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Notice #: 05526567
Public Notices

DOCKET NO. 06 – VWW – 30

Pursuant to section 342D-7(i), Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), the State Department of Health (DOH) seeks written comments from interested persons regarding the following. Burger Project Management, LLC of Santa Monica, California has applied for a five (5) year variance from Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Section 11-62-31.1(a)(1) General requirements for individual wastewater systems which states an Individual wastewater systems may be used as a temporary on-site means of wastewater disposal in lieu of wastewater treatment works under the following conditions: Developments involving dwellings.
Mr. John M. Alderson of Honolulu, Hawaii is the individual authorized to act for the applicant. The applicant states the proposed development is located in the vicinity of 61-210 Kamehameha Highway, and consists of 25, 3-bedroom lots. 16 of the lots are proposed to be less than 10,000 sq ft in size and 9 lots are proposed to be greater than 10,000 sq ft. There are four existing cesspools on the property and no centralized sewer system in the area of planned for the near future. Portions of the development reside above the current “No Pass” line. Lots 23 and 24 (and roughly half of Lot 25) are below the “No Pass” line. Well locations should not be an issue based on the location of the existing wells.
The applicant has made the following comments.
1. Current rules (Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) 11-62), prohibit individual wastewater systems (IWS) on properties less than 10,00 sq ft and above the “No Pass” line; however, variances could be issued.
2. To submit an have an approved variance to address the wastewater needs of the proposed development.
3. The “No Pass” issue and the minimum lot size pose a few regulatory obstacles. Insofar as treatment is concerned, the recommendation, consistent with EPA’s decentralization approach, is to proposed 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 NSF40 Class I aerobic systems to be used within 1,000 feet of drinking water wells. Regarding disposal of treated and disinfected effluent, the existing four cesspools will be “traded,” meaning we propose to use the existing four new cesspool sites as seepage pits. For lots not able to discharge to the seepage pits, absorption beds are proposed which again concur with DOH guidelines. The purpose of this approach is to develop the maximum distance between the existing ground water table and grade. Also associated with this proposal is a mandatory maintenance program, the maintenance provider will submit an annual report to DOH, and copy the owner, citing 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 deeds.
4. 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.
5. The volume of treated R-2 wastewater generated on each lot shall not exceed a design flow of 1,000 gallons per day.
6. 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.
7. 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.”
8. 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.
9. As indicated in the State of Hawaii Chapter 62, Best USA’s ESIS unit has met all the rules. In fact, the ESIS can be used with 1,000 feet of a drinking well, which the above development has no drinking wells within a 1,000 feet.
10. 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.
11. Best USA is proposing to use its (NSF 40 tested aerobic system ESIS 1700 which can treat 1,000 GPD on each property with a low profile leach bed.
12. Each ESIS 1700 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 covenant that this system must be always 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 maintained by one entity. Best USA and the ESIS 1700 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.
13. This development presently has no central sewer facilities now or in the near future, has had existing cesspool, and the properties in the surrounding area are currently using old cesspools and septic tanks with minimal treatment.
14. This development can be subdivided into 25 lots – with 9 lots larger than 10,000 sq. ft. and 16 under 10,000 sq. ft. Because the county has no plans to sewer this area, the development is allowed to put in septic tanks for the lots lager than 10,000 sf. ft. and the remaining with aerobic systems, but chooses to do the long-term best thing and put aerobic systems into ALL of the 25 lots, whereby the whole project would have safely treated wastewater.
a. The existing four (4) cesspools would be upgraded to have aerobic systems disposing 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, “Responses to Congress on Use of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems WWBKGN93\u201D.
b. The above report 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.
c. Best USA has a long term proven record of installed and maintained systems in the State of Hawaii.
15. 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 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 with a mere 1,00 feet of a drinking well, it’s 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 366 lots, would be prohibitive.
16. The use of an ESIS 1700 unit will bring a higher and safe treatment to existing cesspools on this property.
17. All of the new homes will have the same treatment standards to its wastewater in the present and future.
18. The treated effluent will help to safely recharge the water supply as reported in US EPA report to congress.
19. As indicated in the State of Hawaii Chapter 62, Best USA’s 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 not drinking wells within 1,000 feet.
20. So if our ESIS system has been allowed by “Title 11 Department of Health – Chapter 62 Wastewater Systems” to be used within a mere 1,000 feet of a drinking well, it’s 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.
21. Allowance of the requested variance to use a proven aerobic treatment system with a continuous maintenance service program will definitely have the positive and greater benefit to the public, because it will upgrade existing cesspools that are a detrimental to the public.
22. 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.
23. Attached are the following items (but cannot be shown here): (1) EPA response to Congress on use of decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems; (2) NSF 40 Testing report; (3) DOH chapter on 1000 feet ruling; and (4) 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 thirty 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.

Director of Health (SB05526567 12/23/06)