Cesspool Issues Rising

We’re learning about the link between cesspools, ground water, and the ocean. Research shows direct connections from cesspools to contamination in our groundwater and nearshore environment. Hawaiʻi has more than 88,000 cesspools, discharging over 50 million gallons of waste each day. And, many of the cesspools are concentrated in low-lying coastal zones—making these areas extremely vulnerable to leaking cesspools and damage from chemicals, disease, and excess nutrients.

Hawaii’s cesspool maps, coupled with researcher findings of high nutrients, pharmaceuticals, and fecal contamination are helping to make vital determinations about the most critical areas for upgrading cesspools. Working with communities to develop and implement wastewater treatment plans effective for the land characteristics and human use patterns is the next step. As we work toward better wastewater management, continuing to monitor water quality is also vital to informing ocean users and ensuring public health.

Watch the trailer for Season 7, Episode 6 on Vimeo or on YouTube.

Full Episode

Watch the episode on YouTube with archived researcher comments from our live-chat on Wednesday July 15th, 2020.

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Contact information:
Kanesa Seraphin, Ph.D.
kanesa@hawaii.edu

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