East Hawaii News

DOH Extends Public Comment Period Regarding Cesspools

October 1, 2014, 7:00 PM HST
* Updated October 1, 7:01 PM
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The Hawai`i State Department of Heath is extending the public comment period for changes to Hawai`i Administrative Rules, Title 11, Chapter 11-62, Wastewater Systems.

Written statements from the public will now be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17.

There are nearly 90,000 cesspools in the state. Approximately 50,000 of those are located on the Big Island.

Of the remaining 40,000, Kauai has the most with nearly 14,000 cesspools. Maui follows with 12,000, Oahu has 11,000, and Moloka`i has more than 1,400.

Since wastewater from cesspools is untreated, it can contaminate ground water, drinking sources, streams, and the ocean with disease causing pathogens, algae-causing nutrients, and other harmful substances.

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Additionally, it is estimated that cesspools in Hawai`i release as much as 23,700 pounds of nitrogen and nearly 6,000 pounds of phosphorus into the ground each day, which can harm water quality, stimulate undesirable algae growth, and impact coral reefs.

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A public hearing will be held on Oahu on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 10:30 a.m.

Big Island residents can attend the meeting via video conference at the Hawai`i District Health Office Conference Room, located at 1582 Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo.

In addition to Thursday’s meeting, the DOH will hold public information meetings on the Neighbor Islands to discuss the proposed administrative rule changes. There will be two meetings held on Hawai`i Island, one in Kona and one in Hilo.

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The meeting in Kona will be held on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. at the West Hawai`i Civic Center, located at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy.

In Hilo, the meeting will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 5 p.m. at the Aupuni Center, located at 101 Pauahi St. Suite 1.

Written comments will be accepted by the DOH at the Oct. 9 and 16th meetings.

For more information on the community meetings schedule, contact the Wastewater Branch at (808) 586-4294.

For detailed information on the rule changes, visit the DOH’s website.

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