In “this can’t be good for the environment news,” Hawaii News Now reports that a stream in Waipio, on the island of Oahu, was contaminated with alcohol from a storm drain that appears to have spilled from a nearby warehouse. When I say alcohol, I mean, actual booze. The warehouse is owned by a company called Paradise Beverages, which is the biggest distributor of alcoholic drinks in the state.
Carroll Cox, an environmental activist, reported the incident to Hawaii’s health department and said, “The other day we came here you would think it was a beer pub that hadn’t opened its doors for three or four days.”
A hiker who took photos of the stream during the incident also said the area smelled like beer.
That’s pretty fucked up, when you think about it. Imagine taking a hike in a beautiful area, only to find out that the pretty stream you’re looking at smells like an unwashed bar mat. While the idea of dipping a flask into a crystal clear stream of water and getting drunk off of it is mildly entertaining, there’s no way that can be good for the nearby environment. I can’t imagine frogs have any tolerance for alcohol.
Before I continue to veer wildly off track, Hawaii News Now actually tested a sample of the water, sending it to an independent laboratory called FQ Labs, and the results weren’t so good. They found that as much as 1.2% of the water was alcohol, and it also contained sugar, around .04%.
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What’s frustrating is that Paradise Beverages has no idea where the spill is coming from yet. You’d think it’d be easier to locate, based off the fact that the stream reeks of beer, don’t you think? But the answers aren’t clear.
Anthony Rowe, Paradise Beverages’ director of operations, said, “Right now, we’ve had the Department of Transportation come in with their representatives and we’re dealing with them and we’ve also been contacted by the Department of Health.”
The storm drain that was detected to be the source of the booze is now no longer leaking alcohol into the stream, according to Hawaii’s Department of Health.
Cox said, “It’s disturbing. It makes you want to pull your hair out, and I don’t have much left.” I feel you, Cox, I feel you.