How To Convert A Cespool To A Septic Tank?

  • An add on conversion unit will require digging a suitably sized excavation close to the existing sewage system. Once in the ground, the installer will connect the septic tank outlet to the conversion unit.

How much does it cost to convert a cesspool to a septic tank?

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Cesspool with a Septic Tank? Depending on the size of your home and the number of people living in it, a septic tank replacement can run you anywhere between $4,000 to $6,000 or more for a larger home.

How much does it cost to fill in a cesspool?

$275–$580. The national average cost to clean and pump a septic tank is between $295 and $610 with most people spending around $375. Depending on the size of your septic tank, pumping could cost as low as $250 for a 750-gallon tank, or as high as $895 for a 1,250-gallon tank.

Can you convert a cesspit to a septic tank?

Septic tank conversion units are used to upgrade and modernise existing septic tanks and cesspools into fully functioning sewage treatment systems. These systems are mainly used where an existing septic tank is causing problems and the wastewater needs to be treated sufficiently to allow discharge to a ditch or stream.

Can you fill in a cesspool?

Call your local Building and Safety Division; the agency will examine the cesspool. Give the inspector a copy of the receipt from the removal of the waste. After the local inspector gives you a permit, you can start filling.

Are cesspool covered under homeowners insurance?

Yes, your septic tank is considered part of your home and would be covered by the dwelling coverage portion of your home insurance in the event that it is suddenly damaged.

When did they stop using cesspools?

EPA banned the construction of new large-capacity cesspools on April 5, 2000.

What can I do with an old cesspool?

The Old Tank Is Crushed and Buried or Removed If it is made of steel, it will probably be crushed in place and buried. If it is made of concrete, the bottom or sides may be broken apart so the tank can no longer hold water, and then the tank can be filled with sand, gravel, or some other type of rubble and buried.

How often do you need to empty a cesspool?

When should a septic tank be emptied? As a general rule, you should ideally empty out your septic tank once every three to five years.

Do I have to replace my septic tank by 2020?

Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

What is a septic conversion?

Septic to sewer conversion is a plumbing service that involves decommissioning a septic system and rerouting septic sewer drain pipes to city sewer line connections. When your septic system is in good condition, a septic conversion is a straightforward effort for licensed plumbers.

Can you upgrade an old septic tank?

bioCycle™ provide a complete service for replacing your existing septic tank or sewage treatment system. The superior bioCycle™ System overcomes all the problems associated with septic tanks and defective treatment systems.

How many gallons does a cesspool hold?

It comes down to daily water usage. Most residential tanks have a capacity ranging from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons and the average person uses 60 gallons to 70 gallons of water a day.

How do you remove a cesspool?


  1. Clean the cesspool by pumping and draining it. This is accomplished with a large truck with a tank and a suctioning hose.
  2. Alternatively, treat the cesspool by aeration.
  3. You can also clean the cesspool using hydro-jetting.
  4. Treat the cesspool with caustic soda after pumping, aerating or hydro-jetting.

Should old septic tanks be removed?

It is important to properly abandon un-used septic tanks, cesspools, or drywells. If an old septic tank, cesspool, or drywell is simply “left alone” there may be very serious cave-in or fall-in safety hazards.

Should You Replace Your Cesspool With A Septic System

It is a good idea to verify with your local building department before beginning any project that calls for the installation of a sewage ejector pump. Plumbing and building rules, as well as permit procedures, might vary from one community to the next. Any work involving septic or sewer systems is likely to necessitate the acquisition of a permit, and for good reason: faulty installation can result in a major messes. Before you begin, make sure you understand the legal requirements for installing a sewage ejector pump.

You should also give careful consideration to the size of the ejector pump that you will be using.

Standard pump kits with 1/2 to 3/4 horsepower motors and 30- or 40-gallon reservoirs are generally sufficient for the normal home installation, but you should examine pricing, specs, and features to ensure that you select the system most suitable for your project.

If you don’t want to spend time and money on repairs, make sure you choose high-quality equipment that is large enough for your household.

Their use in industrial settings is also possible, however it necessitates a somewhat bigger sump basin.

Converting A Cesspool To A Septic Tank System In Kona

A Cesspool to Septic Tank System Conversion in Kona is a common practice. A Cesspool to a Septic Tank System Conversion Project in Kona

Converting A Cesspool To A Septic Tank System In Kona

Before you can build an addition to your Kona house, you may need to install a septic tank system. One of our clients is required to do so. Janett (our wonderful customer) wishes to boost the value of her Kona rental property by building an ohana underneath it (the foundation has a post and pier foundation, so there is plenty of space for it). More individuals will be able to call it home as a result of this. An ohana is an extension to a house that is primarily intended for extended family members to stay.

  1. She must first convert her cesspool to a septic tank system before moving on.
  2. Its purpose is to assist in the cleaning up of our Hawaiian seas.
  3. When our clients call us, they don’t always know what they want.
  4. She calls us, and we begin working together to ensure that her house is in compliance with Act 125.
  5. You can find out more about our septic tank installation services on our website.
  6. The septic tank on her property is a Chem-tainer unit with a capacity of 1,250 gallons.

For those interested in the financial details, Janett spent around $10,250 on this project, which is about the typical starting price for a septic tank system. One of the reasons it is so expensive is because of the first phase, which is obtaining the necessary permissions.

1. Getting Any Necessary Permits

Getting all of our ducks in a row in Hawaii meant first obtaining all of the necessary permissions for the installation of a septic tank system, which took time. In this case, it may be necessary to include a:

  • Permits for septic tanks, water rights, and access rights of way are all required.

As well as others. Because these permissions are costly, we make certain that Janett is aware of the situation before proceeding. We put together all of Janett’s permissions and then start to work. The fact that we have so little room to move is our most significant challenge. This makes our task far more complex since we must utilize much larger equipment to replace a cesspool with a septic tank as a result of the situation. We were able to complete the task of emptying the cesspool and preparing the space for the installation.

3. Installing The Septic Tank

We utilize our tools and equipment to dig a hole that will be the proper size for Janett’s selected septic tank installation. She decided on a Chem-tainer container with a capacity of 1,250 gallons. Her new storage container is constructed of exceptionally sturdy plastic and is the right size for her home. The tank is then lowered into the earth, and we proceed to the next phase.

4. Constructing The Drainage Field

This is the location where the majority of the wastewater is treated to make it fully clean. We prepare the space by digging it out and laying down some gravel. The dirt, boulders, and gravel all contribute to the purification of the wastewater. We then connect the tank to the rest of the system by installing the pipes that will carry the water:Of course, it won’t do any good if we don’t connect the tank to anything.

5. Hooking Up The Septic Tank

The home is connected to the tank, which in turn is connected to the drainage field: When we describe it like that, it may appear simple, but installing the pipes requires careful preparation and attention to detail. We make certain that the pipes are secure in order to reduce the likelihood of a leak. We now have the opportunity to conceal our efforts.

6. Covering The Septic Tank And Drainage Field

We will not work in the open without a protective barrier in place. Although it doesn’t seem to be very successful as a water cleaning, this will make it much less effective. The first two layers we utilize are made up of various types of rock and gravel, as follows: Now we’re putting down a layer of soil as a top layer: This is fantastic news since it implies that Janett will be able to grow grass and other plants on it! The last section is now available.

7. Disguising The Septic Tank System

The final section might also be the most enjoyable. A lot of folks do not want to have merely soil in their backyard. Janett, on the other hand, does not. Janett has the ability to essentially start again and plant whatever she wants. It’s possible that the grass is a little greener where the drainage field is due to the nitrogen and other nutrients that are released by the drainage field. Janett’s rental property is now in compliance with Act 125! She has finally been given the go-ahead to begin construction on her ohana.

I think it’s been about a year since Janett called us to come out and replace her cesspool with an underground septic tank system.

She is so pleased with our work that she has hired Solid Rock Contracting to assist her with the construction of her ohana! It’s a thrilling experience for everyone involved.

When Will You Install Your Septic Tank System?

You might go ahead and do the task. When you do this, you will not have to worry about doing it when all of your neighbors are doing it as well! If you have any questions or comments regarding the procedure, please share them with us in the comments section below! For further information, please see our guide to septic tank systems in Hawaii.

  1. Lance @ 5:13 pm on July 30, 2019- Remarks It’s a great post, but I was curious whether the homeowners were able to use their tax credits to cover the expense of switching to a septic system.

How Hawaii Cesspool Conversion Laws Affect Homeowners Like You

In this article, you’ll learn how Hawaii’s cesspool conversion laws affect you and other homeowners. In this article, you’ll learn how Hawaii”s cesspool conversion laws affect you and other homeowners.

How Hawaii Cesspool Conversion Laws Affect Homeowners Like You

Michael has been a resident in Kailua-Kona for a considerable amount of time. He is well-versed in the best eateries, swimming spots, and backroads in the area. After so many years on the island, he appears to have been born there. He considers this spot to be his home, and he adores it. Recently, he has been experiencing some anxiety. He has been hearing a lot about the conversion of Hawaii cesspools and the poisoning of groundwater. According to reports, the government is taking steps to prevent human waste from cesspools from polluting waterways and the environment.

He doesn’t want to be held responsible for contaminating and degrading the environment on his own island.

What he discovers isn’t pleasant.

How Cesspools Are Damaging Hawaii And Its People (aka Us)

Cesspools in Hawaii discharge around 53 million gallons of untreated sewage per day. (page 3). That equates to around 459,000,000 pounds of human excrement entering our water system. In its descent, it causes harm by doing the following things:

  1. Degrading our drinking water
  2. Increasing algal growth
  3. Destroying coral reefs
  4. And other problems.
See also:  How To Build A Deck Over A Septic Tank For Remoal? (Solution)

It is fair to say that we are destroying the islands where we dwell. It’s hard for Michael to trust what he’s reading right now. He continues on his journey, dreading what he would discover next. Not only that, but we are also putting ourselves in harm’s way: In the absence of effective treatment and disposal of wastewater, pollutants.enter surrounding coastal waterways, streams, and perhaps groundwater, where they can pollute water sources.and render water hazardous for swimming and other recreational activities,” the EPA writes.

He doesn’t want anyone, much alone his own family, to go swimming in filthy waters.

The first move was taken by Governor Ige in 2016, when he forbade new cesspool building.

Act 125 And Its Impact On Us Hawaii Residents

It is fair to say that we are destroying the islands where we reside. It’s impossible for Michael to accept what he’s reading right now. As he continues, he is fearful of what he may discover next. But it’s not only that: we’re also hurting ourselves. In the absence of effective treatment and disposal of wastewater, pollutants.enter surrounding coastal waterways, streams, and perhaps groundwater, where they can pollute water sources.and render water hazardous for swimming and other recreational activities.” ( Having read this, Michael has come to the conclusion that something has to be done immediately.

Nobody, least of all his family, should be swimming in contaminated water, he says. Thanks to our efforts, this practice will soon be discontinued. The first move was taken by Governor Ige in 2016, when he barred new cesspool development. However, this is merely the beginning of the process.

So, yeah, the first outlay isn’t particularly nice. However, if tourism continues to fall, our economy will suffer as a result. We also don’t want our families to become ill as a result of consuming contaminated water or swimming in contaminated water with wounds. Michael believes that the expense is justified. Tourism is the lifeblood of his company. If he does not have it, it is probable that his company would fail and he will be forced to file for bankruptcy. At the very least, he and the rest of the world have 30 years to make the switch.

Act 120 And Its Impact On Hawaii Cesspool Owners

Michael and the rest of the world have until December 31, 2020, to collect their share of the prize. A cesspool is considered eligible for this program if it is located “within 500 feet of a coastline [or] perennial stream [or] wetland, or within a source water assessment program area (within two years of transit time from the cesspool to a public drinking water source).” You may be eligible for a credit of up to $10,000 per approved cesspool if you submit an application. Michael’s cesspool meets all of these requirements, so he proceeds to fill out the necessary paperwork.

It may need a significant amount of saving and hard effort, but it is possible.

It’s all worthwhile in the end.


Hawaii County Cesspool/Septic Tank Conversion Issue Moves Forward

Photograph courtesy of ABC Cesspools and Septic Plumbing in Waimea, Hawaii. As LUVA Real Estate previously said in a blog article, Hawaii County is dealing with a difficult situation: Cesspools are presently used by 88,000 households on the island, which was formerly a practical technique to handle sewage without having to construct expensive wastewater treatment plants outside of the island’s major towns. Nonetheless, with the increasing population and scientific evidence that raw sewage can have a harmful influence on the environment, it is now necessary to convert cesspools into septic tanks.

The creation of a working group within the Department of Health, comprised of legislators, state and county officials, scientists, and financial experts, is being considered by the Legislature as a means of determining how to absorb the costs and meet timelines that could be accelerated for priority areas.

  1. The panel would provide a report to the Legislature no later than the last day of the calendar year 2019.
  2. New septic systems range in price from $8,000 to $20,000 per dwelling, depending on the size of the land and the location of the cesspool conversion or connection.
  3. That is no longer the case.
  4. Rather of requiring the buyer or seller to pay for the conversion costs, banks are more likely to enable the conversion cost burden to be bargained as part of the sale transaction itself.
  5. In a recent meeting with officials from one bank, Lowen highlighted that by 2020, mortgage institutions may be able to include cesspool conversion requirements in the sale of any home.
  6. The sewage system now receives $7.5 million in user fees out of a total operating budget of $12.9 million.
  7. According to the proposal, the existing $27 monthly cost for single-family and multi-family residential units will increase to $39 monthly on March 1, 2019, $46 monthly in 2020, and $52 monthly in 2021, from the current $27 monthly price.
  8. For individuals who have their sewage tanks drained, the charges charged by septic haulers will rise as well.
  9. If allowed, they would begin operations on March 1, 2019.

Septic costs in Hawaii County are far lower than those charged elsewhere in the state, and they haven’t been raised since 2002. The county is required to close all of its cesspools over the course of the next 30 years. Information about the background:

What is Act 125?

ABC Cesspools and Septic Plumbing in Waimea provided the photo. One of the most difficult issues facing Hawaii County is as previously stated by LUVA Real Estate. Cesspools are presently used by 88,000 households on the island, which was formerly a viable option for disposing of sewage without the need to construct expensive wastewater treatment plants outside of the island’s main towns. Nonetheless, with the increasing population and scientific evidence that raw sewage may have a harmful influence on the environment, it is now necessary to convert cesspools into sewage treatment plants.

The creation of a working group within the Department of Health, comprised of legislators, state and county officials, scientists, and financial experts, is being considered by the Legislature as a means of determining how to absorb the costs and meet timelines that may be accelerated for priority areas.

  1. Ideally, the panel would provide its findings to the Legislature no later than the end of 2019.
  2. For new septic systems, the cost per dwelling varies between $8,000 and $20,000, depending on how large a property is and where the cesspool conversion or connection is to be installed.
  3. Then there’s this: In Lowen’s opinion, “nobody is considering requiring that at this time.” Since it would have an adverse effect on property prices, any law to that effect would be faced with strong opposition from both real estate brokers and homeowners, she noted.
  4. No matter what action state lawmakers take, the provision is expected to be implemented within a few of years.
  5. Until that moment, a conventional 30-year mortgage would still be in effect until the 2050 conversion law, which was enacted by the Legislature in 2018, takes effect.
  6. According to county budget papers, around $3 million comes from the general fund, with the remainder coming from fund balance and reserves.
  7. On March 1, 2019, nonresidential charges would increase from $22 monthly to $50 monthly, with an additional increase to $59 monthly in 2020 and $66 monthly in 2021, depending on the rate structure.
  8. Over the following three years, the fee increases are expected to generate an additional $17 million in income.

Septic costs in Hawaii County are significantly lower than those charged elsewhere in the state, and they have not been increased since 2002. Cemeteries in the county must be closed within 30 years, according to state law. The following is some background:

What is Act 120?

In accordance with Act 120, the cost of upgrading or converting a qualifying cesspool to a septic tank system or an aerobic treatment unit system, or the cost of connecting to a sewer system, is eligible for a temporary income tax credit. A taxpayer can claim a tax credit of up to $10,000 for each qualifying cesspool that they own or operate. The tax credit is available beginning in the 2016 tax year and expiring in the 2020 tax year. Each tax year has a $5,000,000 restriction on the amount of money that can be spent.

For the tax credit to apply, only cesspools located within 500 feet of a coastline, perennial stream, wetland, or within a source water assessment program region (within two years of the cesspool’s location and the public drinking water source) are eligible.

LUVA Real Estate will continue to keep an eye on this situation.

r/Hawaii – Has anyone converted their cesspool into a septic system? If so how much did it cost? Who do you call to get this done?

Individual wastewater systems will cost much more or less depending on the location of the house, the existing plumbing, and the amount of available space. Unfortunately, you will be faced with a time-consuming and expensive procedure that will entail DOH permitting and contractual commitments to maintain your new septic system. I would recommend setting aside no less than 5-10k in anticipated expenditures, with the possibility of spending up to 15-20k if complications arise. You may begin the process by visiting the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Poor soil conditions, closeness to the seashore, the necessity for subsurface testing, and/or the need for engineering services are all factors that might raise your costs.

I have a few quick questions for you so that I can lead you in the proper direction: What is the address of the house?

Will you be undertaking any further renovations to your home?

How Do You Convert 88,000 Cesspools to Modern Onsite Systems?

Nicole Lowen is a model and actress.

Interested in Onsite Systems?

Get articles, news, and videos about Onsite Systems delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Plus, there are Onsite Systems. Receive Notifications It was in 2017 that the Hawaii State Legislature enacted legislation mandating the removal and replacement of all cesspools by the year 2050. Following the signing of the bill by Gov. David Ige, a state working committee is examining how the state might make the law function effectively. Hawaii contains roughly 88,000 cesspools in a state with a population of around 1.4 million people.

  • What is known is that those cesspools are polluting the seas surrounding the Hawaiian Islands, and this is something that can’t be denied.
  • State Rep.
  • “Tourism is dependent on the condition of the reefs.
  • However, the aquifers on the island provide all of the island’s drinking water as well.
  • Other politicians, a banker, a real estate agent, officials from government water and wastewater agencies, scientists, and representatives from environmental advocacy organizations are all represented in the working group.

For example, developing a long-term plan for the replacement of all cesspools, prioritizing the order in which they will be replaced, examining how this will be paid for and how much landowners can afford to pay, considering what technologies are best suited for the job, and determining whether some areas should be exempt are all being considered.

  • One of the most difficult challenges will be obtaining the information necessary to make that choice, according to Sina Pruder, wastewater branch head for the Hawaii Department of Health.
  • Geology will play a role in the decision-making process, just as it will with any other sort of wastewater technology.
  • The University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program is directed by him, and he also serves as interim director of the university’s Water Resources Research Center.
  • in biological sciences.
  • “We have surface freshwater, but we do not have the permanent streams that you are accustomed to seeing on the continent,” says the author.
  • “They persist as long as we get regular rain,” he explains.
  • According to him, there is a great deal of information available to scientists that tells them where contamination is occurring, particularly in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus.

Alternatively, if certain cesspools are determined to have no or minor impact on the ecosystem, it is feasible that there will be acceptable cesspools, according to him.

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The other panel will look into the best way to pay for the transformation.

The sums at question are in the billions of dollars,” he claims.

According to Lerner, connecting to the municipal sewer system will not fix the problem in every situation.

According to him, the expense of extending it to the remainder of the island would be too expensive.

According to Lowen, “the technology we’re employing for treatment dates back to the Industrial Revolution or something like that.” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation waterless toilet, which converts excrement into ash, was among the innovations she proposed for a pilot project, which she offered in the form of a bill.

  1. According to Pruder, a solution with low installation and maintenance costs is the ideal scenario for the industry.
  2. The majority of homeowners, according to Pruder, do not keep their systems in good working order.
  3. Some of the studies being conducted on the East Coast of the United States, which has been battling with water-quality issues caused by nitrogen pollution, is particularly fascinating, she adds.
  4. According to Lerner, improved technology would also result in greater options for water reuse.
  5. Pruder believes that the replacement law will have a particularly negative impact on the Big Island.
  6. People continued to build cesspools since the Big Island did not impose any restrictions, and as a result, the island today contains around 50,000, many of which are located along the ocean beach.
  7. “I believe many individuals were unclear about what the need was or when it would be implemented.” Fear diminished after they realized that they would have to wait around 30 years before they would be forced into conversion.

Instead, the islands have a large number of solar power installations, which may be attributed to the high cost of energy, which provided residents with an incentive to make upfront expenditures that paid off in long-term savings.

Hawaii has set itself a lofty goal in which to succeed.

In April, the state Department of Health issued two calls for proposals for various projects.

Even upgrading a cesspool to a septic system may cost upwards of $20,000 to $30,000 per dwelling, which is out of reach for many homeowners, according to Lerner.

“I think the good is that the state appears to be really dedicated to moving forward,” Lerner asserts.

Everyone understands the situation and understands the need of working together.

It’s unlikely that any of this will happen right now. A measure was enacted in April to extend by two years, from 2021 to 2023, the date for submitting a final report by the committee, in acknowledgement of the enormity of the work before of it.

The Work To Convert Hawaii’s Cesspools Continues

In myIDEAS Essay about how Hawaii has the highest number of cesspools per capita in the country, which was published in July, I argued that the pandemic should serve as a catalyst for the state and counties to diversify their economies and train the wastewater workforce that will be required to convert all of the cesspools in the state. In the meanwhile, about a year after the first announcement, Hawaii has gained a significant new friend in the effort to convert cesspools: the federal government under a new administration is promoting laws and providing cash to accomplish precisely this goal.

  1. Although it was divided along political lines, the United States Congress enacted the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act, and its members are presently debating how much money should be allocated to the American Jobs Plan.
  2. As a co-founder of the non-profit WAI: Wastewater AlternativesInnovations, I’m particularly concerned with the last of these challenges.
  3. In addition to harming human health and drinking water, the near-shore ecology and coral reefs are threatened, as is Hawaii’s international reputation as a world-class tourist destination as a result of this sewage pollution.
  4. The Employment for Women group has been meeting once a week for the past year, and they have been working on four long-term goals: workforce development, infrastructure investment, cesspool replacement, and water protection.
  5. There is no other state in the US that has a larger per capita number of cesspools than Massachusetts.
  6. Fortunately, the state of Hawaii’s congressional delegation is becoming increasingly conscious of the gravity of the situation.
  7. Kai Kahele in a recent letter to the editor.
  8. Brian Schatz said in a recent Civil Beat interview.

Kahele’s home island of Hawaii Island (49,300 total). With 13,700 people, Kauai has the most, followed by Maui County with 13,640 people and Oahu with 11,300.

Something Has To Be Done

The county of Hawaii has been in breach of the Safe Drinking Water Act and EPA federal laws and regulations since 2010, when the county assumed responsibility for the high capacity cesspools at Pahala and Naalehu, as Kahele points out. What should counties do in the face of these federal regulations? Should they stick with the old, expensive sewer systems or should they look for a new, less expensive technology? When Sen. Chris Lee and I visited the Reinvented Toilet Expo hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2018, we saw that our present sewer system was not the solution.

“Every day, according to one estimate, individuals throughout the world consume roughly 40 billion gallons of freshwater — nearly six times the daily water usage of the whole continent of Africa — to flush toilets,” writes Chelsea Wald in her new book “Pipe Dreams.” “We have the ability to do better.” Yes, we are able to.

  • One end of the range is occupied by large-scale sewage systems.
  • Construction of wastewater treatment facilities, as well as the installation of typical sewage lines and pump stations, would be prohibitively expensive and disruptive in tiny, rural communities.
  • Homeowners that cannot afford the conversion are among those targeted by the Work-4-Water Initiative, which is seeking government assistance to assist them with the expenses of conversion.
  • On the plus side, the initiative to convert Hawaii’s cesspools may aid in the diversification of the state’s economy and the restoration of the environment.
  • On each island, we are now working with community colleges on the development of training programs that will certify more workers in the wastewater sector.
  • I mentioned last year that there is gold to be found in these dark, subterranean rivers of rubbish, and I believe that is still true today.
  • Act 125, passed in 2017, ordered the conversion of all cesspools by the year 2050, with the goal of completing the task by 2050.

For the state to achieve its goal of converting all cesspools within 30 years, the state will need to boost its current cesspool conversion rate from around 200 per year to 3,000 conversions per year.

The Middle Ground

Instead of large sewer plants or individual cesspool conversions, connecting to smaller “distributed sewage management systems,” as proposed by Sen. Schatz, may be the best alternative for at least a third of the houses in Hawaii that are now using cesspools, according to the senator. New technology for decentralized, more efficient, and less priced wastewater treatment systems is on the horizon, and it seems good. The underlying theme of the Gates Foundation’s Reinvented Toilet initiative and “Pipe Dreams” is that we must not only redesign the toilet, but also envision the entire sanitation system as we go forward.

  1. As an alternative to pumping nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium out to sea, we may recycle them on land to enhance our soils and water supplies (instead of expensive, synthetic fertilizers).
  2. Cemeteries are simply holes in the earth that accept raw sewage as a waste product.
  3. They can then be transported to nearshore ocean waters and coral reefs from there.
  4. How can we recycle our garbage in a safe and cost-effective manner?
  5. A new cohort company in Elemental’s portfolio is Cambrian, which manufactures small-scale modular treatment systems that are intended for usage by around 30 to 300 families.
  6. This “sanitation as a service” model has the potential to save governments millions of money while also providing state-of-the-art facilities to rural villages such as Pahala and Naalehu on Hawaii island, as well as coastal municipalities such as Maalaea on Maui.

Kahele, “wastewater is processed at each individual condo and then that wastewater is sent directly back into the earth (through injection wells), which has had a significant impact on the coral reefs of Maalaea as well as the nearshore fisheries.” counties like Maui might concentrate on constructing conveyance lines to connect Maalaea’s ten condominium complexes and neighboring businesses to these smaller treatment systems, rather than on building larger treatment systems.

  • The Cambrian system makes use of an aerobic digester, which removes impurities from wastewater via the use of aeration and filtration.
  • Courtesy: WAICambrian’s systems are capable of converting liquid effluent into pure R1 water, which can then be utilized for irrigation and farming applications.
  • Biomass Controls, which was originally financed by the Gates Foundation, employs a method known as pyrolysis, which involves the use of high heat and low oxygen to burn trash and change it into biochar that is completely free of pathogenic organisms.
  • The odorless biochar that is produced can be utilized as a soil amendment or as a filtering material for water and air filtration.
  • Located on the Hawaiian island of Maui, WaterTectonics’ CEO, Jim Mothersbaugh, manages the plant’s wastewater treatment system.
  • His carbon footprint will be reduced, and he will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in trucking expenses and tipping taxes by not hauling 90 loads of sludge to the landfill each year.
  • These two treatment systems are examples of transportable, scalable, and cost-effective technologies that may assist in converting our troublesome wastes into useful goods and services.

In the process of emerging from our quarantine, let us be mindful of the danger of returning to outdated ideas and technology. As a result, we should collaborate to restore our outdated infrastructure and lay a stronger basis for the future.

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Everything you need to know about your old cesspool

Acresspool, also known as a sump pit or a soakaway, is a hole in the ground enclosed by cement, stone, concrete, brick, or other material that is used to collect wastewater from a home or other structure. The material used to construct the pit wall may be perforated to enable wastewater to seep in from the sides in some instances. Cesspools, in other words, serve as a temporary holding facility for wastewater until it is absorbed into the earth. Originally, there was no connection between them and a septic tank.

  • In this case, the wastewater was discharged straight into the pit.
  • Solids and liquids could not be separated because they lacked a separation mechanism.
  • They also filled up far more fast and required more frequent emptying than other types of containers.
  • If, on the other hand, you purchase a house that was built decades ago, you may discover a cesspool.

How does a cesspool work?

As we have seen, the walls are constructed of a variety of materials, but they all have the characteristic of not being totally waterproof, allowing water to leak through. Wastewater will leak into the pit from the bottom and likely through the sides as well. Most cesspools are also equipped with a septic tank. Solids are held back in the septic tank so that they don’t build up in the pit where they should not. The septic tank, not the cesspit, is the one that has to be pumped out on a regular schedule.

How to know if you have a cesspool on your property

It has already been established that while there is a variety of materials used in the construction of the walls, they all have one thing in common: they are not totally waterproof, allowing water to leak in. Wastewater will seep through the bottom of the pit and potentially through the sides as well. a Septic tanks are frequent in cesspools. In order to prevent sediments from building up in the pit, the septic tank must be properly installed and maintained. In fact, it is the septic tank, not the cesspit, that need regular pumping out.

See also:  How To Find Out If Permit For Septic Tank Was Applied? (Perfect answer)

Why were cesspools banned for new properties?

Previously used cesspools that were not linked to a septic tank were hazardous to the environment and blocked up in a short period of time. Because the wastewater was not treated prior to disposal, it ended up in the ground. A single location was used to collect and treat wastewater. Wetland runoff was far more likely to pollute the artesian well, the water table, and other surface waterways than dryland runoff. This has a variety of negative consequences for public health, as well as other unfavorable environmental consequences.

The absorption area, on the other hand, was quite restricted, and black sludge (biomat) built extremely rapidly.

By expanding the surface area of the infiltration zone, the leaching bed was able to resolve this issue successfully. This makes it much easier for the effluent to be treated as it infiltrates the receiving soil and before it reaches the groundwater.

How to know if you have a failed cesspool

A cesspool does not have to be entirely clogged for you to notice that it is no longer operating correctly, contrary to common perception. Despite the fact that this is one of the most evident symptoms, it is conceivable that the soakaway pit is still collecting wastewater despite the fact that it is no longer in perfect operating condition. When checking your cesspool, there are a few things you should look for.

  • Most noticeable indicator of a malfunctioning sump is when it becomes overflowing and cannot retain any more wastewater (whether it is on the ground or within the home). This occurs when a stream, wetland, or drinking water well gets contaminated as a result of the pit’s operation. There is a problem when the liquid level in the septic tank is greater than the drain line that is linked to the cesspool. When the bottom of the sump dips lower than the water table, the sump effluent comes into direct contact with the groundwater (this is extremely hazardous and should be avoided at all costs)

A failed cesspool will contaminate the environment and may encourage the spread of viruses that cause a variety of ailments. Any indication of a system failure should be taken extremely seriously, and corrective action should be performed as soon as possible. Our recommendation is for a shock treatment, which is a means of injecting billions of bacteria into a cesspit by adding biological ingredients to the mixture. The bacteria will aid in the digestion of organic waste, allowing the system to return to its ideal functioning state as a result.

Should I replace my cesspool with a leaching bed?

Because it is a grandfathered right, the government will allow you to maintain your old cesspool as long as it is not harming the environment. It will be your obligation, however, to guarantee that the sump pit does not pollute groundwater in any manner. Having said that, it may be necessary to replace your old cesspool with a new septic system if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Your pit must be no more than 200 feet (or less) from a public water well, body of water, or any other source of drinking water. If your cesspool feeds non-residential facilities or if your house is converted into a multi-family housing, you may be required to install a septic system. If your cesspool overflows and pollutes the environment, contact a professional immediately.

How much does it cost to replace the cesspool?

The cost of replacing a cesspool with a new septic system is between $10,000 and $30,000 Canadian dollars. Sumps cannot be replaced with standard septic systems in all cases, though. It may be essential to build an advanced treatment system on tiny properties or those that are close to wells or other bodies of water. To further diminish the presence of fecal coliforms, you may need to employ a tertiary treatment system that includes a UV light. Advanced systems treat the system at a deeper level than standard systems.

You will be advised by an engineer on the sort of septic system that is most appropriate for your property.


If your home was constructed before to the 1970s, there is a good probability that you have a cesspool on your property. As long as the sump is located a reasonable distance away from a drinking water source (at least 200 feet) and is not harming the environment, you should have no need to be concerned. Of course, you must be vigilant in monitoring your system and ensuring that it is properly maintained in order to avoid any type of malfunction. In any case, it’s a good idea to prepare for the replacement of your old cesspool with a new septic system, which will provide better treatment of your sewage.

Tax Credit Program and Qualifying Cesspools

What exactly is Act 120? In accordance with Act 120, the cost of upgrading or converting a qualifying cesspool to a septic tank system or an aerobic treatment unit system, or the cost of connecting to a sewer system, is eligible for a temporary income tax credit. A taxpayer can claim a tax credit of up to $10,000 for each qualifying cesspool that they own or operate. A total of five years are allowed for tax credits to be taken advantage of. The tax credit is available beginning in tax year 2016 and expiring on December 31, 2020, in tax year 2020.

Any taxpayer who is not entitled to claim the credit in a given taxable year will be eligible to claim the credit in any of the taxable years following that year, from 2017 through 2020.

When do I have to submit my tax credit application? A tax credit application must be submitted to the Department of Health’s Wastewater Branch in order to be eligible for the tax credit. The application and certification forms, as well as the necessary instructions, are supplied below.

  • Instructions for claiming an income tax credit for a qualifying cesspool |.pdf|
  • Application for an Income Tax Credit for a Qualifying Cesspool |.pdf|
  • Qualifying Cesspool Certification Form |.pdf|

What exactly is a qualifying cesspool as defined by Acts 125 and 133 of the United States Congress? The following are examples of qualified cesspools: cesspools that are located within 500 feet of a coastline, perennial stream, wetland, or within the scope of a source water assessment program (two year time of travel from a cesspool to a public drinking water source). Cesspools with a big capacity that serve numerous houses or twenty or more people per day are prohibited under Act 133. Cesspools that qualify for exemption from certification are listed below.

Hawaii Kauai Maui, Molokai, and Oahu are the Hawaiian islands.

Cesspool conversion to Septic (Hilo, Pahoa: credit, how much, house) – Big Island – Hawaii (HI) -The Island of Hawaii

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Location: hi-low31 posts, read78,197timesReputation: 17
Has anyone converted their cesspool into a septic system? If so how much did it cost and who do you even call to get this done?I’m buying a family house that has a cesspool.Since House Bill 1244 was passed by the legislature (not sure if the Governor signed off on it?) stating that all private home cesspool systems must be converted to septic by 2050, I was wondering if anyone has already done this?What kind of cost am I looking at here? Were there any kinds of complications that arose?We were planning on possibly building a small unit on the property, but in order to get it permitted we would have to convert.
Location: Kahala11,456 posts, read15,326,823timesReputation: 5710
I don’t know what it costs, but you might be able to get a $10,000 tax credit to convert it.Tax breaks coming for cesspool conversion | Hawaii Tribune-HeraldThis story suggests $10,000 to installBill spells end to cesspools: Upgrade, conversion required by 2050 | Hawaii Tribune-Herald“It’s a lot more expensive work than a cesspool,” said Jay Walker, owner of J Walker Excavating, serving Pahoa and Hilo. A cesspool costs about $5,000-$7,000 to install, he said, whereas a septic system runs $8,000-$10,000, plus the cost of pumping the septic system out every so often.
Location: hi-low31 posts, read78,197timesReputation: 17
Quote:Originally Posted bywhtviper1I don’t know what it costs, but you might be able to get a $10,000 tax credit to convert it.Tax breaks coming for cesspool conversion | Hawaii Tribune-HeraldThis story suggests $10,000 to installBill spells end to cesspools: Upgrade, conversion required by 2050 | Hawaii Tribune-Herald“It’s a lot more expensive work than a cesspool,” said Jay Walker, owner of J Walker Excavating, serving Pahoa and Hilo. A cesspool costs about $5,000-$7,000 to install, he said, whereas a septic system runs $8,000-$10,000, plus the cost of pumping the septic system out every so often.Thanks!

Location: Na’alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado5,407 posts, read11,318,432timesReputation: 5886
As far as I can tell, this Bill was sent to the Governor on May 3, 2017 but hasn’t been signed into law yet.I’m just curious as to why you’d want to do this conversion now when it (apparently) won’t be required to be done for another 33 years.
Location: Kahala11,456 posts, read15,326,823timesReputation: 5710
Quote:Originally Posted byDreaming of HawaiiI’m just curious as to why you’d want to do this conversion now when it (apparently) won’t be required to be done for another 33 years.Check the last sentence of her original post.I’ve also got to think it helps with resale value.
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii10,910 posts, read21,780,521timesReputation: 10599
Yup, when building new, it has to be a septic system now.Frequently, any major additions require that the structure be brought up to current code.There’s also restrictions as to how many bedrooms per septic system (they don’t count bathrooms, just bedrooms) (and I think it’s five per the larger sized system) and how many septic systems can be installed in each lot depending on lot size.
Location: Austin, TX / Pahoa, HI97 posts, read116,470timesReputation: 184
Hi tam,I am in the process of doing this right now (currently waiting on final permits but have all bids and vendors lined up). The cost varies by type of system and location but can be anywhere from 10-20K.Process I have gone through so far:1. Engaged engineer to have the plans drawn up and submit for the permits (depending on the specifics of your site, you may be required to get an aerobic system which is more costly) – we worked with Paul Nash @ Atlas Engineering – he’s great!2.

Get bids, make vendor selection4.

Once permits are final, schedule the actual install including plumbing and electrical connection 6.

It was pretty easy so if anyone has questions about that, I can share some additional info.We started the process in January and our current ETA is end of September for completion.

If we hadn’t needed the variance, it would have been done by now.Feel free to reply or DM me if you have any more specific questions.T

Location: Middle of the Pacific468 posts, read517,709timesReputation: 459
I did a conversion 14 years ago on Kauai, cost close to $15k for design and engineering, installation.I highly recommend going with a concrete septic tank, or heavy duty fiberglass tank. Stay away from the polyethylene plastic tanks, they’re junk imo.
Location: Pahoa Hawaii2,082 posts, read5,198,903timesReputation: 2813
Get the biggest, (5 bedroom) tank you can get, they are not much more than a 2 bedroom model and give you much more options to add more bedrooms or a possible Ohana or second unit.
Location: Puna, Hawaii3,226 posts, read3,281,015timesReputation: 5498
This hasn’t come out in the wash yet, so I wouldn’t place wagers yet.

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