PUBLIC NOTICE OF
VARIANCE APPLICATION NO. WW 242
DOCKET NO. 06 – VWW – 31
Pursuant to H.R.S. §342D-7(i), Hawaii Revised Statutes, the State Department of Health (DOH) seeks written comments from interested persons regarding the following: Kula Ridge, LLC, 1849 Wili Pa Loop, Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii has applied for a variance for the maximum of five (5) years from Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Section 11-62-31.1(a)(1).
Mr. Clayton Nishikawa, Managing Member of Kula Ridge, LLC. is the individual authorized to act for the applicant. The applicant is proposing a development located in the vicinity of Lower Kula road, Lot 2, Kula, Maui, consisting of 116 units. Of these, approximately 59 Affordable Lots – sizes 5,600 – 6,000 square feet and approximately 53 Market Lots – sizes 6,000 – 21,000 square feet and 4 agricultural lots – sizes 4 acres minimum. There are no existing cesspools and no centralized sewer system in the area or planned for the near future. Well locations should not be an issue based on the location of the existing wells. Current rules prohibit individual wastewater systems (IWSs) on properties less than 10,000 square feet and above the CWDA; however, variances could be issued.
The Critical Wastewater Disposal Area (CWDA) issue and the minimum lot size pose a few regulatory obstacles. Insofar as treatment is concerned, the recommendation, consistent with EPAs decentralization approach, is to propose aerobic units (NSF 40 approved) with chlorine disinfection (i.e., Individual Wastewater Systems), in lieu of septic tanks. Because of the treatment level and disinfection, impacts to the existing ground water, assuming it exists, will be reduced. Presently the DOH allows approved NSF 40 Class I aerobic systems to be used within 1,000 feet of drinking wells. Disposal of treated effluent is proposed through absorption beds which again concurs with DOH guidelines. The purpose of this approach is to develop the maximum distance between the existing ground water and grade. Also associated with this proposal is a mandatory maintenance program. The maintenance provider will submit an annual report to DOH, copy the owner, and cite the maintenance activities completed in the applicable year. To further the reliability of the proposed IWS, the mandatory maintenance program will be included in all individual property deeds as convenants. The project is located on Lower Kula Road, Lot 2, Wailuku, Maui TMK: (2) 2-3-001: 174.
The applicant has made the following comments.
1. This application is for a variance from Section 11-62-31.1(a)(1) of the Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR).
2. The aerobic individual wastewater system (IWS) to be constructed shall comply with the wastewater rules at the time the fee simple owner applies for building permit.
3. The volume of treated R-2 wastewater generated on each lot shall not exceed a design flow of 1,000 gallons per day.
4. The aerobic IWS unit meets the requirements of Hawaii Administrative Rule (HAR), Title 11-62, Section 33.1 (b)(2) and thus can be used in the State of Hawaii as an aerobic unit.
5. Wastewater Management Policies (WMP2) Only one (1) IWS shall be allowed per lot of record. The IWS shall consist of a minimum of an aerobic unit, chlorinator and horizontal soil absorption system or surface disposal systems such as evapotranspiration system. The IWS shall be located as far from the well as possible and down gradient of the well if possible.
6. Department of Health, Amendments and Compliance of Chapter 11-62, Hawaii Administrative Rules: (SS11-62-33.1) indicated specific requirements for new and proposed treatment units (b) Household aerobic units. (5) In areas below (makai of) the Underground Injection Control Line established pursuant to chapter 11-23, a household aerobic unit may discharge its effluent directly into the groundwater provided the effluent is disinfected.
7. As indicated in the State of Hawaii Chapter 62, Best USAs ESIS unit has met all the rules. In fact, the ESIS can be used within 1,000 feet of a drinking well, which the above development has no drinking wells within a 1,000 feet.
8. Letter from State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Mr. Dennis Tulang, P.E., Chief, Wastewater Branch, dated December 7, 1999, states our recommendation is based in part on both aerobic and anaerobic processes to achieve Class I effluent criteria.
9. Best USA is proposing to use its (NSF 40) tested aerobic system ESIS which can treat effluent on each property with a low profile leach bed.
10. Each ESIS unit will have an operation and maintenance (O&M) program to keep this system always performing well. This O&M program will be written into each deed as a convenant that this system must always be maintained and a report of its quality sent to DOH annually. As stated in the State of Hawaii Chapter 62, all of these systems must be maintenance by one entity.
11. Best USA and the ESIS unit have been tested by the University of Hawaii in 1999 and have successfully installed and maintained over 100 units throughout the State of Hawaii.
12. This development presently has no central sewer facilities now or in the near future, and the properties in the surrounding area are currently using old cesspools and septic tanks with minimal treatment.
13. This proposed development, see Figure 1, located in the vicinity of Lower Kula Road, Lot 2; Kula, Maui consisting of 116 units (60% affordable). Of these, approximately 59 Affordable Lots – sizes 5,600 – 6,000 square feet and approximately 53 market lots – sizes 6,000 – 21,000 square feet and 4 agricultural lots – sizes 4 acres minimum. There are no existing cesspools and no centralized sewer system in the area or planned for the near future. Well locations should not be an issue based on the location of the existing wells.
14. The proposed development will use aerobic systems to dispose R-2 treated effluent into the existing cleaned cesspools, in accordance with the USEPA, Office of Water & Office of Wastewater Management, EPA 832-R97-001B, Response to Congress on Use of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems WWBKGN93\u201D.
15. The above report by the USEPA supports and gives guidelines to the exact way that we are planning this project with proven NSF 40 tested equipment and long term operations and maintenance programs.
16. Best USA has a long term proven record of installed and maintained systems in the State of Hawaii.
17. In compliance with HRS 342D-6 (4), the public interest shall be served in a method that will prove to be safer, and have minimal health impact on the environment. The use of an approved aerobic Individual Wastewater Systems (IWSs) as the means of wastewater treatment and disposal for each lot is deemed prudent because the system is NSF 40 approved with effluent quality of R-2 and allowed by Title 11 Department of Health – Chapter 62 Wastewater Systems to be used within a mere 1,000 feet of a drinking well, its only appropriate is to allow the ESIS to be used on this project, which has no drinking wells within 1,000 feet and will not harm the safety and welfare of the public. Furthermore, the costs associated with the alternative of designing and constructing a secondary wastewater treatment facility and effluent disposal system, including sewer transmission mains and sewer laterals for 116 lots, would be prohibitive. The use of an ESIS 1700 unit will bring a long-term higher and safer wastwater treatment to this property.
18. All of the new homes will have the same treatment standards to its wastewater in the present and future.
19. The treated effluent will help to safely recharge the water supply as reported in USEPA report to congress.
20. As indicated in the State of Hawaii Chapter 62, Best USAs ESIS unit has met all the rules. In fact, the ESIS can be used within 1,000 feet of a drinking well, which the above development has no drinking wells within 1,000 feet.
21. Therefore, if the ESIS system complies with Title 11, Department of Health, Chapter 62, Wastewater Systems to be used within a mere 1,000 feet of a drinking well, it is only appropriate to allow the ESIS to be used on this project, which has no drinking wells within 1,000 feet and will not harm the safety and welfare of the public.
22. Allowance of the requested variance to use a proven aerobic treatment system with a continuous maintenance service program will definitely have a positive and greater health and environmental benefit to the public b cause it will not be detrimental to the public.
23. The maximum time period of five (5) years is requested for this request. Requests for future renewals will be made at five (5) year intervals until a municipal sewer system becomes available in the project vicinity.
The following items were submitted with the variance application but can not be shown here: EPA response to Congress on use of decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems; NSF 40 testing report; DOH chapter on 1000 feet ruling; and map of well location. If you would like to review the complete application, please call or write to the Wastewater Branch, 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 309, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814-4920, telephone (808) 586-4294 fax (808) 586-4300 to obtain a facsimile. DOH will consider all written comments received within 30 days of this notice. If warranted, DOH may hold a public hearing on the variance application, after a separate related documents, written comments and the public hearing, if any.
Chiyome Leinaala Fukino, M.D.
Director of Health (SB03510723 1/22/07)