Kapa‘a Couple First in Nation to Convert Septic to Groundbreaking Eco-Friendly Technology : Kauai Now : Kauai News & Information
By Amanda Kurth
A Kapa’a couple leads the way in environmental change after upgrading their domestic sewage system to a more environmentally friendly one.
On Thursday, June 2, several parishioners gathered at Robert and Magenta Zelkozsky’s home where their newly converted septic tanks into a gray water combination system were shown off and blessed.
The system was converted as part of a pilot project in cooperation with Wastewater Alternatives & Innovation, WAI for short, Cinderella Eco Group and Environmental LLC. WAI Executive Director Stuart Coleman helped host Thursday’s home treatment demo. He said the Zelkozskys were the first homeowners in the nation to switch to this system.
“It’s really great, Robert and Magenta Zelkozsky have worked with the Surfrider Foundation for years and wanted to be innovators,” Coleman said before the borough leaders and residents gathering.
The toilet developed by Cinderella Eco Group offers the global market a waterless toilet and safe sanitation as waste is incinerated through the combination of pressure from below and radiant heat.
The Norway-based company explains that fresh air is then fed into the combustion chamber and the exhaust gases are filtered before being released into the air.
Application of this Cinderella system could potentially mitigate Hawaii’s chronic sewage pollution as a modern alternative to high-maintenance composting toilets and support a cost-effective and environmentally friendly cesspool conversion technology.
Looking back, Robert Zelkozsky said he was part of the problem and described the lack of educational material he was aware of in his 47 years on Kaua’i.
Now in his mid-70s, Zelkozsky said, “That’s 70 years of flushing to live with,” he continued, adding, “The logistics were easy, and I hope this home project inspires others.”
The system implemented by Zelkozsky cost approximately $30,000. However, Coleman said residential remodeling costs can vary depending on the soil on the property. However, he added he believes WAI could convert home septics for less than that amount.
When asked about Hawaii’s high-priced utilities, the Zelkozskys said their bills have increased by about $50 a month compared to before the switch decision.
“The costs are worth it in the long run,” said Magenta Zelkozsky.
While it may seem like an expensive burden for the homeowner, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed in November 2021, is helping municipalities and property owners rebuild old sewage treatment plants.