New FlushAware App to Be Topic of March 2 Know Your Ocean Speaker Series

Meet the App’s Developer and Learn More About Where Wastewater Goes When You Flush Your Toilet on Maui

PAIA, MAUI, HI – The average person flushes their toilet five times per day. But when you flush, do you know where your wastewater goes and what impacts it has on the ocean where you surf or swim, the beaches where you play and the fish that you eat from our coastal waters? Maui Nui Marine Resource Council invites you to learn more about the path that wastewater follows once it leaves your toilet and how your wastewater is impacting our nearshore ocean water quality at a special Know Your Ocean Speaker Series presentation on Zoom on Wed. March 2 at 5:30 pm featuring Travis Liggett as the guest speaker. To reserve your spot, please visit

Liggett is the president of Reef Power LLC and the developer of the new FlushAware app with a demonstration website launch for Maui island users slated for March 2022.

“FlushAware is a new online education system that will inform users about the treatment level and destination of their Maui Island disposal method, while providing tools for activism and improving life downstream,” says Liggett.

During his presentation, Liggett will demonstrate how the new FlushAware app will work, and will discuss solutions to Maui’s wastewater challenges, which he says can be found in the living life support ʻĀina. “Native species such as stream limu, breadfruit and taro provide answers to our water waste woes. Instead of nearshore injection, municipal discharges in Maui can be polished with turf scrubbers to reduce nutrient pollution using local freshwater algae,” reports Liggett. “The wastewater can then be 100% reused as irrigation of native food agroforestry, pastureland, and vetiver slope stabilization plantings to reduce sediment transport potential from mauka lands.”

Travis Liggett graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on design in 1998, and from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on life science in 2003.

In 2001 Mr. Liggett started work as a Research Assistant at  BioServe Space Technologies, a NASA Commercial Space Center locate

d at CU Boulder, and continued his tenure working for the Agency as a Flight Systems Engineer for the Space Station Biological Research Project starting in 2003, then as an Aerospace Research Engineer focusing on functional prototype development of new life science technologies from 2005 – 2010 at  NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, located in California’s Silicon Valley.

On Maui, Travis has managed algae growth operations at Maui Tropical Algae Farm, and served as Principal Engineer for Water Quality Consulting, Inc., where he performed core duties including work on the Maui Ocean Center’s 2018 NPDES permit application.

Travis founded the small business Reef Power LLC in 2018 with the objective of bringing to Maui a natural regenerative reuse wastewater nutrient polishing system called a turf scrubber growing native Hawaiian stream limu (freshwater macroalgae), coupled with native food agroforest irrigation for disposal, instead of nearshore injection wells.

“Wastewater has a significant impact on Maui’s coral reefs and nearshore ocean water quality, whether you live in Kula or Kihei,” says Mike Fogarty, Executive Director of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “The FlushAware App will contribute to our community’s growing awareness of the impacts of each and every flush – the first step in finding an answer to the question of how to manage our wastewater to protect our reefs and the ocean waters that surround our shores.”

The Know Your Ocean Speaker Series is hosted on the first Wednesday of each month and is funded in part by the County of Maui Office of Climate Change, Resiliency and Sustainability and by donations from individuals and businesses in the community. To learn more, visit

Photo at right: A turf scrubber reduces nutrient pollution using local freshwater algae.

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