2017 CReST Faculty Host Wastewater Workshop at Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Conference

Relevance: Aging and failing cesspools, increasingly large episodic storms, and rising groundwater present unprecedented challenges for wastewater management in Hawaiʻi. Concerns remain about the impacts of 90,000 existing on-site wastewater systems on Hawaiʻi’s beaches, aquatic resources, and community health.

Response: CReST faculty conducted a “Flushing Our Future” town hall workshop to connect and engage scholars, state and county agency managers, wastewater experts, community members, students, and decision-makers in an examination of the status of wastewater treatment in Hawaiʻi through a multidisciplinary lens.

Result: Over 200 attendees shared their knowledge, identified new and existing issues, and brainstormed solutions to wastewater management in the state. Topics of discussion included: 1) the difficulty in pinpointing sources of waste contamination; 2) the burden of wastewater infrastructure upgrade costs; 3) rising municipal water and sewer prices; 4) varying