Leaking Wastewater Treatment PlantThe Big Island of Hawaii, known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, is currently facing a pressing issue that threatens both its environment and public health: a wastewater treatment crisis. As highlighted in a recent article by Civil Beat, ‘Acute Problems’ Plaguing Big Island’s Wastewater Treatment Systems Prompt EPA Crackdown, the island's aging infrastructure and inadequate wastewater treatment systems have prompted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to intervene.

This crackdown underscores the severity of the situation and emphasizes the need for immediate action to mitigate the environmental and health risks posed by the neglected facilities.

One of the primary concerns highlighted in the article is the significant number of violations detected in the island's wastewater treatment facilities. These violations range from discharge permit breaches to improper maintenance practices, all of which contribute to the contamination of surrounding bodies of water and ecosystems.

The EPA's intervention serves as a wake-up call, signaling that the status quo is no longer acceptable and demanding accountability from those responsible for managing the wastewater treatment facilities, or at the very least those that consciously deferred necessary maintenance.

The consequences of untreated wastewater goes beyond environmental degradation, posing a direct threat to public health. Contaminated oceans and streams can lead to the spread of waterborne diseases and jeopardize the health and well-being of communities relying on these resources for drinking water, recreation, and livelihoods.

Addressing the wastewater crisis is imperative not only for safeguarding the island's natural beauty but also for protecting the health and safety of its residents and visitors.

Core ‘24 candidates are committed to upgrading and modernizing wastewater treatment infrastructure and assist homeowners to convert their cesspools into a septic system or hook up to county sewers. When elected, Core ’24 candidates aim to establish a special tax benefit for homeowners which will allow them to amortize the costs of improvements on private property, including septic system conversions, over a 30-year term.

With new leadership at the Hawaii County Council, we can begin fostering collaboration between government agencies, community organizations, and private sector stakeholders to enact comprehensive and sustainable solutions to the island's wastewater challenges.

Working together proactively, can ensure that Hawaii's Big Island preserves its environmental integrity and remains a safe and healthy place for generations to come. Learn more about Core ’24 candidates and donate here.