Who To Contact About Septic Tank Regulations In Hawaii? (Solution)

  • If you are an owner or operator of a large-capacity cesspool you should contact the Hawaii State Department of Health (HDOH) Wastewater Branch (see ‘ State Resources ‘, above) for guidance on replacing the large-capacity cesspool with a State-approved wastewater system.

What are the regulations regarding septic tanks?

According to new regulations passed in 2015, if your septic tank discharges to surface water such as a ditch, stream, canal or river, you will have to upgrade your system to a sewage treatment plant or install a soakaway system by 1 January 2020.

Are septic tanks allowed in Hawaii?

New cesspools are prohibited in Hawai’i, and existing cesspools are required to be converted to other wastewater systems by 2050.

Who is responsible for maintaining a septic tank?

You have a legal and social responsibility to maintain your septic system in good working order. A neglected septic tank is a serious health risk and causes harm to the environment. Your tank will have to be emptied (de-sludged) less often, saving you money. If the system fails it will be expensive to repair.

Do all septic tanks need to be registered?

Until recently, it was necessary for all septic tanks to be registered. A septic tank discharges water into the ground, and the quantity of such is important so as to avoid damage to the environment. If your septic tank discharges two cubic metres or less above ground, then you don’t need to register it.

What are the new rules for septic tanks in 2020?

Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

Do you need building regulations for a septic tank?

The short answer is yes. You will need planning permission from a local authority in order to have a septic tank installed, no matter if it’s at your own home or on a business site.

How much does it cost to put in a septic tank in Hawaii?

“The cost of a septic system in Hawaii is in the range of $20,000 to $30,000,” the letter reads. “The cost of a cesspool is in the range of $2,000-$3,000.

How does Hawaii deal with sewage?

Cesspools are used throughout Hawaii for the disposal of untreated sanitary waste. Discharge of raw, untreated sewage to a cesspool can contaminate oceans, streams and groundwater by releasing disease-causing pathogens and nitrates. Groundwater provides approximately 95% of all domestic water in Hawaii.

How do I know if I have septic or cesspool?

A septic tank allows wastewater to flow into a leach field where it undergoes a filtration process. In contrast, a cesspool is a pit lined with cement or stone which lacks the ability to filter the waste, eventually contaminating the surrounding soil.

How do I find out if my septic tank is registered?

Check if your septic tank is already registered You can check if your tank has already been registered by contacting your environmental regulator. If you are unsure then it is best to check and avoid making an unnecessary payment. The NIEA and SEPA have records of all registered septic tanks.

Does my septic tank have a permit?

Most small sewage treatment systems and septic tanks will be eligible for an exemption from Permit, but this does depend upon various factors (for example, if your property is close to a nature conservation area the Environment Agency may require that you obtain a permit) details of which can be obtained from the

What does servicing a septic tank mean?

When you call a septic service provider, he or she will inspect for leaks and examine the scum and sludge layers in your septic tank. Keep maintenance records on work performed on your septic system. To keep track of when to pump out your tank, write down the sludge and scum levels found by the septic professional.

When did septic tank regulations come in?

The General Binding Rules Regulations for small sewage discharges from Septic Tanks and Sewage Treatment Plants. New septic tank rules for small sewage discharges came into force on 1 January 2015. If your septic tank system was installed and in use before 31 December 2014, it is classed as an ‘existing discharge’.

Do I need consent to discharge septic tank?

You will require a ‘Permit to Discharge’, however you may qualify for an exempt status if your system meets certain requirements such as amount of discharge, septic tank or sewage treatment plant model (only EN 12566-3 2005 Certified plants accepted), plant location, intended discharge point, installation and

Can you sell a property with a septic tank?

If you’re selling a property with a septic tank, then you must be transparent with buyers about the fact the property uses a one and provide a detailed specification of the system. In fact, You are required by law to inform a buyer in writing about the presence of a septic tank. The age of the system.


  • Solids are removed by filtering, sedimentation, and chemical coagulation, which is less than secondary treatment. Secondary treatment, which uses biological processes to remove the majority of the organic content in wastewater, is the final step in the process. Organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, and hazardous substances are removed in greater quantities than secondary treatment. Facilities that do not discharge wastewater include those that recycle wastewater, discharge wastewater to an underground aquifer, or distribute wastewater by means such as irrigation or evaporation.

Secondary or more extensive treatment is required to achieve the Clean Water Act goals of fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters. Download this document to learn more about wastewater treatment. Is There a Place for All of the Dirty Water? Wastewater (sewage) is produced by a variety of daily activities such as washing clothing and dishes, making meals, having a bath or shower, cleaning our hands, and going to the toilet, among other things. In densely populated regions, wastewater is frequently routed to a centralized facility—a wastewater treatment plant—that collects, processes, and releases wastewater from a large number of residences and commercial establishments.

Approximately 61.9 percent of Hawai’i inhabitants are served by a centralized wastewater treatment plant, according to the Clean Watersheds Needs Survey conducted in 2004.

In Hawaii, Individual Wastewater Systems (IWS) service the remaining 38.1 percent of the state’s population (IWSs).

  1. Some integrated wastewater systems (IWSs) treat wastewater by eliminating contaminants such as particles, organic matter, nutrients, and bacteria from the water.
  2. Other systems (such as suspended growth aerobic treatment systems) give just primary wastewater treatment, whereas suspended growth aerobic treatment systems provide secondary degrees of treatment (for example, septic tanks).
  3. A wastewater treatment system (IWS) allows wastewater to be distributed or reused in the vicinity of where it was created.
  4. Cesspools, seepage pits, and septic tanks are all examples of unique wastewater systems, which are described in detail in the sections below.
  5. Generally speaking, cesspools are enormous, cylindrical trenches that are used to collect untreated effluent.
  6. Unlike other types of treatment systems, cesspools do not provide enough protection for the surrounding environment since there is essentially no treatment performed, and the effluent quality is only marginally better than that of raw wastewater.
  7. New cesspools are not permitted in Hawaii, and existing cesspools must be converted to alternative wastewater systems by 2050 if they are not already doing so.

Cesspools of a large capacity, defined as those capable of serving 20 or more persons per day, are prohibited.

It is important to understand the difference between a seepage pit and a cesspool.

Cesspools are frequently discovered in places where seepage pits originally existed.

The black line connects the green fiberglass septic tank to the seepage pit, which serves as a catch basin.

Septic systems are a type of on-site primary treatment system that is common.

Grit and other particles sink to the bottom of the tank, forming a layer of sludge on the bottom of the tank.

It is necessary to clean accumulated sludge and scum on a regular basis.

The use of septic tanks as a pretreatment for later treatment systems, including as fixed film and suspended growth treatment systems, is recommended when site circumstances suggest that a better quality effluent (water leaving the system) is required.

Polluted runoff can occur when integrated wastewater systems (IWSs) fail to appropriately treat wastewater owing to inappropriate siting, inadequate maintenance, leaks, or if the system fails to sufficiently treat, or clean, the waste.

This over-enrichment can result in algal blooms, coral damage, fish kills, and other aquatic animal deaths, as well as making water hazardous for swimming and other recreational activities.

Investigate your wastewater treatment and dispersion options for new construction and existing buildings.

The Onsite Wastewater Treatment Survey and Assessment, completed in March 2008, includes a full description of systems, as well as recommendations for necessary maintenance and cost estimates throughout Hawaii.

Existing cesspools can be converted to septic systems.

Using a septic tank, you may remove grit and particles from wastewater before releasing it into the soil for ultimate treatment.

Food waste should be composted or thrown away instead of being flushed down the toilet.

Adding food waste to a septic tank or holding tank increases the level of solid material in the tank, necessitating more frequent sludge pumping out.

If you’re interested in learning more about composting in Hawaii, check out page three ofHawaii Backyard Conservation, Ideas for Every Homeowner.

Using a recycling or disposal facility is the best way to get rid of trash and other hazardous materials.

They have the ability to halt the treatment process in both centralized and decentralized systems, depending on the system.

Maintenance is required for treatment systems.

Make yourself familiar with the specifications of your system.

Water should be conserved. It follows that the less water you consume, the less water must be treated. There are various strategies to conserve water in your home or office, including the purchase of water-efficient equipment and the adoption of water-saving activities.

  • The WaterSense Web site of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides suggestions for water-efficient showerheads and faucets. This website, Water Use It Wisely, provides information on 100 methods in which we may save water in our daily life. Hawai’i Drought Monitor– Provides a series of links that also include water conservation suggestions for residents of Hawai’i
  • Hawai’i Drought Monitor–

Wastewater Resources

  • The use of cesspools in Hawaii is governed by the Cesspool Conversion Work Group, which conducts cesspool and OSDS studies across the state. The state’s Administrative Rules Chapter 11-62 governs the installation of individual wastewater systems.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): On-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems
  • EPA: Septic Systems


Unless otherwise noted, all downloads are in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format unless otherwise stated. If a pop-up window with the message “Enter Network Password” displays when downloading a file, simply click thecancelbutton and the file should open. To save the file to your local disk in the event that the file you are attempting to download does not open properly, right click on the link and select “Save Target As” to save the file to your local computer. 11-62 (Chapter 11-62) HAR Wastewater Systems is a manufacturer of wastewater treatment systems.

  • Chapter 11-62 HAR
  • Chapter 11-62 HAR Amendments Memorandums
  • Chapter 11-62 HAR Amendments

Animal Waste in the Planning and Design Section

  • Guidelines for Livestock Waste Management
  • Appendix to the Guidelines for Livestock Waste Management

Biosolids and Wastewater Treatment Facilities

  • Guidelines for the WWB Registration of Wastewater and Wastewater Sludge Pumpers and Haulers
  • WWB 2021 Registration Application Form for Wastewater and Wastewater Sludge Pumpers and Haulers
  • WWB 2021 Registration Application Form for Wastewater and Wastewater Sludge Pumpers and Haulers Form B – Wastewater Sludge Pumping and Hauling Report (excel)
  • Form B – Wastewater Sludge Pumping and Hauling Report (pdf)
  • Guidelines for the Individual Management Permit Application
  • Individual Management Application Form
  • Registered Wastewater/Sludge Pumper and Hauler List (expiration date: December 31, 2020)
  • Registered Wastewater/Sludge Pumper and Haul
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Individualized Wastewater Treatment System (IWS) To submit an Individual Wastewater System (IWS) application online, please click here.

  • Requirements for the IWS Review Process
  • List of Licensed Civil Engineers who are responsible for preparing IWS designs
  • IWS Forms
  • Memorandum on Large Capacity Cesspools
  • IWS Forms
  • Site Evaluation Form
  • Variance Application
  • Information for Variance Evaluation By UIC Program
  • IWS Construction Inspection Report
  • Contractor Certification Form
  • And Application Form Conversion of an existing cesspool to a seepage pit certified by an engineer
  • Large capacity cesspool backfilling final completion report (1000 gpd)
  • New cesspool information form
  • Existing cesspool information form
  • And other related documents.
  • Performing an on-site wastewater treatment survey and evaluation Site Wastewater Treatment Survey and Assessmentprovides guidance on the various treatment and disposal systems currently available, as well as a description of their advantages and limitations, so that those involved in the selection, design and construction of treatment and disposal facilities as well as their operation and maintenance, and permitting of these facilities can make informed decisions.

Works for the Treatment of Wastewater

  • Engineer and Owner Certification Form (pdf)
  • Engineer and Owner Certification Form (word)
  • Engineer and Owner Certification Form (pdf). In September 2014, the California Title 22 – Alternative Treatment Technology Report for Recycled Water was published.

Investigations into On-Site Sewage Disposal

  • Human Health and Environmental Risk Ranking of On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems for the Hawaiian Islands of Kauai, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii
  • Human and Environmental Risk Ranking of On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems – Oahu
  • Condition Assessment Survey of On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems (OSDS) in Hawaii
  • Human and Environmental Risk Ranking of On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems – Maui
  • Human and Environmental Risk Ranking of On-Site Sewag

Obtaining Access to Public Records

  • Oahu Cesspool/Septic Tank Public Record Request
  • Maui Cesspool/Septic Tank Public Record Request
  • Hilo Cesspool/Septic Tank Public Record Request
  • Oahu Cesspool/Septic Tank Public Record Request
  • Oahu Cesspool/Septic Tank Public Record Request Inquiry into a Cesspool/Septic Tank Public Record in Kona
  • Inquiry into a Cesspool/Septic Tank Public Record in Kauai
  • Inquiry into a Cesspool/Septic Tank Public Record in Maui
  • Inquiry into an Access to a Government Record in Hawaii

Call (808) 586-4294 or fax (808) 586-4300 for further information. Wastewater BranchEnvironmental Management DivisionHawaii State Department of Health919 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 309Honolulu, HI 96814-4920 Wastewater BranchEnvironmental Management DivisionHawaii State Department of Health

Septic Regulations in Hawaii

In their dreams, many individuals see themselves enjoying a peaceful, secluded existence on a tropical island, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Many people, however, are unaware that homeowners in rural areas frequently do not have access to a public water treatment facility and must rely on a private septic system to meet their water treatment needs. This page provides information for residents in Hawaii who have septic systems and wants to maintain them.

Governing Bodies

The Individual Wastewater Program is overseen by the Wastewater Branch of Hawaii’s Environmental Management Division’s Environmental Management Division. Construction/Operation, Program/Design, and Grant Management are the three divisions that make up this organization. As a group, they have control over the following septic system processes:

  • Construction and installation of septic systems, as well as environmental studies, grant awards and loan agreements, inspections, and operator certification are all part of the job description.

Operator Training and Certification

All wastewater operators in Hawaii are required to be certified by the Statewide Wastewater Operator Training Center (SWOTC) (SWOTC). In order to ensure the safe and successful treatment of wastewater in their septic system, homeowners in Hawaii must use qualified specialists for the design and implementation of their system.

Review Process

All septic system proposals must be approved by the Planning and Design Section of the Wastewater Branch before they can be implemented. The evaluation procedure entails putting together an application package that has the following components that have been completed:

  • Applications
  • Construction plans (provided by a professional engineer)
  • Site plan
  • Floor plans for the dwelling unit
  • Owner’s Certification Form
  • Site Evaluation Form
  • Operation and maintenance manual
  • Sludge disposal plan and maintenance contracts for aerobic units are all included.

In most cases, applications for individual wastewater systems are examined and decided within two weeks after being submitted for consideration.


Help and support with this procedure is available from the Wastewater Branch, either in person or over the phone.

Environmental Management Division’s Wastewater Branch is part of the Environmental Management Division. Call (808) 586-4294 or send a fax to (808) 586-4300 to the Hawaii State Department of Health at 919 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 309 in Honolulu, Hawaii 96814-4920.

Finding a Septic Contractor in Hawaii

Take a look at our listing of small firms that provide septic tank pumping and repair in Hawaii.

Cesspools in Hawaii

On this page you will find: Contact Region 9 Large-Capacity Cesspool CoordinatorKate Rao([email protected])(415) 972-3533EPA Region 9 WTR-4-275 Hawthorne StreetSan Francisco, CA 94105Toll-free at (800) 672-3533EPA Region 9 WTR-4-275 Hawthorne StreetSan Francisco, CA 94105EPA Region 9 WTR-4-275 Hawthorne StreetSan Francisco, CA (866) Phone: (866) 372-9378, EPA-WEST Suggestions and Complaints If you have a tip or complaint about a large-capacity cesspool, you can contact the Tip and Complaint Hotline at (415) 947-4510 or the Environmental Violations Reporting Center.

  • Background
  • UIC Inventory Form for Region 9
  • How to Properly Abandon and Close a Large-Capacity Cesspool
  • Hawaii State Department of Health (HDOH) Wastewater Branch
  • Enforcement and Compliance
  • And More.


Cesspools are utilized for the disposal of untreated sanitary waste across the state of Hawaii. Using a cesspool to dispose of raw, untreated sewage has the potential to pollute oceans, streams, and groundwater by releasing bacteria that cause illness and nitrates. If pathogens detected in untreated sewage end up polluting drinking water or swimming pools, they can have a negative influence on human health. Nitrates have the potential to harm both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including coral reefs.

The majority of cesspools in Hawaii serve only single-family dwellings and are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

There is no provision in the regulations for a waiver or extension of the deadline.

Region 9 UIC Inventory Form

Cesspools with a big capacity are called Underground Injection Control (UIC) wells, and the owners and operators of cesspools with a significant capacity are required to provide inventory information to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This online form or downloadForm 7520-16: Inventory of Injection Wellsand mail it to the R9 LCC Coordinator are both acceptable options. Please do not hesitate to contact the R9 LCC Coordinator if you require assistance in submitting inventory information.

Properly Abandon and Close a Large-Capacity Cesspool

All owners and operators of large-capacity cesspools must appropriately abandon and shut these facilities (s). It is recommended that you contact the Hawaii State Department of Health (HDOH) Wastewater Branch (see’State Resources ‘, above) for information on how to replace your large-capacity cesspool with a State-approved wastewater system. You must submit a Backfilling Final Completion Report that has been completed and signed in order to confirm the correct closure of a large-capacity cesspool that receives 1,000 gallons per day (gpd) or less.

All paperwork proving the abandonment and closure of large-capacity cesspools should be provided to the EPA Region 9’s Large-Capacity Cesspool Coordinator at the same time.

Hawaii State Department of Health (HDOH) Wastewater Branch

On the island of Hawaii, there are roughly 88,000 cesspools, the most of which are small-capacity cesspools. Cesspool owners and operators are required to comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. TheHDOH Wastewater Branch is responsible for overseeing and issuing licenses for all onsite wastewater systems, including cesspools and septic tanks. Cesspools of any size are required to be improved, transformed, or closed by January 1, 2050, according to HDOH rules.

Enforcement and Compliance

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act’s UIC requirements, the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement actions are meant to investigate and prosecute charges against persons or facilities who are found to be in breach of the laws. If a regulated entity is determined to be in violation, it may be subject to an enforcement action as well as fines. When an owner or operator of a large-capacity cesspool fails to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to issue administrative orders requiring compliance and assessing an administrative civil penalty of up to $23,607 for each day of violation, with a maximum penalty of $295,088, against the owner or operator of the cesspool.

These enforcement measures have resulted in the imposition of fines and the closure of about 1,138 large-capacity cesspools around the state.

Under the Self-Disclosed Violations Policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency is ready to defer enforcement proceedings and fines in order to encourage owners and operators to voluntarily identify, quickly disclose, and swiftly close large-capacity cesspools.

The Guide To Septic Tanks For Hawaii

Household/How To Choose A Septic Tank For Hawaii Septic Tanks in Hawaii: A Guide for Homeowners

Septic Tanks Are Hawaii’s New Wastewater Cleanser

Every day in 2017, 53 million gallons of untreated sewage was dumped onto the ground in Hawaii – 3) Since then, the state of Hawaii has approved Act 125 to address the issue. To put it simply, cesspools will be phased out and replaced with septic systems or linked to a sewage system by 2050. A septic tank is one of the most effective choices. This septic tank guide can provide you with solutions to the following questions:

  • What is a septic tank and how does it work? how does it function
  • Can you tell me about the many kinds of them? In what ways are septic tanks and cesspool systems different from one another
  • What are the expenses? What methods do you use to clean and maintain septic tanks? What are some of the most prevalent potential issues
  • What are the requirements for septic tanks in Hawaii

Let’s have a look at the septic tank rules in the state of Hawaii.

What Is A Septic TankHow Does It Work?

Septic tanks are similar to Brita filters in that they assist in the purification of water.

Most of the time, they are composed of concrete or fiberglass. Septic tanks are typically composed of three components:

  • It consists of a tank that holds, separates, and begins to treat waste. A distribution system that disperses the cleaned wastewater into the surrounding soil is required. The soil in the absorption area surrounding it, which is responsible for the final treatment of the wastewater

A tank that holds, separates, and initiates the treatment of waste is described as follows: A distribution system that disperses the cleaned wastewater into the surrounding soil is needed. Finished wastewater treatment is completed by the soil in the absorption zone surrounding it.

  1. Wastewater is channeled into the septic tank, which holds it. In the long run, lighter garbage floats and heavier waste sinks. Biological breakdown takes place in the tank, resulting in the formation of nutrients, gasses, and water. The wastewater is discharged from the tank into the distribution system. Contaminants are removed from the surrounding soil (drainage field). an expert removes the solids using a vacuum pump

Well-drained, medium-textured soils, such as loam, are the best types of soils for growing crops. Let’s take a look at how cesspools stack up against septic tanks in terms of environmental protection. For starters, there are aerobic and anaerobic septic tank systems to consider. In the end, it all boils down to whether or not the bacteria that are treating your waste utilize oxygen. Aerobic bacteria septic systems outperform anaerobic bacteria septic systems in the following areas:

  • The decomposition of human waste
  • The treatment of wastewater Not taking up any physical space
  • Providing failure notifications
  • It can be utilized anyplace
  • It is versatile.
  • Near the seashore and in places with high groundwater levels, anaerobic systems are necessary.
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Although more energy efficient, aerobic systems require more care and money because they clog more easily, and they might fail more frequently. Now we’ll look at the various materials that may be used to construct it. When it comes to systems built in Hawaii, you have a few options: On page 5-3233, you can find more information about these systems in detail.

Septic Tanks vs. Cesspools

For a reason, a cesspool is sometimes referred to as “a filthy location” in some circles. Cesspools are subterranean receptacles for liquid waste and sewage collection. It’s simply a hole in the earth that has been dug by humans and allows waste to flow out of it. Septic tanks, in contrast to cesspools, have the following advantages:

  • Solids are removed from wastewater
  • Microorganisms are introduced to begin cleaning the water
  • And contaminates are broken down. Water should be released higher up for greater disinfection. Are more environmentally friendly in general

We are well aware that installing a new wastewater treatment system might be a hassle. However, you will be contributing to the cleanliness of the water for yourself and your family. Let us take a look at the prices associated with septic tanks while we’re on the subject of discomfort. Septic tank installation on the Big Island begins at about $10k and costs an average of $14k-$15k. Of course, an average varies tremendously based on where you are, what sort of installation you have, and other variables.

  • One thousand gallon tank for a three-bedroom house costs around $2000
  • One thousand two hundred gallon tank for a five or six-bedroom house costs approximately $2500.

Tanks for three-bedroom houses cost around $2,000; tanks for five-bedroom houses cost about $2,400; tanks for six-bedroom houses cost about $3,500.

CleaningMaintenance Of Septic Tanks

Pumping out the sludge on a regular and timely basis is the foundation of cleaning and maintenance. Septic tank maintenance includes draining out your tank every two to three years. The price for this treatment might range between $300 and $400. Providing everything continues to function properly, you should have few to no problems. You may clean your septic tank using a garden hose, which is something you can do yourself! It is necessary to clean the effluent filter every 1-3 years.

3 Common Problems Possible With Septic Tanks

These are a major source of concern when it comes to septic tanks. Waste will begin to accumulate, and soon there will be no more space available in the tank. It is possible that this will result in backups into the home and sluggish draining. This problem may be resolved by having a professional clean your tank for you.

Tree Roots

These wicked boys have the ability to wrap around and drill right through nearly anything that gets in their way.

This can cause them to work more slowly or perhaps cease to function altogether. This problem can be resolved by removing trees or putting them in regions where there are no roots.

Broken Drain Lines Or Baffle

A lot of things can’t stop these bad boys from wrapping around and drilling clean through them. Their performance may suffer as a result, and they may cease to function entirely. Trees should either be removed or planted in regions where there are no roots to solve this problem.

Hawaii’s Septic Tank Regulations

The following items are included in Hawaii’s list of septic tank regulations:

  • The following are among the septic tank rules in Hawaii:
  • Meeting the requirements of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
  • A qualified septic engineer must approve and install the system, which must be approved and allowed by the Department of Health. A waste disposal system that includes soil absorption systems, sand filters, subsurface irrigation systems (with director approval), or another type of treatment system is employed. A screen is installed at the effluent end of the septic tank to prevent clogging.

You may learn more about the rules and regulations by clicking here.

Provide Cleaner Water With A Better System

Septic tanks can help you save money on water and prevent pollution in the environment. It may be a little more expensive, but at the very least you won’t have to worry about contracting infections from swimming or drinking in public water supplies.

Wastewater Treatment Systems Company

Quality, craftsmanship, and customer service are unsurpassed. Since 1991, First Quality BuildingDesign, Inc. has been providing services to consumers in the state of Hawaii. We are experts in wastewater treatment systems, including septic systems, cesspool closures, and grease interceptors, among other things. If you require a household septic system or an industrial wastewater treatment system, we can put our knowledge and experience to work to meet your demands.

Committed to You

We take great delight in maintaining a positive reputation with homeowners, companies, and architects. And we are devoted to functioning effectively and offering our clients with first-class craftsmanship and wastewater services at a reasonable price. The fact that you have chosen First Quality BuildingDesign Inc. means that you have chosen a firm that not only takes great pride in its work, but also a team of personnel that place the needs of our customers first and foremost. We have a high regard for our clients and their property.

We’ll share our knowledge and experience with you, describing in plain English what we’re doing and the advantages you’ll enjoy as a result.

Wastewater Specialists

First Quality is a registered wastewater contracting company that specializes in a variety of wastewater services, such as the following:

  • IWS (individual wastewater systems)
  • Septic systems
  • Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU’s)
  • Concrete septic tanks
  • Fiberglass septic tanks
  • Lift stations
  • Leach fields
  • Infiltrators/Bio-diffusers
  • Drip lines/Evapotranspiration fields (ET)
  • Design and installation
  • DOH approval
  • Percolation tests
  • Cesspool and septic pumping
  • Grease trap installation
  • Grease trap removal

Fully licensed Wastewater Contracting Firm

When it comes to installing or maintaining your septic system, cesspool closure, and grease interceptor, you don’t want just anybody working on your property. It’s far too crucial to ignore. You are looking for the best of the best. First Quality BuildingDesign, Inc. is a Hawaii-based company that provides architectural design services. They are more than just pieces of paper for those licensees. They demonstrate that we have the necessary expertise, training, and background to complete the task successfully.

It accurately characterizes the job we provide for each and every one of our valued clients.

Call oremail First Quality about our wastewater services for details.

Sina Pruder, chief of the state’s Wastewater Branch, explains that a cesspool is just a hole in the ground”and that hole is typically not lined with anything. Therefore, human waste and wastewater that is thrown into cesspools frequently leaches into nearby streams, groundwater, and eventually the ocean as a result of evaporation. According to a state Department of Health estimate, there are 88,000 such holes in the ground throughout Hawai’i, with the majority of them located in rural regions.

  • Here’s another way to think about the scope of the pollution problem: ” Recall the incident in 2006, when a massive amount of raw sewage was poured into the Ala Wai Canal, resulting in the closure of Waikkk Beach for a week and the embarrassment of Hawai’i tourism across the world.
  • Cesspools may be as deep as 20 to 40 feet in depth.
  • “If you’re in close proximity to the ocean, cesspools are really dug deep enough to strike the groundwater.” “It’s essentially a conduit that collects wastewater sewage and transports it to the ocean or, in certain cases, to a drinking water supply,” says the scientist.
  • ‘In Hawaii, we are the finest example of a developed nation that yet has some of the worst sewage disposal and pollution concerns,’ says state Rep.
  • “These problems are having an adverse effect on our freshwater supply, our streams, and our nearshore marine ecosystems.” Amy Ngo’s illustrations are courtesy of the Department of Health.
  • However, new state legislation has been implemented in the previous three years to remedy the problem.
  • The law prohibited the building of new cesspools and provided homeowners with up to $10,000 in tax rebates if they upgraded their existing systems.

The state Department of Health was also obligated to prepare an exhaustive analysis and devise a process for determining which sections of the state should be updated first, according to the law.

David Ige signed Act 132 into law, establishing the Cesspool Conversion Working Group, which was established by the report.

Pruder is also a member of the group.

According to Pruder, the majority of cesspools are not registered with the state, thus it would be beneficial to identify all of the cesspools and keep track of their inventory in a database.

Cesspools are normally 20 to 40 feet in depth and are made of a concrete cylinder with an open bottom or perforated sides, with the depth ranging from 20 to 40 feet.


Source:EPA.GOV Some of the most pressing problems are: what are the best cesspool replacements, and who will pay for the renovations — homeowners, counties, the state, or a mix of the three?

Getting a basic overview of the history of wastewater treatment may be beneficial before digging into the latest technology options.

Many residents living outside of cities, however, were forced to construct their own private wastewater systems.

Cemeteries, according to Babcock, were the most affordable and widely used types of individual wastewater systems, but they were the least successful at treating pathogens and eliminating toxic chemicals and nutrients.

It may or may not be beneficial, depending on the kind of soil, and it does at the very least remove solids from the soil.

Solids sink to the bottom of the tank once a household’s waste is poured into it, where they begin to decompose slowly over time.

Construction is underway on a leach field.

Thanks to International Wastewater Technologies, Inc.

According to Babcock, septic tanks supply nothing in the way of bacterial treatment or digesting.

The leach field will effectively eliminate the majority of germs under optimum conditions.

Furthermore, septic systems are ineffective in removing high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, which are harmful to marine life and can result in the formation of “dead zones” in nearshore seas.

The wastewater discharge and silt that arise from this pollutes the bay below.

The Coral Reef Alliance states that excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen in drainage from cesspools and septic systems are likely causing coral reef damage, based on studies conducted by the University of Hawaii and The Nature Conservancy.

Cesspools in these locations will need to be converted or updated by 2050, according to Pruder, but no specific timelines have been established yet for this.

When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent.

The differences between septic systems and aerobic units are numerous.

EPA.GOV is the source of this information.

We’ve been requiring new systems that might potentially have an influence on nearshore waterways to be upgraded as a result of this.

“They are currently obligated to install an advanced treatment unit,” such as an ATU, according to Pruder.

However, ATUs and high-end septic systems might be prohibitively costly.

“They can range from roughly $25,000 to $40,000,” adds Pruder of the price range.


We’re discovering that many house owners with septic tanks aren’t following the instructions in their septic tank system’s operation and maintenance handbook,” says the septic tank inspector.

Septic systems are made up of two parts: a subterranean waterproof tank that contains and partially processes raw residential sanitary wastewater, and a leach field that discharges the treated wastewater into the environment.

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The tank is designed to hold wastewater.

According to research, even the greatest and most expensive on-site systems, such as ATUs, have the potential to leak toxic effluent into adjacent water.

“There is no difference between systems,” says Jos Hill, associate program director at the Coral Reef Alliance.

“First and foremost, I believe we are living in a really exciting period to be connected with sewage,” says Roger Babcock.

Although mandatory conversions will not be needed in most places until 2050, some homeowners may choose to convert sooner rather than later if they plan to sell their property or refinance with a 30-year mortgage.

This enables sellers to negotiate shared expenses with purchasers, who may be able to incorporate the additional fee in their house loan payments.

“We have the opportunity to finally solve our cesspool problem, and we don’t want to flush this opportunity down the toilet.”

“It’s a bad scenario,” adds Lee, the state legislator, who can’t seem to keep the puns out of his voice. however we have a chance to finally fix our cesspool problem and we do not want to waste this opportunity by flushing it down the toilet,” says the author. As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing in November 2018, Lee claims he viewed the next generation of toilet technology and spoke with industry professionals and leaders about the problems of converting the state’s 88,000 septic tanks.

  1. Due to the fact that most poor nations cannot afford massive sewage lines and treatment facilities, the Gates Foundation is concentrating its efforts on stand-alone toilets and decentralized packaging plants.
  2. Equipment may then be used to make pathogen-free, odorless biochar that can be utilized as fertilizer, in addition to producing clean water that can be used for irrigation or other uses.
  3. It is a decentralized plant.
  4. When human waste is fed into the Omni Processor, it is converted into potable water, power, and ash.
  5. The image is courtesy of the Gates Archive and Sam Phelps Brian Arbogast, head of the Gates Foundation’s water, sanitation, and hygiene program, believes that the foundation’s technologies will have a significant impact on sanitation in the near future.
  6. In truth, you are not in need of any more therapy.
  7. Arbogast is hopeful that the new technology would give a less expensive option to cesspool conversion, although he did not provide an estimate of how much it would cost to do so.

“The reinvented toilet is basically its own treatment plant. It is inexpensive to buy and easy to operate on a day-to-day basis that doesn’t take a lot of energy. And you don’t need a sewer system.”

State Rep. Lee, who couldn’t keep the puns out of his speech, said, “it’s a bad scenario.” “However, we now have the opportunity to finally address our cesspool problem, and we don’t want to waste this opportunity by throwing it away.” As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing in November 2018, Lee claims he viewed the next generation of toilet technology and spoke with industry professionals and leaders about the problems of converting the state’s 88,000 septic tanks to composting systems.

In recognition of the fact that poor sanitation is one of the leading causes of disease and death in the developing world, the Gates Foundation has invested more than $200 million in the research and development of new sanitation systems that are efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-efficient.

  1. For the most part, the technology used in the Reinvented Toilet system divides wastewater into liquids and solids, then burns away pathogens using the dry particles as fuel while using the ensuing heat to pasteurize the water.
  2. Even better, some technologies generate net energy, which may be utilized for a variety of additional uses or sold to an electric company.
  3. The Janicki Omni Processor, located near Dakar, Senegal, is a good example.
  4. |
  5. In his role as director of the Gates Foundation’s water, sanitation, and hygiene initiative, Brian Arbogast believes that the foundation’s technology will have a profound impact on the way people use toilets.
  6. In addition, there is no requirement for a sewer system to be installed.

When you flush the toilet, you will get clean liquids and solids that you may safely use on your garden.” According to Arbogast, he is hopeful that the new technology would give a less expensive option to cesspool conversion, although he did not provide an estimate of how much that would cost.

According to him, “I feel that reimagined toilets for the home would be a far more cost-effective solution to fix the problem.” Local businesses have a fantastic potential to step up and become the local partners of these worldwide product creators, according to the author of this article.

Septic Systems / Drainage Improvements

Vares Contracting has over 50 years of expertise in civil and public works repairs, and has done several emergency water main break repairs, as well as the installation or expansion of sewer lines, sewage systems, and grease traps, among other things. Additionally, property line sewer man holes, residential, commercial, and industrial septic systems and sewage treatment system installation and maintenance are also possible options for waste water treatment. Providing grease trap installation, maintenance, and retrofitting services for commercial and industrial clients.

Property Line Sewer Man Hole Installation

The County of Maui Planning Department has just mandated the building of a Property Line Sewer Man Hole, and we’ve had a flurry of phone inquiries from clients who want to know more about how to go about getting one installed. Our clients are interested in knowing what they are, why they are necessary, and how they are installed, among other things. It is necessary to build a Property Line Sewage Man Hole when the property’s sewer line branches off of the main sewer line and laterals into the commercial property’s sewer line.

  • Commercial properties (condos, hotels, churches, and other similar structures) that have applied for a County building permit for an unrelated construction project are obliged to install Property Line Sewer Man Holes.
  • Installation of the SMH necessitates the creation of Civil Engineer Architect drawings that demonstrate precisely where the SMH will be located.
  • Following the fabrication of the concrete casting, we carefully dig the site to locate and expose the sewage lateral, cut and cover the temporarily terminated sewer line, and then grade and level the new base layer of structural fill to ensure that it is level and leveled.
  • After that, the hole is filled with concrete and the job is complete.

For further information, contact your favorite Civil Engineer. Expect a two- to three-week wait for county plans and permit approval. Precast The lead time for concrete manufacturing is 3 to 5 weeks. Installation time is expected to take 2 – 3 days.

Septic SystemsAbsorption Fields

Roots School in Haiku had a major septic problem, yet they only had a little amount of room and a strict timetable. Vares Contracting can handle any situation! Vares Contracting was able to get their school back on track in no time with a fleet of specialized equipment and a staff with decades of combined expertise with just one phone call. Installation of this new Absorption field in a constrained location and on a tight timetable was made much easier by some beautiful Haiku weather during the process.

Injection Well Installation, Sarento’s parking lot, Kihei

DID YOU KNOW: The State of Hawaii is aggressively pushing property owners to convert their waste water systems to septic tanks and other environmentally friendly alternatives?

Cesspool conversions to septic tanks are eligible for a $10,000 tax credit from the state. However, the tax incentive will expire in 2020! If you have an outdated or deteriorating cesspool, call Vares Contracting now to discuss your alternatives for upgrading to a septic system.

More information on the long-term consequences and issues associated with degrading cesspools may be found in the Wall Street Journal article from February 2018. THE TAX INCENTIVE FOR CESSPOOL UPGRADE IS EXPIRING SOON! There are more cesspools in Hawaii than anywhere else in the country, draining wastewater into our streams, rivers, and coastal habitats. Let’s put a stop to any further pollution! We need to make some changes! But hurry! There’s a deadline! Qualified homeowners who convert from an old cesspool to a new septic system may be eligible for a TAX INCENTIVE of up to $10,000 under State of Hawaii Act 120.

Are you interested in learning more about Act 120?

Want to talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about on how to get it done?

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL published an article on February 11, 2018 titled “Hawaii’s cesspools endanger drinking water and tourism,” according to the article.

Ian Lovett’s article Updated at 3:39 p.m.

ETHONOLULU— Paradise has a sewage problem, to put it mildly.

In certain areas of Hawaii, sewage from cesspools is leaking into the ocean waves, where it is being blamed for diseases reported by swimmers, divers, and snorkelers.

Hawaii has more cesspools than any other state, with 88,000 spread over its eight major islands, more than any other state.

A total of more than 90 percent of the state’s drinking water is derived from underground wells.

To completely replace all of New York State’s cesspools with alternative sewage systems would cost at least $1.75 billion, according to the state’s health department.

According to state officials, most beaches are still good for swimming, and public water is also safe to drink for the time being.

However, as the state’s population continues to rise, officials say the situation is becoming increasingly serious.

Nitrate levels in one groundwater well have already reached 8.7 milligrams per liter; the legal limit is 10, and the Department of Health estimates that several portions of the aquifer are already above that limit.

It can cost as much as $100,000 to fix each cesspool, according to state Sen.

Kalani English, who represents Upcountry Maui.

In Upcountry Maui alone, there are around 8,000 cesspools.


Within a few hours of Honolulu, the state is still predominantly rural, and the state’s hilly geography makes installing new sewer lines to link to sewage treatment facilities both costly and, in many cases, impractical.

Every year, before cesspools were forbidden, the state received around 500 requests to install new cesspools.

Some locals, however, are opposed to proposals to rebuild cesspools because they are concerned about the cost.

In the words of Keith Kawaoka, deputy director for environmental health at the state agency, “you may want a clean environment, but you may not be able to afford to pay for it.” “It’s a genuine conundrum.” Legislators are still on the lookout for answers.

Approximately 740 cesspools in the Kahaluu region, on the east shore of Oahu, were cited by health officials as a contributing factor to elevated bacteria levels in the harbor.

Officials have stated that it is difficult to establish with certainty that any specific ailment was caused by sewage pollution.

Because of his previous experience with infection, Peter Hackstedde, president of the Puako Community Association, avoids getting into the water after he has cut himself.

According to Mr.

According to Mr.

He stated that his organization is aiming to form a public-private relationship with a government agency.

Hackstedde, “everyone who lives down here is very much in favor of cleaning up the water.” “We only need the money,” said the group.

Cesspool conversions to septic tanks are eligible for a $10,000 tax credit from the state.

If you have an outdated or deteriorating cesspool, call Vares Contracting now to discuss your alternatives for upgrading to a septic system.

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