Accidental manure spill prompts advisory

  • A stream contaminated with cow manure flows through Ookala on Friday. (CHARLENE NISHIDA/Courtesy photo

The state Department of Health is asking residents to stay out of Alaialoa Gulch in Ookala after it was contaminated with cow manure.

According to DOH, an accidental spill of approximately 300 gallons of manure occurred at Big Island Dairy, located mauka of the village, at about noon Friday.

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Residents also should avoid the shoreline east of Ookala, the department advises.

For the past several years, Ookala residents have complained about manure from the dairy contaminating nearby gulches.

A lawsuit alleging violations of the federal Clean water Act was filed in 2017 in U.S. District Court in Honolulu. A trial is scheduled for January.

Charlene Nishida, Ookala resident and member of Kupale Ookala, which filed the lawsuit, said manure is clearly visible in the gulch, which goes through her property.

“It stinks and you can see it,” she said.

“This is a problem that’s ongoing. It’s not a one-time thing.”

The department said it will investigate the spill and is requiring the dairy to submit a written report.

DOH fined the dairy $25,000 in May 2017 for unlawful discharge of wastewater.

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The dairy has since planted grass where it used to grow corn to reduce the amount of runoff from the property.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

  1. Buds4All April 16, 2018 4:04 am

    Interesting…why is there not more corn grown on the Island? Has anyone seen the price in the stores (not canned)? Its crazy expensive!


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