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 Building in Puna
 1000 ft from public well
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Hunt Stoddard
Da Kine

151 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2012 :  18:07:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm about to have my lot cleared and a cesspool put in, but have run into some stipulation about not being within a thousand feet of a public well (?) I'm on 8th off Kaloli so I don't see how that can apply. Anyone else have experience with this?

whalesong
Da Kine

USA
392 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2012 :  18:15:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm on 8th and Paradise, have cesspool 15' away from the house. It's passed the final. No neighbors though with water well.
http://www.honoluludpp.org/planning/researchstats.asp
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Hunt Stoddard
Da Kine

151 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2012 :  18:26:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Supposedly this only applies to "public" wells in HPP. Are there even any public wells in HPP?
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Kapohocat
Punatic

USA
4698 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2012 :  08:52:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hunt, go ask SOH DOH where the nearest public well is. I do not believe there are any public wells in HPP. Usually people in some areas of Black Sands run into this issue.

Did they actually stop you, or does it just say "do not dig within 1000 ft of a public well" as their disclaimer?

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Cagary
Da Kine

USA
318 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2012 :  13:32:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you do find your property is within 1000 ft of a public well, you'll have to install an aerobic septic system. They are more expensive to install and maintain, but at least you can build a home on your property.

http://inspectapedia.com/septic/altaerobic.htm
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Rob Tucker
Kama'aina

6862 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2012 :  18:32:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Public wells are generally uphill (mauka) and in Puna that would generally mean mauka of Hwy 130. The pumped water is stored in large water tanks and gravity fed to users below. It would be unusual for a public well to be anywhere even remotely near the shore. The cost of pumping uphill is too high and the water lens is too thin.
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Kapohocat
Punatic

USA
4698 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2012 :  16:09:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Aint that the truth! Cesspool - under $3000 at very most, Aerobic - over $15K at very least. I know, we do have to go with aerobic.

I would love to go compost with all the new versions - composting toilets for a 3 bedroom run about $3000 del to driveway!

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ericlp
Punatic

China
1407 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2012 :  23:32:14  Show Profile  Visit ericlp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't know... But with all the cess pools draining everywhere in puna, I wouldn't want to drink from any well... but I guess that's just me.

Cat, check out this book. It's amazing. http://www.amazon.com/The-Humanure-Handbook-Composting-Edition/dp/0964425831/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1332840920&sr=8-4
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Rob Tucker
Kama'aina

6862 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  07:32:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The PCDP calls for the eventual elimination of cesspools in Puna. Who knows when of if that will occur. It's really amazing that in 2012 it is still legal for 19th century sanitary methods.
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Hunt Stoddard
Da Kine

151 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  18:41:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
@Kapohocat: I haven't yet determined the exact nature of the holdup, but I'll post it when I have.

@Rob Tucker: I agree about it being an antiquated sewage method. I'm not sure how much worse it is from plain septic though. As most people know, lower HPP does have private wells, although I don't know why people choose to go that route instead of catchment. Maybe it doesn't rain enough in lower HPP?

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Wao nahele kane
Punatic

USA
1035 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  20:05:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Aerobic septic vs. a cesspool would typically be two very different systems in most land regions of the Earth, however, thatís not the case here in Puna and itís a rather unique situation relative to the rest of the world.
Typically and more often than not a cesspool dug in dirt would be considered an anaerobic system because the solids are trapped within an airless chamber (A chamber deprived of oxygen/air) and left to sit creating an anaerobic environment. Here in the Puna area (predominately speaking) there are no differences between the two systems of an aerobic septic and a cesspool chipped through basalt lava flows as such a cesspool will act no differently than an aerobic system would with regard to the soil leeching attributes and the aerobic attributes. The reason being; there is a vast network of lava tubes and connective minor passageways that supply air throughout the lava flows at any given depth to sea level. A cesspool in Puna is (relatively speaking) an aerobic chamber and not like the average cesspool on the mainland dug in dirt creating an anaerobic chamber.
The reason for the bans on them here thus far is due to 3 things, concentration (small lots), high volume output (multifamily and municipal) or shoreline proximity (systems too close to the ocean). Those 3 things may result in problems, so to be safe, they were banned, otherwise they could have banned them all and why notÖ there arenít all that many large parcels. Thereís a reason why they werenít banned.
The aerobic cesspool works fine here in low volume non concentrated areas and may even be better than an aerobic septic system but in concentrated situations an aerobic septic system offers a greater margin of controls with regard to the effluent discharges into the soil and a collective of the anaerobic solids build up that can be pumped out into a truck from the septic tank and processed without getting into the ground system overloading it in such concentrated volumes. In the end, the discharges are pretty much the same thing but the ground can only handle so much at a time in a given area. Large parcel single family aerobic cesspools are not banned if on one acre parcels or greater and not near the ocean because the ground can easily handle the demand.

Cesspools were one of my concerns before moving out here but since then finding out a cesspool in lava is not the same as a cesspool in dirt, the issue is no longer on my bitch list. The EPA has already done what was necessary and there are no problems now as long as the current rules are adhered to. I can sleep well knowing our cesspool isn't harming anything.
E ho'a'o no i pau kuhihewa.

Edited by - Wao nahele kane on 03/27/2012 21:43:31
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Kapohocat
Punatic

USA
4698 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2012 :  16:31:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rob Tucker

The PCDP calls for the eventual elimination of cesspools in Puna. Who knows when of if that will occur. It's really amazing that in 2012 it is still legal for 19th century sanitary methods.



There are many things that can be acceptable on small scales - it is the large scale items where it goes awry.

Just a simple thing like people going to a shoreline area across private land - when its one or two a week, no big deal. When Big Island Revealed publishes it and 1000's do it each month, it's a big deal.
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Daniel
Da Kine

USA
425 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2012 :  10:11:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wao Nahele Kane hit it right on the head. Cess pools really aren't a problem. As for the 1000 foot rule I believe that is not current.

Daniel R Diamond
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