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Health Department “Heated Pond DOES NOT Have Unsafe Levels of Bacteria”

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will reopen ‘Āhalanui Park after verifying that the park’s volcanically heated pond does not have unsafe levels of bacteria.

‘Āhalanui Park will reopen Friday morning

‘Āhalanui Park will reopen Friday morning

Swimmers will be welcomed back into the Puna park starting at 7 a.m. Friday, October 4.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health collected water samples from the hot pond and has determined the bacteria levels to be normal for safe swimming areas. The Department of Health has found no evidence to suggest that the pond water is contaminated.

After learning September 26 of media reports that the swimmer was hospitalized, Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clayton Honma took immediate action to close the park to ensure the public’s safety. The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks swimmers, park users and the general public for their patience and understanding while the temporary closure was in effect.

The Department of Health wishes to remind the public not to go swimming with an open cut. Signs posted in ‘Āhalanui Park warn against this activity. Open wounds, according to state health experts, should be kept clean, dry and covered to prevent infection, which can come from anywhere, including from bacteria that lives naturally on the human body.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.