REPORT TITLE:
Wastewater


DESCRIPTION:
Prohibits, beginning 7/1/2001, the installation of cesspools or
septic systems and if existing cesspools or septic tasks need
replacement, individual wastewater treatment units are required
to be installed.  Requires installation of lysimeters.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           10
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO WASTEWATER.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the water quality of
 
 2 both the State's groundwater resources and coastal water
 
 3 environments are in need of protection from contaminants,
 
 4 including wastewater effluent.  Over the past two decades, the
 
 5 State's water resources have been negatively impacted by human
 
 6 activities, although not all of the causes of these impacts have
 
 7 been determined.  Maui's coastal waters have recurring algae
 
 8 blooms that degrade and destroy marine habitats and complete
 
 9 ecosystems, as well as produce an extremely poor environment for
 
10 coastal dwellers, beachgoers, and tourists who find the putrid
 
11 smell of rotting algae offensive.  Statewide, there may be a
 
12 possible correlation between introduced contaminants, such as
 
13 fertilizers, and other coastal problems, such as increased
 
14 populations of the dinoflagellate that causes ciguatera
 
15 poisoning.  The legislature seeks to reduce the amount of
 
16 contaminants that enter the State's aquifers and subsequently
 
17 leach into its coastal waters.
 
18      The legislature further finds that in Japan, the use of
 
19 individual wastewater treatment systems by homeowners and
 

 
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 1 businesses provides sufficient treatment of wastewater so that
 
 2 the effluent can be directly discharged into rivers and the sea.
 
 3 In Hawaii, where the direct discharge of untreated wastewater
 
 4 effluent into surface waters and on to the ground is prohibited
 
 5 by federal law, the disposal of effluent can be made more
 
 6 effective by the use of individual wastewater treatment systems
 
 7 in areas not served by sewer systems.  The cost of these
 
 8 individual wastewater treatment systems are comparable to the
 
 9 cost of conventional septic systems.
 
10      The legislature further finds that a relatively inexpensive
 
11 way to detect possible contamination from leaching wastewater
 
12 effluent is through the use of lysimeters.  Lysimeters collect
 
13 water that percolates past the roots of plants before it reaches
 
14 the aquifer.  The collected water is then tested for nutrients
 
15 and various chemicals.  By applying low-cost screen testing
 
16 methods, multiple inexpensive tests can be performed for
 
17 indicator chemicals to ensure and verify the clean and safe
 
18 operation of individual wastewater treatment units.  This screen
 
19 testing is designed in such a way that the average homeowner can
 
20 perform the test.
 
21      Furthermore, the legislature intends that the methods
 
22 employed with lysimeters reflect the legislature's interest in
 

 
 
 
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 1 protecting human health and the environment at minimal cost.  To
 
 2 keep costs low, screen testing of indicator chemicals, or easily
 
 3 detectable compounds that may be present in an array of chemicals
 
 4 applied to a particular property, should be considered.  Screen
 
 5 testing also keeps costs low because it does not require
 
 6 adherence to methods identified in the Code of Federal
 
 7 Regulations.  Moreover, screen testing can use inexpensive
 
 8 methods, such as field kits that use reagents, antibody tests, or
 
 9 other commercially available technologies, that measure
 
10 concentrations within acceptable levels to identify potential
 
11 problems or environmental impacts.
 
12      SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding
 
13 a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as
 
14 follows:
 
15                             "CHAPTER
 
16              INDIVIDUAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS
 
17         -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the
 
18 context otherwise requires:
 
19      "Director" means the director of health.
 
20      "Individual wastewater treatment system" means a self-
 
21 contained unit that treats wastewater by using aerobic or
 
22 anaerobic means, where the design and performance has been
 

 
 
 
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                                     S.B. NO.           10
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 accepted as compliant with environmental quality standards, for
 
 2 example, those of the American Society for Testing and Materials,
 
 3 ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9000 and ISO
 
 4 14000, or certified by organizations that warrant environmental
 
 5 quality standards such as NSF (National Sanitation Foundation)
 
 6 International.  The term includes household aerobic units.  The
 
 7 term does not include cesspools or septic tanks.
 
 8      "Lysimeter" means a pan lysimeter that collects water in the
 
 9 vadose zone by restricting the downward flow of groundwater to a
 
10 small area that produces a localized saturated zone where the
 
11 water is then removed and provides the operator with the ability
 
12 to conduct quantitative mass flux measurements of contaminants in
 
13 the vadose zone while minimizing the risk of false-positive or
 
14 false-negative measurements.  A lysimeter verifiably calibrates
 
15 mass flux measurements with an accuracy of at least thirty per
 
16 cent and provides the operator with the ability to test for the
 
17 leaching of nutrients in the vadose zone.
 
18      "Person" means any individual, partnership, firm,
 
19 association, joint venture, limited liability company, public or
 
20 private corporation trust, estate, commission, board, public or
 
21 private institution, utility, cooperative, municipality, or any
 
22 other legal entity.
 

 
 
 
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 1      "Vadose zone" means the underground portion between the
 
 2 lowest reaches of the roots of plants and the aquifer."
 
 3         -2  Individual wastewater treatment systems; when
 
 4 required.(a)  Any law to the contrary notwithstanding,
 
 5 effective July 1, 2001, no person shall install any cesspool or
 
 6 septic system in the State.  All wastewater from commercial,
 
 7 industrial, and residential use in locations not served by sewer
 
 8 systems shall be treated by individual wastewater treatment
 
 9 systems.
 
10      (b)  Effective July 1, 2001, replacement of any existing
 
11 cesspool or septic system shall be with an individual wastewater
 
12 treatment system.
 
13         -3  Lysimeters required.  Each individual wastewater
 
14 treatment system shall also include the installation of a
 
15 lysimeter in the vicinity of the leach field where effluent
 
16 treated by the individual wastewater treatment system is
 
17 discharged.
 
18         -4  Rules.  The director shall adopt rules in accordance
 
19 with chapter 91, to establish standards relating to the
 
20 installation, maintenance, and repair of individual wastewater
 
21 treatment systems and lysimeters used in conjunction with
 
22 individual wastewater treatment systems, including, but not
 

 
 
 
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                                     S.B. NO.           10
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 limited to, qualification and certification of installation,
 
 2 maintenance, and repair contractors; measurement standards;
 
 3 recordkeeping standards; reporting standards; and standards for
 
 4 corrective action.
 
 5         -5  Penalties.  The penalties set forth in chapter 342D
 
 6 shall apply to violations of this chapter, any rule, or any term
 
 7 or condition of a permit or variance issued pursuant to this
 
 8 chapter."
 
 9      SECTION 3.  Section 27-21.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
10 amended to read as follows:
 
11      "27-21.6  Functions reassigned to the counties.  The
 
12 following functions are hereby reassigned to the several
 
13 counties:
 
14      (1)  The medical care of inmates of county jails;
 
15      (2)  The rendering of medical investigatory services
 
16           requested by the police;
 
17      (3)  Physical examinations of employees to the extent that
 
18           such functions had been performed immediately prior to
 
19           the adoption of Act 97, Session Laws of Hawaii 1965;
 
20      (4)  The care and treatment of county workers' compensation
 
21           cases to the extent that such functions had been
 
22           performed immediately prior to the adoption of Act 97,
 

 
 
 
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 1           Session Laws of Hawaii 1965; and
 
 2      (5)  The regulation of the design, construction, and
 
 3           operation of individual wastewater systems, individual
 
 4           wastewater treatment systems as defined in chapter    ,
 
 5           and private wastewater treatment works, provided that
 
 6           the transfer of this function to each county shall take
 
 7           place on the date that the expenditure of start-up
 
 8           funds is made by the State to such county for this
 
 9           purpose."
 
10      SECTION 4.  Section 342D-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
11 amended by amending the definition of "domestic sewage" to read
 
12 as follows:
 
13      ""Domestic sewage" is waste and wastewater from humans or
 
14 household operations that:
 
15      (a)  Is discharged to or otherwise enters a treatment works;
 
16           or
 
17      (b)  Is of a type that is usually discharged to or otherwise
 
18           enters a treatment works [or], an individual wastewater
 
19           system[.], or an individual wastewater treatment system
 
20           as defined in chapter    .
 
21 Individual wastewater systems include cesspools, septic tanks,
 
22 and household aerobic units.  As used here "waste" means any
 

 
 
 
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                                     S.B. NO.           10
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 liquid, gaseous, and solid substance, whether treated or not, and
 
 2 whether or not it pollutes or tends to pollute state waters, and
 
 3 "waste" excludes industrial and agricultural substances that are
 
 4 not combined with substances from humans or household operations.
 
 5 As used here "wastewater" means any liquid "waste", as used
 
 6 above, whether treated or not."
 
 7      SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
 8 New statutory material is underscored.
 
 9      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
10 
 
11                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________