On November 1, 2006 HRI transferred operations of the Laie Water Reclamation Facility and collection system to the City and County of Honolulu. The transfer provides significant benefits and opportunities to the community and the City.
Regional sewage collection, treatment and disposal systems benefit public health and safety, and the environment. To date, expansion of the wastewater collection system has removed hundreds of existing individual wastewater systems, most of them aged cesspools, and roughly 90 percent of Laie's wastewater is being treated at a tertiary level - a level higher than most treatment facilities in the state - producing reusable effluent. In addition, most homes in Laie now utilize a new, low-pressure technology in wastewater collection that reduces the high inflow and infiltration typically found in traditional gravity flow sewer systems, adding environmental and public health and safety benefits at lower costs. The remaining unsewered areas will have an opportunity to connect to the collection system that is currently being built by HRI and will ultimately be acquired and funded by the City.
The cooperative agreement between the City and HRI forms a model private-public partnership that implements ideal technology for low-lying coastal areas and provides wastewater collection and treatment service at a significant lower capital cost. The City will shortly receive ownership of a tertiary plant and a new collection system. HRI will exit a utility service, typically operated by government, and customers of the system will pay municipal rates for wastewater service - as opposed to the higher rates they would have likely paid had the system continued in private ownership.
Overall, the expansion of the system and the transfer to the City is a win for the City, for the community, and for HRI. See the News & Events story of November 1, 2006 for more information.