Hawaii County work on major upgrades to wastewater treatment plant continues

Nov. 28, 2016
A $100M upgrade to the Kealakehe sewer plant would allow treated wastewater to be used to irrigate crops in North Kona.

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII, NOVEMBER 28, 2016 -- Hawaii County officials are working on a wastewater project that could be one of the most expensive ever in the area.

West Hawaii Today reports the $100 million upgrade to the Kealakehe sewer plant would allow treated wastewater to be used to irrigate crops in North Kona.

The plant's effluent currently pours into a sump near the Kealakehe Police Station, and goes largely unused. The proposed plans would capture and treat this wastewater for reuse in areas throughout the county, but before the upgrades can begin, a $23 million sludge removal project --complicated by the need to replace liners at three of the plant's lagoons -- needs to be completed.

The upgrades are still in the planing stages, but consist of two stages. The first stage, including a soil aquifer treatment pond and a filtration system to remove phosphorous from the effluent, is estimted at 54 million. The next stage, estimated at $50 million, would consist of a distribution project to install reuse pipes from the sewer plant to parlks and gold courses in the area.

Read more here.