to inform safe beach going. DOH collects water samples at popular ocean beaches, while Surfrider collects at popular surfbreaks or in estuaries where canal, stream or river water meets the ocean at the beach. The latter sites are extremely popular places for children to play in the water but the water is often polluted.
While DOH chronic-water pollution warning signs have been posted at Gillin’s Beach (at Mahaulepu), Hanamaulu Beach Park and Niumalu Beach Park, many more signs are needed to inform the public about the health risk from swimming in polluted waters and to warn them to stay out.
Working together, Surfrider and the DOH must identify polluted waters and make sure that residents and visitors alike are aware of potential health threats at the beach. The DOH can then identify the sources of pollution and take action to eliminate them. We need to ensure that the health of anyone enjoying the beach or our coastal waters here on Kauai is safe and protected.
– Dr. John P. Alderete, Ph.D., is head of the Blue Water Task Force of the Kauai Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation
For more information or questions: Dr. Carl J. Berg, Senior Scientist, Kauai Chapter: (808) 639-2968 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Water Quality Information & Resources
To sign up to receive notifications when a DOH beach advisory, brown water advisory or sewage spill is posted, or any water quality advisory is closed, subscribe via the link below.
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. Waiopili Stream at Mahaulepu is 10 times more polluted with feces than the others above. We provide this data 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 would like to find out more, contact Dr. Carl J. Berg, Senior Scientist, Kauai Chapter: (808) 639-2968 or email@example.com