Here are two sites & some startling info I found:
there’s information in a memorandum from Hawaii’s DOH Wastewater Branch to consulting engineers that not only defines rules for cesspools but also appears to state that Hawaii’s rules are in direct conflict with EPA rules, subjecting property owners to EPA fines even if they are in compliance with Hawaii rules?!
This is a 5 page or so document, & the bit just mentioned is about halfway in, here’s an excerpt:
“Major Conflicts between federal rules on LCCs and Hawaii Admin. Rules
(HAR), Chapter 11-62, Wastewater Systems:
• Chapter 11-62 allows a new cesspool to be constructed in non-critical
wastewater disposal areas and serve a maximum of two (2) dwellings provided
that the total number of bedrooms or bedroom like rooms in the two dwellings
does not exceed five (5).
Constructing and using a new cesspool to serve two dwelling units immediately
places the owner in violation of EPA’s rules and subjects the owner to
enforcement by EPA, including fines of up to $32,500 per day. This provision of
the rule became effective on April 5, 2000.)
• Chapter 11-62 allows a new cesspool to be constructed in a non-critical
wastewater disposal area and serve a building other than dwelling provided that
wastewater do not exceed 1000 gallons per day per cesspool, wastewater is
domestic or domestic like, and various design and siting requirements are met.
Constructing and using a new cesspool under these circumstances places the
owner in immediate violation of EPA’s rule and subjects the owner to
enforcement by EPA, including fines of up to $32,500 per day if the cesspool
serves or has the capacity to serve 20 or more persons a day.
• Chapter 11-62 allows a new dwelling to connect into an existing cesspool that is
serving an existing dwelling provided that a number of conditions are met (see
sections 11-62-06(l) and 11-62-31.1(b)(1) )
Once the new dwelling is connected to the existing cesspool, the owner of the
dwelling or property is immediately in violation of EPA’s rules and subject to
enforcement by EPA, including fines of up to $32,500 per day.
In the examples cited above, there are no violations of Chapter 11 62, Wastewater
Systems. However, the wastewater systems cited in the above examples are in
violations of federal UIC rules. As the processing of building permit applications is a
State-County function, the Wastewater Branch has no alternative but to sign a building
permit application which is in compliance with State rules.
However, we are cooperating with EPA, and in an effort to get voluntary compliance, we
will notify the building permit applicant of the potential federal rule violation and
recommend that the wastewater system be revised. Additionally, we will forward
information to EPA regarding any building permit application we sign which we suspect
violates the new LCC rules. EPA has sole discretionary authority in determining if a
cesspool is a LCC and in taking enforcement action against violators of the federal UIC
And I also checked out:
to learn more about waste mgmt in general, and to see what recommendations there are for alternative things property owners in Hawaii can do in rural areas. This 2008 document is 120 pages long.
As mentioned, it seems important to research what sustainable, healthy alternatives exist that would work for both intentional communities & the planet, and then push for these, educating as necessary…