Waste Water

 Treatment Units

For the health of your Home and the Earth . . . 

The Need for Change

Wastewater (sewage) is generated from many daily activities such as washing clothes and dishes, preparing food, taking a bath or shower, washing our hands, and using the bathroom. But where does it go? Rarely do we stop to think about where our wastewater goes. 

In Hawai'i, there are two main "destinations" (more or less), Cesspools and Septic Tanks.

Cesspools are underground holes of raw human waste. There are over 90,000 cesspools being used in Hawai'i today. This untreated sewage is discharged directly into the ground, contaminating our ocean and streams, killing our coral reefs, and exposing our community to disease-causing pathogens and nitrates. Further, Large-capacity cesspools have been banned by the EPA since 2005, but Hawaii only began enforcing the ban in 2017, with the passage of Act 125, requiring the replacement of all cesspools in the Islands by 2050.


Septic tank-soil absorption systems are the most widely-used method of on-site domestic waste disposal. If properly designed, constructed, and operated septic tank systems have demonstrated an efficient and economical alternative of waste water treatment in Hawaii. However, because of their widespread use in unsuitable situations (areas prone to flooding, and/or sea level rise) they have also demonstrated high risk of contamination to ground and surface waters.


A Septic Systems and Aerobic Units vary. Diagrams not to scale.| Source: EPA.GOV

Q: is there a Viable solution for Hawai'i?

A: We think so, Meet

the Aerobic 

Treatment Unit

  • Although singulair ATU system is more expensive than a septic tank now.
    But this system is so much better for the Earth and
    We hope you will help us install as many as possible so we can bring the price down !

  • Every cesspool within the state of Hawaii will have to be replaced by the year 2049.
    We hope you will choose to use the best technology for our island home !

  • Advanced, energy - efficient technology that is easily operated and maintained
    Without complicated and expensive equipment.

  • All incoming wastewater is treated and returns nontoxic effluent to the environment within 24 hours.
    This system complies with the most stringent effluent criteria.

  • Eliminates odor and unsanitary conditions that septic tanks don’t ! 

What's the Difference?

Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are similar to standard septic systems in that they use natural processes to treat wastewater. But unlike conventional systems, ATUs also use oxygen to break down organic matter, much the same as municipal wastewater treatment systems, but in a scaled-down version.

Because ATUs decompose organic solids quickly, the wastewater leaving the system is cleaner. ATUs are useful in environmentally sensitive areas or locations that are less suitable for conventional or gravity flow septic systems, such as inappropriate soil conditions where the water table is too high to allow the drainfield to operate effectively.


In the News

Ocean Water

County to dig up old cesspool

September 13, 2015, 1:30 a.m.

By Michelle Iracheta | The Garden Island

KAPAA — The Department of Parks and Recreation plans to dig up and open an out-of-service cesspool that may be leaking bacteria into the water at Kapaa Beach Park.

“The abandoned cesspool at Kapaa Beach Park was exposed..."

Hawaii’s Cesspool Problem Continues To Bubble Up As EPA Cracks Down

EPA is targeting hundreds of the largest disposal pits but Hawaii has about 88,000 cesspools still in use.

KALAHEO, Kauai — A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announcement earlier this month that it was ordering 16 large capacity cesspools on Kauai to shut down has renewed public attention on the stubbornly high number of such mega-cesspools in Hawaii.


The Kauai announcement underscored the reality that, although EPA has forced closure of more than 3,600 large waste disposal pits since 2005, there are still nearly 1,400 of them in use in the islands. And while EPA inspectors target such cesspools on an ongoing basis, the agency concedes that it may take many more years before all of them are eliminated.


An LCC is considered to be any cesspool into which wastes...


Cesspools an ‘impending threat’ to waters

January 11, 2018

By Jessica Else | The Garden Island

LIHUE — Hawaii legislators were brought up to speed on cesspool replacement Wednesday during a briefing for the House and the Senate on the Department of Health’s cesspool report.


The report identifies 14 priority areas for cesspool replacement, and was released in late December, with three of them being on Kauai: in the Kapaa/Wailua area, Poipu/Koloa area, and Hanalei Bay.

The cost to upgrade all of the state’s 88,000 cesspools is estimated at $1.75 billion and state law currently requires their elimination by the year 2050.


Partnerships are the way that will be accomplished, according to the DOH report, which suggests a collaboration between state and county agencies.

“These issues are complex, involving access to municipal sewer systems, local geology...

Make Your Move Towards Sustainable Living

and Protecting Our Island Environment !


4270 Kilauea Rd.


Kilauea, HI 96754

(808) 738-6706

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Your information is not distributed beyond PAL Kaua'i; some information is provided to our partners.

For example, after you have completed applications for Solarize Kaua'i and ATU's.