THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO WASTEWATER SYSTEMS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the department of health and department of business, economic development, and tourism receive approximately $1,100,000 in annual federal grants through the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990. The legislature further finds that this funding is contingent on the State taking measures to address and minimize polluted runoff, including runoff from on-site sewage facilities.
Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Minimize the polluted runoff created by failing individual wastewater systems in the State by establishing a program to oversee their inspection and repair of individual wastewater systems at the time of an attached property's transfer or sale; and
(2) Remove the limitation on specific types of wastewater systems to which cesspools must be upgraded or converted, and instead requires a cesspool to be upgraded or converted to a wastewater system approved by the department of health, prior to January 1, 2050.
SECTION 2. Chapter 342D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part IV to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§342D- Time of transfer wastewater system inspection program. (a) There is established within the department the time of transfer wastewater system inspection program to oversee the inspection and repair of any individual wastewater system at the time of sale or transfer of ownership of residential real property that is attached to the individual wastewater system.
(b) This section and any rules promulgated to implement this section shall not apply to:
(1) A transfer between joint tenants or tenants in common;
(2) A transfer made to a spouse, child, or parent; or
(3) A transfer made between spouses resulting from a decree of dissolution of marriage, a decree of legal separation, or a property settlement agreement that is incidental to such decrees.
(c) Following an inspection, the inspection form and any related reports shall be provided to the department.
(d) If an individual wastewater system fails inspection, the system shall be repaired or replaced within one year by the current property owner or by the prospective property owner with written agreement, to meet the design and construction requirements adopted by the department.
(e) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to implement this section.
(f) As used in this section, "individual wastewater system" means facilities, such as septic systems, aerobic treatment units, and cesspools, that are not connected to a sewer and are used and designed to dispose of:
(1) No more than one thousand gallons per day of domestic wastewater; or
(2) Greater than one thousand gallons per day of domestic wastewater from buildings having highly variable flows."
SECTION 3. Section 342D-72, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
Cesspools; mandatory upgrade, conversion, or connection. (a)
Prior to January 1, 2050, every cesspool in the State, excluding
cesspools granted exemptions by the director of health pursuant to subsection (b),
(1) Upgraded or converted
to a [
septic system or aerobic treatment unit system;] department-approved
wastewater system; or
(2) Connected to a sewerage system.
(b) The director of health may grant exemptions from the requirements of subsection (a) to property owners of cesspools that apply for an exemption and present documentation showing a legitimate reason that makes it infeasible to upgrade, convert, or connect the cesspools. For the purposes of this subsection, a legitimate reason shall include but not be limited to:
(1) Small lot size;
(2) Steep topography;
(3) Poor soils; or
(4) Accessibility issues.
As used in this section[
: "Aerobic treatment unit
system" means an individual wastewater system that consists of an aerobic treatment
unit tank, aeration device, piping, and a discharge method that is in
accordance with rules adopted by the department relating to household aerobic
units. "Cesspool"], "cesspool"
means an individual wastewater system consisting of an excavation in the ground
whose depth is greater than its widest surface dimension, which receives untreated
wastewater, and retains or is designed to retain the organic matter and solids
discharged into it, but permits the liquid to seep through its bottom or sides
to gain access to the underground geographic formation.
"Septic system" means
an individual wastewater system that typically consists of a septic tank,
piping, and a drainage field where there is natural biological decontamination
as wastewater discharged into the system is filtered through soil.]"
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Individual Wastewater System Inspection; Sale or Transfer of Property; Cesspool Conversion
Establishes the time of transfer wastewater system inspection program in the Department of Health to oversee the inspection and repair of any individual wastewater system at the time of sale or transfer of residential real property attached to the wastewater system. Excludes certain sales or transfers. Removes the limitation on specific types of wastewater systems to which cesspools must be upgraded or converted, and instead requires a cesspool to be upgraded or converted to a wastewater system approved by the department of health, prior to 1/1/2050. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.