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Hawaii Wastewater Treatment (18-HI-c)

The Wastewater Branch administers the statewide engineering and financial functions relating to water pollution control, municipal and private wastewater treatment works program, individual wastewater systems program and the water pollution control revolving fund program. The various program activities include the review and approval of all new wastewater systems including septic tanks, monitoring of all existing wastewater systems including cesspools, implementation of the planning, design and construction of several major wastewater treatment works projects annually including review for approval of facilities plans, construction plans and specifications, engineering contracts, payment requests, construction contract change orders; preparation of environmental assessments, grant awards, engineering and scientific contracts, construction, final project and operation and maintenance inspection reports and audit resolutions; and tracking the repayment of loans. The Wastewater Branch provides administrative support to the State board Operating Personnel in Wastewater Treatment Facilities. The Wastewater Branch consists of two sections: the Planning/Design and Construction/Operations Sections. See Wastewater Branch webpage.

Wastewater Treatment Process

18-HI-c.1 to 18-HI-c.2 - Is there a non-exempt wastewater facility under HRS Section 11-62-50

H.R.S. 11-62-50 exempts:

(1) Individual wastewater systems (e.g.,cesspools, septic tanks, and household aerobic units);

(2) Land on which exceptional quality wastewater sludge is applied;

(3) Land application or land placement operations involving only exceptional quality wastewater sludge;

(4) Operations, such as businesses, that haul only exceptional quality wastewater sludge; or

(5) Non-domestic wastewater treatment works unless the deemed necessary by the director.

18-HI-c.3 - Is discharged water pollution in excess of applicable standards according to HRS 342D

H.R.S. 342D requires a variance to contain a complete and detailed description of present conditions, how present conditions do not conform to standards, and such other information as the department may by rule prescribe.

18-HI-c.4 - Initiate Variance from Pollution Control Process

Variance from Pollution Control:

18-HI-c.5 - Will wastewater sludge be treated for land application

If the wastewater will be treated, then the appropriate permit is the Individual Wastewater Management Permit Application. There may be other permits for disposal methods other than land application.

If the proposed treatment works discharge into any State waters, complete the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit (See Appendix S-8).

NPDES Permit:

If the proposed treatment works discharges into an underground injection well, complete the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit (See Appendix S-11).

Underground Injection Control Permit:

18-HI-c.6 – Plans Prepared in Accordance with HAR 11-62, Subchapter 2

Plans to build a treatment works shall comply with the basic wastewater treatment criteria set in Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Subchapter 2.

"Treatment works" means any treatment unit and its associated collection system and disposal system, excluding individual wastewater systems.

18-HI-c.7 to 18-HI-c.8 - Review Completed Materials

The director notifies the proposed owner/operator in writing that the plans are complete or incomplete, whether the facility, operation, or land is covered under HAR 11-62, or whether an individual permit is required.

If the department notifies the applicant of a deficiency in the application, the applicant must respond within 30 days or the approval to construct will be denied.

18-HI-c.9 – Approval to Construct

The director notifies the proposed owner/operator in writing that the plans for the treatment works are in compliance with applicable provisions of Chapter 11-62, HAR. DOH issues an approval to construct the treatment works at this time.

18-HI-c.10 - Individual Wastewater Management Permit Application Form and required supporting documents

The Individual Wastewater Management Permit packet must be completed according to instructions in order to process the application.

HAR §11-62-50(d) reads: Owners or operators or both shall obtain an individual permit for their:

(1) Treatment works that generate wastewater sludge that is directly land applied;

(2) If different from the generator, facilities or operations that treat or prepare wastewater sludge that is land applied or surface disposed;

(3) Treatment works not located in the State but generate wastewater sludge that is directly land applied in the State;

(4) Facilities or operations not located in the State that treat or prepare wastewater sludge that is land applied or surface disposed in the State;

(5) Land used for the surface disposal of wastewater sludge; and

(6) Other facilities, operations, or land, if directed by the director.

The permit fee is $1000 made payable to the State of Hawaii.

18-HI-c.11 - Review completed materials

The review should take between two days and two weeks. Once the review is completed the Hawaii Department of Health Clean Water Branch will notify the applicant in writing. If there are issues with the processing of the application, the applicant should contact the Wastewater Branch’s Planning & Design Section Engineer at telephone (808) 586-4294. See Appendix S-7.

18-HI-c.12 - Are the materials complete

The application cannot be processed without all required information.

18-HI-c.13 - Individual Permit

The permit will be granted in writing with any necessary conditions or monitoring requirements.

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