An agreement has been reached between Maui County and the US Environmental Protection Agency, requiring the full disinfection of wastewater at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
Treated wastewater that is discharged into the facility’s underground injection wells contains levels of coliform bacteria that could exceed federal standards, according to the EPA.
Permits for the facility’s underground injection control operation require that federal standards be met to protect the drinking water aquifer.
The negotiated order was approved by the county in July. It requires the installation of a non-chlorine disinfection system at the facility by the end of December 2013.
After that time, the injected wastewater may not exceed the state’s R-1 level (the highest quality of reclaimed water specified in Hawaii) for fecal coliform.
The EPA states that treating all of the wastewater at Lahaina to those standards ensures that pathogens will not contaminate the aquifer, or be released into nearby coastal waters.
The additional treatment is also expected to increase the supply of recycled wastewater available for reuse by the county.
*** Posted by Wendy Osher; Supporting information courtesy US EPA.