We’re investigating new alternatives for small-scale wastewater treatment—to help stop the daily leakage of 53 million gallons of sewage from cesspools across Hawaiʻi. We learn about microbes that help clean water, and microbes used to track the source of pollution into the ocean. We talk to engineers working to develop low-cost solutions made from local materials. And, we learn about the installation of off-the-shelf solutions, like self-contained aerobic treatment units. We start off at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology for the installation of the first incineration toilet in Hawaiʻi.
Learn more in our previous episodes Cesspool Issues Rising & Cesspool Contamination Revealed by Invasive Algae!
- Grade 5: Ecosystem cycling
- Activity: Compost
- Grades 6-12: Learn about viruses and bacteria and the “Properties of Life”
- Activity: Is It Alive?
- Grades 9-12: PBS Activity—Understanding your water: From source to tap and back
- Hawaiʻi Cesspool Problems and Solutions
- UH News: Don’t flush, burn it! Incineration toilet could solve cesspool problem
- UH News: Harmful staph, bacteria in Hilo Bay increase with rainfall runoff
- Civil Beat: Hawaii’s Cesspool Problem Continues To Bubble Up As EPA Cracks Down
- Hawaiʻi Business Magazine: Finally Tackling a Crappy Situation
- Ka Pili Kai: Cesspools in Paradise
Hawaiʻi Department of Health
- A Multi-state Regulation and Policy Survey of Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Upgrade Programs
- Published September 2019, written by Michael Mezzacapo
- US Environmental Protection Agency
Water Resources Research Center
- Wastewater Alternatives & Innovations — for Cinderella Toilets and more!
- On-site Sewage Disposal Systems in Hawaiʻi (Links to interactive maps)
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Kanesa Seraphin, Ph.D.