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EPA slaps state with big fine for operating banned cesspools on Kauai

Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai, Hawaii(Hawaii News Now Graphic Library)
Updated: Mar. 4, 2021 at 9:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has been fined nearly $222,000 for operating seven large-capacity cesspools on Kauai.

The EPA banned this type of cesspool in 2005 because it can pollute water resources and violates the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The cesspools are located at Camp Hale Koa, the Waineke Cabins and at a commercial property on Kukui street in Kapaa.

The EPA has previously taken action against the DLNR, collecting over $407,000 in fines and closing 74 cesspools.

Cesspools collect and release untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and oceans.

This is a concern because groundwater provides 95% of all local water supply in Hawaii.

Since the 2005 ban, more than 3,600 large-capacity cesspools in Hawaii have been closed, but the EPA said that hundreds are still in operation.

DLNR said in a statement its working with the EPA to identify and close illegal cesspools still in operation.

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