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EPA Resolves Large Capacity Cesspool Case with Brennecke’s Beach Broiler

Release Date: 11/13/2012
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Poipu restaurant replaces own cesspools, aids County of Kauai with wastewater project

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resolved an enforcement action against Lealani Corp. and Poipu Inn, Inc., owners of Brennecke’s Beach Broiler for failing to close two large capacity cesspools in Poipu, Kauai.

The company will pay a $47,455 fine to the EPA, and has closed and replaced its two large capacity cesspools. In addition, the company paid for and completed a supplemental environmental project costing over $500,000 to connect the County of Kauai’s restrooms at Poipu Beach Park to the Poipu Wastewater Plant.

The County’s beach park septic system was not in violation of any federal, state or county rules, but the project to replace the septic system was undertaken as the system only provides basic treatment of sewage, is located close to shallow coastal waters, and represents a potential source of contamination.

“We appreciate the initiative taken by Brennecke’s to provide beachgoers with improved wastewater treatment at the Poipu Beach Park,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA will continue to pursue violators who fail to close their large cesspools to protect Hawaii’s vital coastal water resources.”

A large capacity cesspool discharges untreated sewage from multiple dwellings, or a non-residential location that serves 20 or more people per day. EPA regulations prohibited new large capacity cesspool construction after April 2000 and required closure of existing large cesspools as of April 2005. The regulations do not apply to single-family homes connected to their own individual cesspools or to non-residential cesspools that do not have the capacity to serve 20 or more people.

Cesspools, which are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state, discharge raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and other contaminants can pollute groundwater, streams and the ocean.  Large capacity cesspools are used by restaurants, hotels, office complexes, and multiple dwellings, such as duplexes, apartments and condominiums, to dispose their sanitary waste.

For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/water/groundwater/uic-hicesspools.html

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