U.S. EPA Closes 10 Illegal Cesspools

Nov. 13, 2018

Actions in Hawaii led to closure of 10 large-capacity cesspools and over $640,000 in fines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) actions in Hawaii led to closure of 10 large-capacity cesspools (LCCs) and over $640,000 in fines, according to an EPA press release.

“We will continue working to close all remaining large cesspools,” said Mike Stoker, EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator. “This enforcement effort will help protect Hawaii’s drinking water and coastal water resources.”

The EPA banned large-capacity cesspools in 2005 under the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to the release. More than 3,400 LCCs have been closed since than. However, thousands remain in operating.

The EPA actions to close prohibited LCCs this year include: Hawaii Country Club; Kloeckner Metals Corporation; Smith Waterhouse Family of Koloa; Honolulu, LLC/Hon Realty; Kamehameha Schools; Dole Food Co. and N.F. Kawakami Store.

According to the press release, cesspool collect and discharge untreated raw sewage into the ground. There, disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. Groundwater provides 95% of domestic water in Hawaii, where cesspool are used more than any other state.

The federal ban applies to large cesspools that serve 20 or more daily, according to the release. This does not include cesspools connected to single-family homes. Hawaii has set a goal of closing or upgrading small-capacity cesspools by the year 2050.



April 26, 2018