Wastewater Branch

Mission Statement

The Wastewater Branch administers the statewide engineering functions relating to water pollution control, municipal and private wastewater treatment works program, individual wastewater systems program and the water pollution control revolving fund program. The Wastewater Branch’s mission is to protect public health and the environment.

New    Cesspools in Hawai’i   

Cesspools are substandard systems. They don’t treat wastewater, they merely dispose of it. Cesspools concentrate the wastewater in one location, often deep within the ground and in direct contact with groundwater, causing groundwater contamination. This groundwater flows into drinking water wells, streams and the ocean, harming public health and the environment, including beaches and coral reefs.

New    Revised Cesspool Rules Description, Proposed Revised Chapter 11-62 Amendments and Revised Rationale

On September 1, 2014, the Department of Health (DOH) proposed revisions to its Wastewater Systems Rules that will update the regulation of cesspools in Hawaii. To ensure that everyone had an opportunity to be heard, DOH extended the public comment period by 15 extra days and conducted five public hearings on the Neighbor Islands. We have received and reviewed over 230 public comments. Please refer to the Revised Cesspool Rules Description document below for details on DOH proposed revisions. Also provided below for your information is DOH’s response to comments and proposed chapter 11-62 rules in ramseyer format. The proposed rules are currently being reviewed by other State agencies, stakeholders and the Governor’s office. At this time, we are unable to provide a timeline when the rules will be promulgated. Should you have any questions, please contact the Wastewater Branch at (808) 586-4294.

New    Proposed Chapter 11-62 Amendments, Rationale and Public Notice

The Department of Health (DOH) has initiated the process to accept written comments and hold a public hearing on proposed changes to Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Chapter 11-62, Wastewater Systems.

Proposed changes include prohibiting the installation of new cesspools and requiring connections or upgrades of existing cesspools to septic systems within 180 days after sale of property. A list of all proposed changes may be found in our Rationale document.

A public hearing will be held on Oahu at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 2, 2014, in the 5th Floor Conference Room of 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu. Video Conference Center Sites will be open from 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 2, 2014, at the following locations:

Kauai: Kauai District Health Office, Conference Room, 3040 Umi Street, Lihue, 96766
Maui: Department of Health, Conference Room, 210 Imi Kala Street, Suite 204 (in Millyard), Wailuku, 96793
Maui 2nd site: Wailuku Health Center, 121 Mahalani St., Conference Room 105, Wailuku, 96793
Hilo: Hawaii District Health Office – Hilo, Conference Room, 1582 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, 96720

Persons desiring to speak are asked to submit two (2) copies of their statement before or at the hearing. Written statements will also be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 17, 2014, at the Wastewater Branch, Environmental Management Division, State Department of Health, 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 309, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814 4920.

The Public Comment period has been extended to Friday, October 17, 2014.

In addition, DOH will be holding public informational meetings on the Neighbor Islands to discuss the proposed administrative rule changes at the following locations.  Written comments will be accepted by DOH at these meetings.

  •  KAUAI: Monday, Oct. 6, at 5 p.m. at the Kauai District Health Office conference room, 3040 Umi St., Lihue
  •  KONA: Thursday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. at the West Hawaii Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Kailua-Kona
  •  MOLOKAI: Friday, Oct. 10, at 5 p.m. at the Kaunakakai Gymnasium at 180 Ala Malama St., Kaunakakai
  •  MAUI: Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Council Chambers, 8th Floor of Kalana O Maui Building., 200 S. High St., Wailuku
  •  HILO: Thursday, Oct. 16, at 5 p.m., Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi St., Suite 1, Hilo

For more information on the community meetings schedule, contact the Wastewater Branch at (808) 586-4294.

Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program

The Clean Water State Revolving Program provides low interest loans for the construction of point source and non-point source water pollution control projects.

Construction and Operations Section

Program activities under the Construction and Operations Section include the monitoring and enforcement of all existing wastewater systems, implementation of the construction of several major wastewater treatment works projects annually including review for approval of construction plans and specifications, engineering contracts, construction contract change orders; preparation of engineering and scientific contracts; developing construction, final project and operation and maintenance inspection reports.

Planning and Design Section

The Planning and Design Section is responsible for the review and approval of planning/environmental documents, wastewater project plans and specifications, final construction inspections of wastewater projects, and assisting in enforcement activities in the joint Federal-County-State Wastewater Construction Grants Program, the State Revolving Fund Program, and for regulating wastewater systems in accordance with Administrative Rule, Chapter 11-62, entitled, “Wastewater Systems”.

Click Here to file for an Individual Wastewater System (IWS) Online.

Statewide Wastewater Operator Training Center

The Statewide Wastewater Operator Training Center (SWOTC) develops and provides training to wastewater treatment plant operators and maintenance plant personnel to improve plant compliance and to optimize wastewater treatment effectiveness, efficiency and reliability.

The SWOTC works with the Board of Certification to implement the Operator Certification Program that is established by Chapter 11-61.


Chapter 11-62 rules, and guidelines and forms for the Animal Waste, Biosolids/Treatment Works, Individual Wastewater Systems, and Wastewater Reuse Programs are found here.

Draft Water Quality Plan

DOH is in the process of drafting its updated Water Quality Plan, which is an important component of the Hawaii Water Plan.  The draft Water Quality Plan provides information on DOH’s ongoing water quality work across many of its different programs, and describes goals and priority actions.  The Plan is currently available at www.health.hawaii.gov/water, and we welcome your comments and feedback.  The comment period closes at 5:00 p.m. on October 17, 2014.  Please send all comments to WQPComments@doh.hawaii.gov.


Phone: (808) 586-4294
Fax: (808) 586-4300

Wastewater Branch
Environmental Management Division
Hawaii State Department of Health
919 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 309
Honolulu, HI 96814-4920