Update 1/10/22:

Our Final Report has been submitted to the University of Hawaii and should be in the hands of the Hawai‘i State Legislature, Hawai‘i State Department of Health, & the Cesspool Conversion Working Group by now. Although is document is not publically available yet, the title is STATE-WIDE ASSESSMENT OF WASTEWATER POLLUTION INTRUSION INTO COASTAL REGIONS OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

5/1/20:  We are currently underway with a UH / DOH joint effort to better understand the impacts of wastewater in Hawaii’s marine environment.  Specifically, this work is intended to help the state prioritize areas for immediate cesspool upgrades. Act 132 passed by the Hawaii State Legislature during the 2018 regular session directed the University of Hawaii, Water Resources Research Center in consultation with the Department of Health to “conduct a comprehensive statewide study of sewage contamination in nearshore marine areas”.  This study will accomplish this mandate using three approaches: 1) Inventory the sources of nearshore sewage pollution, estimate the amount of sewage discharge and the distribution of this discharge through the State of Hawaii; 2) verify the discharge of sewage pollution using nitrogen analysis of the nearshore algae; and 3) evaluate the impact of sewage pollution by comparing the benthic community makeup in sewage impacted areas with nearby areas impacted by agriculture only or with little land based pollution impact.