07-Feb-2018

Using Algal Turf Scrubbers  to Improve Wastewater Quality to be Subject of February 7 Meeting of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council

The public is invited to attend a free presentation on harnessing local algae and sunlight to improve the quality of treated municipal wastewater at the Wednesday, February 7 meeting of the nonprofit Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. 

The meeting will take place from 5 pm to 7 pm at Pacific Whale Foundation’s classrooms at the Harbor Shops at Maʻalaea at 300 Maʻalaea Road. Refreshments will be served. 

Guest presenter, Travis Liggett, will be speaking about Algal Turf Scrubbers, a cutting-edge technology which can improve wastewater quality by harnessing local algae and sunlight to lower nutrient levels, increase oxygen concentration, and reverse acidification in wastewater. 

“Algal Turf Scrubbers have a place on the island of Maui to provide an added stage of treatment to municipal wastewater before entering the marine environment via injection wells serving Kahului-Wailuku, Kihei-Wailea and Lahaina,” says Liggett. 

Liggett holds a MS in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado Boulder and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley. He served as an Algae Manager at Maui Tropical Algae Farm and also worked as an Aerospace Research Engineer with NASA.  Mr. Liggett is working with Dr. Dean Calahan, a Smithsonian researcher focused on expanding the use of Algal Turf Scrubber technology.

Liggett holds a MS in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado Boulder and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley. He served as an Algae Manager at Maui Tropical Algae Farm and also worked as an Aerospace Research Engineer with NASA.

The evening will also include a discussion about general wastewater issues on Maui, including the 12,000 cesspools located here, which handle 7.9 million gallons of untreated wastewater per day.

Dana Reed, West Maui Regional Coordinator of Hui O Ka Wai Ola, the ocean water quality testing program led by Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, The Nature Conservancy, West Maui Ridge 2 Reef and University of Hawaii Maui College, will be presenting some preliminary findings about ocean water quality at West Maui beaches and the Hui’s efforts to use algae (limu) to collect more information about Maui’s coastal water.