Maui News

Maui Council Member Johnson touts county’s new law promoting reclaimed and recycled water

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A newly enacted ordinance on Maui establishes rules to promote the use of reclaimed and recycled water in Maui County. Ordinance 5592, passed by the council as Bill 52, was signed into law in January.

Council Member Gabe Johnson said the ordinance is the result of a collaborative effort between the Maui County Council and Director of Environmental Management Shayne Agawa.

“This ordinance sets a realistic timeline to require that all county wastewater is disinfected to state R-1 water standards by 2039, a step toward ensuring that treated wastewater is safe to be reused within the environment,” Johnson said.

“While I am confident in our Department of Environmental Management’s ongoing actions to increase the capacity to recycle and reuse wastewater, documenting our commitment through this law is important,” said Johnson, who chairs the Agriculture, Diversity, Environment and Public Transportation Committee, which recommended passage of the bill.


“The public can be confident we will continue to make progress toward being better stewards of our water resources, regardless of who is in elective office for the county,” Johnson said in a news release.

This law increases the service area around R-1 water lines and will allow more customers to utilize recycled water, according to Johnson. Ordinance 5592 also establishes the county Water Use and Development Plan as a guiding document for the development of reclaimed water infrastructure and alternative water sources, encouraging the departments of water supply and environmental management to collaborate in maximizing efficient use of water resources, he said.

“Last year we saw multiple water shortages and severe drought,” Johnson said. “After the tragedies that occurred during the August fires, we now understand the importance of creating irrigated green spaces that can serve as fire breaks between wildland and urban interfaces.”


Johnson said Ordinance 5592 creates more avenues for the public to participate. He said it is “a step forward for the county in stewarding our water as a public trust resource.”


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