"HONOLULU — The town of Hauula packs hundreds of homes into a narrow strip of land sandwiched between verdant, towering cliffs of the Koolau mountain range and the Pacific. But the stunning views obscure an environmental problem beneath the ground.
This rural part of the island of Oahu is not connected to city sewers — and waste from toilets, sinks and showers is mostly collected in hundreds of pits called cesspools.
With climate change, rising seas are eroding Hawaii’s coast near homes with cesspools. Sea rise also is pushing the island’s groundwater closer to the surface, allowing the cesspool effluent to mix with the water table and flow into the ocean. And scientists say cesspool pollution may even percolate into streets and parks in low-lying former wetlands in the future."