Mayor Wants to Resurrect Recycled Water Program
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today announced his commitment to resurrecting Maui County’s longtime water reuse program. The program had been put on hold due to pending litigation involving the Department of Environmental Management’s permitted use of injection wells in West Maui.
County officials say, “In February, the US Supreme Court agreed that hearing Maui County’s case is the best means of resolving a current conflict in the way the nation’s appellate courts are applying the federal Clean Water Act.” The Supreme Court may take the case up as early as October.
“With the end of this case in sight, and the likelihood of prevailing on the merits, my administration has committed to implementing smart water reuse projects so we don’t waste a valuable resource by flushing it down injection wells,” Mayor Victorino said.
Deputy Corporation Counsel Richelle Thomson said: “If the Ninth Circuit ruling were to stand, there could be a violation of the federal Clean Water Act with civil fines of more than $53,000 per day and possible criminal prosecution if there were a detectable connection between a water pollution source and the ocean. This means anyone with an injection well, cesspool or septic system, or even a user of recycled water, could face possible civil or criminal liability.”
As part of its fiscal 2020 budget deliberations, the Maui County Council is currently reviewing the following Victorino administration recycled water project proposals:
West Maui recycled water reuse expansion, $13.5 million in construction costs in fiscal 2020. This project would design and create a pressurized recycled water distribution system, including a new tank/reservoir, force main and other distribution system upgrades.
Wailuku-Kahului recycled water pump station, $600,000 for design in fiscal 2020 and $6 million for construction in fiscal 2022. This project would design and construct a station to pump recycled water to potential agricultural and other users in the Central Valley.
Wailuku-Kahului recycled water force main, $600,000 for design in fiscal 2018, $500,000 for land acquisition in fiscal 2020 and $13.5 million for construction in fiscal 2021. This project would design and construct a recycled water force main to convey water from the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility to the Central Maui/Waikapu area for agricultural or landscape irrigation use or deposit in soil aquifer treatment basins to eliminate injection well usage at the Kahului reclamation facility.
Kihei in-plant pump station upgrades, $750,000 for construction. This project would upgrade both the Kihei in-plant lift station No. 2 and the recycled water pump station. The project includes replacing pumps, piping and the access hatch of the left station; replacing pumps and control equipment for the recycled water distribution system; and renovation of various in-plant valve vaults.