Several Ma‘alaea condominiums are under enforcement action from the state Department of Health to rebuild their wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Cost estimates are up to one million dollars each.
Maui County recently lost its lawsuit on appeal against the federal EPA under the Clean Water Act. The injection wells in Ka‘anapali were proven to be causing ocean pollution. In the decision the Court found that pumping sewer effluent into the water table has the same end result as pumping effluent directly into the ocean. Injection wells all over the islands are coming under increasing scrutiny.
Every condominium and business in Ma‘alaea uses injection wells to dispose of treated wastewater. If it is demonstrated that Ma‘alaea injection wells are causing ocean pollution, all properties would likely be forced to seek disposal alternatives, even if recent investments were made to upgrade treatment plants. It may be more economical to consider a community (regional) solution.
Based on the responses to a recent survey of Ma‘alaea AOAO properties, MVA will facilitate a Ma`alaea Town Meeting on Friday, October 5th 5:00 PM, PWF Classroom, at the Harbor Shops to hear speakers on the changing regulatory climate; impacts of our wastewater treatment systems on Ma‘alaea Bay; and the feasibility of a regional wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). MVA is acting as a resource and information conduit and has no position on the issue. We encourage all property owners and AOAO officers to attend.