KEALAKEHE — Hawaii County wastewater experts hope to have the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant upgraded and able to produce quality, reusable water in the next three years.
Source: Upgrades at wastewater treatment plant are expected in next 3 years | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/upgrades-wastewater-treatment-plant-are-expected-next-3-years).
Accessed on 27 September 2016, 19:15 hrs, UTC.
Reporter: Cameron Miculka (“West Hawaii Today”).
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Plans for the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant would enable the facility to produce what is called “R-1” water, which is “considered suitable enough for irrigating food crops. The recycled water won’t connect with any drinking water sources.”
Proposed sites for the upgraded water treatment facility include the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center, the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, and the Kohanaiki development. Treated water from the facility could be used to irrigate land surrounding the current plant.
Even with the four sites, consultant Craig Lekven says “there’s still going to be plenty of water that can’t be used as a result of fluctuations in water use…that presents a need to manage unused water.”
Lekven adds that under the current proposal, excess wastewater would be channeled into what is called “subsurface flow wetlands” around the perimeter of the treatment facility. After preliminary treatment, wastewater would “flow into the constructed wetlands, which act as a natural treatment system designed to pull nutrients from the wastewater, effectively ‘polishing’ the water.”
Lekven says once the wastewater is “polished”, it “will go through soil aquifer treatment, with the water eventually making its way through the ground.”
Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, the director of Hawaii County’s Department of Environmental Management, says the proposed upgrade would cost around $54 million.
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