Funding for planning and design of a wastewater collection system at Puako

Aloha y’all,

I just got some great news from Representative David Tarnas. The Legislature will include funding in the State Budget for planning and design of a wastewater collection system at Puakō. This is an outstanding affirmation that our lawmakers understand how important our public trust clean coastal waters are for all of us in West Hawai’i and across the state.

Hi Chad,

Great news!  We are able to include funding in the State Budget for planning and design of a wastewater collection system at Puako! 

The funding comes with a requirement for the County to provide matching funds equaling ten percent of the state funds appropriated for the project. 

Once plans and design are complete, and an agreement is in place with a wastewater treatment plant to take the wastewater, then we’ll need to go back to the legislature and request funding to construct the system. 

Then individual homeowners would need to pay for their own connection from their home to the sewer.

The description and amounts of funding in the State CIP budget are as follows:

Project Name:  Clean Water for Reefs Puako Hawaii

Description:  Plans and Design for a sewer system for a priority cesspool replacement area, provided that the County of Hawaii shall provide matching funds equaling ten percent of the State funds appropriated for the purpose of this project.

FY 20:  $200,000  (General Obligation Bond funding) + $40,000 (County Funds)

FY 21:  $1,300,000 (General Obligation Bond funding) + $260,000 (County Funds)

There’s lots more work to do on this important project. But, this is a great step forward. 

Please forward this information to all your contacts in Puako.  People can contact me for more information.  Thanks!

Aloha, David

Representative David A. Tarnas

District 7 – North Kohala, South Kohala, North Kona

Hawaii State Capitol

415 S. Beretania Street, Room 328

Honolulu, HI 96813


Rep. Tarnas is open and available to share more or answer you questions and can be reached at

This is the budget in HB 1259 SD1 CD1 for those who are tracking bills.

I’m very excited about this important step because of the potential for a design that can address wastewater at the most appropriate scale for the beaches, community, and reefs of the Puakō region.  I think that a high-impact plan will secure the necessary resources for implementation and that there are a number of options and solutions for connection fees after the best design is determined.

Thanks to Rep. Tarnas and Erica Perez and her team at CORAL, and big thanks to the tenacious and capable members of the Puakō community who have and will continue to find ways to keep this project moving forward toward the eventual goal of cleaner water and healthier reefs. Please share this good news with your neighbors.

Thank you,

Chad Wiggins

The Nature Conservancy

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