Health officials blame cesspools for contaminated water, but solution unclear

As reported on KHON2 News on January 10, 2018:

The Hawaii Department of Health is blaming 88,000 cesspools statewide for high levels of bacteria in the water.

...In Kahaluu, officials found 740 nearby cesspools contributed to sewage contaminated surface waters, where there have been reports of skin infections.

The health department told lawmakers that federal guidelines state all cesspools, including residential, must be eliminated by 2050. It will cost $1.75 billion.

But the DOH says there are a lot of unknowns, which don't sit well with lawmakers.

'What they admitted is they're not sure how bad the problem is,' said Rep. Jarrett Keohokalole, who represents Kahaluu, Kaneohe, and Waiahole. 'I don't know what's worse, what we do know, or what we don't know. It's pretty clear we need to come together and figure out a solution because we've been ignoring it for too long.'

Keohokalole says he will be introducing legislation to fix the issue.

The health department says it will be meeting with the community to come up with solutions.

You can check the quality of your home's drinking water online.

Input your address and the Board of Water Supply's website will first tell you if your water's safe, and gives you the option to view the full report.

You can view test results, what kind of contaminants have been found in your water, and where your water is coming from."

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