Hawaii and Septic Situation Question

8 Replies

Weird niche question for those of you in Hawaii, but what is the septic situation out there like? I've heard that most of SFR's are still on cess pools, but I wanted to hear from native Hawaiians on what they thought about the situation for the state as a whole.

I am in California and we are mostly on municipal sewage, so I was wondering if there were any issues/things to look out for when investing in Hawaii. 


Cesspools will cease to exist by 2050. In the meantime, it is more localized. On Maui, we do have some county sewer but there still remains a good deal of cesspool and septic systems on residential properties. The county is starting to push anyone with a cesspool to convert to septic if they are applying for a building permit. Again, not mandatory but seems to be more common as the concern increases about the health issues related to cesspools.


Great info @Misa Kataoka ! Thanks. 

@Mark Waite I've heard the same. Is it common to see cess pools out there still and are there any companies that have alternative treatment units in the area?

@Kayla WongYes, it is common to see cesspools. Just more of the norm than the exception right now. The only other alternative is septic. We do have county sewer service but it is limited, for now, to the towns. Nothing to rural areas.

@Kayla Wong Also, something to look out for is if there are multiple units on one cesspool.  If you are obtaining financing the bank will not lend in this scenario.  One of the units will have to be converted to septic.  Just a heads up.   

If you're doing a flip, being forced by the county to convert from cesspool to septic can add anywhere from 20-30k to your budget, not including plans. Something to watch out for if you get flagged by inspectors. It's happened to me a couple times - now I know to look out for it some areas or just wholetail so I don't get involved in any rehab at all and mitigate the risk.

Sounds like a lot of poo

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