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Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi sewage leaks into ocean

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Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi says its wastewater reclamation facility accidently released treated sewage into the ocean with levels of bacteria that exceed its permit. The base sits on a peninsula separating Kaneʻohe and Kailua bays on the windward side of Oʻahu.

In a news release, the base says water samples from Sunday found that Enterococcus bacterial levels continue to exceed the permitted limit of 57,850 microbes/100mL.

The sample results received on Oct. 24 showed 79,000 microbes/100mL.

Enterococcus is found in human intestines. Certain strains of the bacteria cause infections such as urinary tract infections and endocarditis.

The sewage release occurred during a recent project designed to modernize the facility for greater efficiency, the base said.

The waters are discharged approximately 2 miles off-shore of MCBH at 110 feet below the surface of the ocean into the natural zone of mixing. Direct risk of exposure is extremely low, according to the base.

The base is sampling the water daily to monitor the situation.

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