October, MICHAEL BRESTOVANSKY Hawaii Tribune-Herald: The County Council is urging the state to seek solutions for the mounting wastewater problems on Hawaii Island.
A resolution discussed at Wednesday’s council meeting would urge the state legislature to set funding for wastewater management projects around the state as one of its legislative goals next year.
Hamakua Council-woman Heather Kimball, who introduced the resolution and waived its prior reading at committee, said the county is facing very expensive and necessary wastewater projects that it cannot finance alone, and called for the state to develop possible systems that could support those projects in cooperation with the county.
“We need $1 billion for facilities improvement, another $1 billion for cesspool conversion,” Kimball said, citing estimates from the county Department of Environmental Management. “Are we going to put that on the taxpayers?”
The day before, at a meeting of the Regenerative Agriculture, Water, Energy and Environmental Management Committee, Environmental Management Director Ramzi Mansour said the county is facing the monumental challenge of converting the bulk of the county’s housing developments away from cesspool systems. But because there are only about 15,000 users of the county’s sewer service, the department isn’t receiving enough fees to fund such a conversion.
Furthermore, Mansour said, 86% of all equipment at the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant needs to be either replaced or repaired. Similarly, 65% of the equipment at Kula‘imano Wastewater Treatment Plant is failing, as is 72% of the equipment at the plant in Papaikou.
See the rest of article at https://www.westhawaiitoday.com/2021/10/21/hawaii-news/council-eyes-state-support-for-wastewater-issues/