Sewage spill at Keehi Lagoon puts canoe clubs in limboUPDATED 11:04 PM HST May 15, 2013Video Transcript
Many canoe clubs are frustrated with a months-long sewage spill at Keehi Lagoon ... and say if it persists much longer, the upcoming regatta season may be a big mess. KITV4's Justin Fujioka has the story. Dexter Bajarin has been coaching for Alapa Hoe for years. In that time, he says he's sludged through many sewage spills... but nothing like this one. In February, the city said that at least three-thousand gallons of wastewater had spilled into his club's practice area ... prompting warning signs ever since. Dexter Bajarin: "YEAH, WE'RE STILL PRACTICING IN KEEHI LAGOON, BUT WE TRY AND MAKE SURE THAT THE KIDS NO MORE OPEN SORES, NO MORE MOSQUITO BITES." Bajarin says he always has antibacterial soap on hand and advises his students to shower immediately. Originally, the city said a cracked pipe was the source of the spill... but says recent inspections of the line show no leaks. Still, the city says it will replace the 42-inch pipe as a precaution... a project that could take another month or two. Until then, it's not allowing any races in Keehi Lagoon. Ashley Endo: "WE REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON CAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHERE ALL THE RACES ARE GOING TO BE. FIRST IT'S HERE, THEN WE HEAR IT'S SOMEPLACE ELSE." Dexter Bajarin: "BEING A COACH IS FRUSTRATING CAUSE THE KIDS ALWAYS COME UP TO YOU AND THEN ASK YOU, 'IS THE RACES GOING TO BE HERE? ARE WE PRACTICING?'" And his frustrations may not be over when repairs are complete. The city says if water samples are still unsatisfactory after the pipe is replaced... warning signs will remain posted. Dexter Bajarin: "IF THEY CANNOT FIX THE PROBLEM AND THEY NOT GOING TO GIVE US PERMITS FOR THIS PLACE, WE DON'T KNOW WHERE THE CHAMPIONSHIP GOING BE SO, EVERYTHING IS UP IN THE AIR." You may be wondering, why are the canoe clubs still practicing at Keehi? Many of them say they don't know where else to go and getting members to another site on a regular basis would be even more frustrating. Live in the newsroom, Justin Fujioka, KITV4 News.