Full Disinfection of Lahaina Wastewater Facility Proposed
By Wendy Osher
The County of Maui must fully disinfect all wastewater at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility under a proposed compliance order issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The county agreed to the proposed order on July 29, but it is still subject to a 30-day public comment period before it can be finalized.
EPA studies determined that treated wastewater discharged into the facility’s underground injection wells contains levels of coliform bacteria that could exceed federal standards. Under federal guidelines, the facility must meet standards to protect the drinking water aquifer in order to maintain it’s underground injection control permit.
Under the EPA order, the county will have to install an approved non-chlorine disinfection system at the facility by the end of December 2013. After that time, the injected water may not exceed the R-1 level for fecal coliform, which is the highest quality of reclaimed water specified under state regulations.
According to the EPA, the R-1 disinfection standards will ensure that bacteria will not contaminate the potential drinking water source or be released into nearby coastal waters. The additional treatment will also increase the supply of recycled wastewater available for reuse by the county.
Public comments can be submitted to the EPA Regional Administrator, attention of the Regional Hearing Clerk to: Regional Hearing Clerk, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street (ORC-1), San Francisco, CA 94105.
Comments should reference the docket number, UIC-09-2011-0002, and should be postmarked on or before Sept. 16, 2011.
Further comments can be made to Bryan Goodwin by: email to [email protected]; or by phone to (415) 972-3919.