Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pipeline under Kaneohe Bay

There was an article today in the StarAdvertiser about a plan to put a sewer pipeline under Kaneohe Bay. See: Pipeline Under the Bay. Interesting to think about these things, it is not like we can pretend we do not have responsibility here. I really want my toilet to be able to flush - AND I really like to swim in our waters.

This brings back thoughts of the bay in the early 1970's. There was a sewer outfall into the south bay at that time that dumped sewage out in a mere 8 meters of water (~25 feet depth). Needless to say all of those nutrients caused algal blooms that turned the water dark green (note the before and after images from the Hawaii Water Environment Assoc. site). Corals did not do well to say the least. Subsequently, a deepwater outfall off Mokapu was created.

So now the sewage goes into deep water, where it will have lots of room to be diluted. . . right? Hmm, lets see, it is largely fresh, warmer water. Sort of a plume of nutrient rich water rising up. But that is a topic for another blog (the HIMB Toonen lab has been working on some of the effects of these outfalls).



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