|A small footprint individual wastewater system that could go next to Pāhala houses currently|
served by illegal gang cesspools. Photo from County of Hawai'i
She said the county already has plans for new collection lines should a sewage treatment plant be approved. However, she said, “This will have effects in the community right? We’re going to have to dig up roads to lay lateral lines down. Some of you have laterals in front of your homes the plantation laid before they left.”
Iokepa-Moses said, that with a sewer, the plan would be to "have a direct collect from our home to the line in front of. your house to the sewer collection. You don’t want county government people walking through property and trying to maintain the most direct line.”
For the sewage treatment plant option, the EPA would have to agree to the time it would take to build it and government has promised to pay for the cost of all options, with no cost to the homeowners.
Iokepa-Moses explained that individual wastewater systems - septic tanks - for each yard could be done more quickly at less cost and would not use the existing sewer lines from people’s homes that are probably too fragile for future use. She acknowledged that individual wastewater systems could require setbacks from trees and property lines and possible removal of some improvements in yards, like rock walls and other structures but that the county would replace. She said that leach fields would be replanted with grass.
Several options for building individual wastewater systems were presented including the county hiring contractors for all the work and maintaining the systems, leaving the homeowners with monthly sewer fees, currently $52.
Iokepa-Moses said that all options except for the voucher program would be “a heavy lift.” With the voucher program, “We will partner with you but mainly the homeowners will be able to steer that boat from the contractors and what they’re doing on the property.”
Homeowners not tied to the old sugar plantation cesspools who have their own cesspools are required to switch over to sewer or septic by 2050. The county said it would pay for those with cesspools in the area of the old gang cesspool collection system to convert, whether it be to a new sewer system or individual wastewater system. One speaker asked whether it was fair to give free septic or sewer to those with individual cesspools who live in the area and not pay for cesspool conversions for the rest of the community. Iokepa-Moses said that future funding would be sought to help those outside the old gang cesspool area.
County of Hawai‘i Closing the gang cesspools will bring the county into compliance with the Federal Safe Drinking Act or face EPA fines of $300 to $1000 a day. The county is also working on an environmental information document for the project for the EPA, which is to show economic and other impacts on the community and environment connected to the options. Listen to an audio of the meeting at https://tinyurl.com/2s3b5895.
|5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street. See www.kaucalendar.com|