Letter of Complaint and State's Response



From: Kurano, Matthew
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2017 10:06 AM
To: 'Carroll Cox' <>
Cc: Wong, Alec Y ( <>
Subject: RE: Waikiki Outdoor Showers Complaint

In response to the email you included me on (below) and a similar question that our Communications Office received:

As we understand, beach showers are explicitly provided to allow ocean users to rinse off after getting out of the water. The beach showers are not intended to be used for bathing with soaps, or to be used as laundry or sink facilities. Given that the showers are only provided to rinse off, it has historically been the CWBs position that the discharges are not regulated, though we encourage the agencies that provide the showers to allow for percolation or other non-obtrusive practice. That said, between shoreline erosion and an increased recognition that beach users do use soap after swimming, the consideration to not regulate the beach shower water may be revisited. We have evidence that the shower water discharges at multiple locations throughout the island/state, and the best practice is for the shower water to be disposed of through drywells/French drains, etc. We also have anecdotal evidence that the shower waters may be degrading the receiving waters.

With this recent public concern raised, the DOH Clean Water Branch will be re-evaluating this issue, contacting the responsible property owners to discuss solutions, and consider options which could include implementing best practices to reduce discharges.

Thank you,


From: Carroll Cox []
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2017 7:38 PM
To: Kurano, Matthew <>; Kawaoka, Keith E <>; carrolL@CARROLLCOX.COM
Subject: Waikiki Outdoor Showers Complaint

Mr. Keith Kawaoka, Deputy Director,

Hawaii Department of Health Environmental Services

Dear Mr. Kawaoka,

Please accept the attached photographs in support of my formal complaint against the City and County of Honolulu for currently, unlawfully, discharging wastewater generated by its outdoor showers located at various sites along

Kuhio Beach Between Kapahulu Groin and Queen's Beach.

I understand that on September 10, 2012, the DoH Wastewater Branch formally inspected the above area and documented the unlawful discharge of wastewater from some of these same outdoor showers in violation of the United

States Clean Water Act as well as other laws.

Also, I am informed that a September 20, 2012, letter to the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Parks and Recreation stated "Please be aware that causing or allowing any wastewater system on your property to create or

contribute to a wastewater spill (including shower wash water
discharges) is a violation of section 11-62-06(g). Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR)."

In addition, section 342D50, Hawaii Revised Statues (HRS) states "Prohibition. a) No person, including any public body, shall discharge any pollutant into state waters, or cause or allow any water pollutant into state waters except, rules

pursuant to this chapter, or permit or variance issued by the director."

A strong admonishment was delivered and accompanied by a stern statement warning "The wastewater spills may subject the city to the provisions of the HRS chapter 342D and HAR, section 11-62-06(1), including penalties not to

exceed 25,000 for each violation".

I am of the opinion the City and County was emboldened by your agency's involvement and has concluded your bark is bigger than your bite, as evidenced in their willingness to continue unlawfully discharging wastewater, polluting

the environment, and exposing innocent beach goers to wastewater from the outdoor showers.

I also have other pictures and video of the unlawful discharges if your need them. All photographs and video were taken by Carroll Cox on 6/17/17.


Carroll Cox