Reuse / Operation and maintenance (O&M) service provider since 2000 for largest reclamation plant of its type in the Hawaiian Islands, employing state-of-the-art technology to treat secondary effluent previously discharged into the Pacific Ocean.

The challenge


In 1998, the City and County of Honolulu and Veolia North America entered into a $140 million, 20-year agreement for Veolia to design/build/operate (DBO) and own and transfer the Honolulu Water Reclamation Facility.

In 2000, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply purchased the facility from Veolia, which continues as the O&M service provider.

The plant treats 49,210 m3/day (13 MGD) of secondary effluent from the City and County's Honouliuli facility to produce some 45,424 m3/day (12 MGD) of reclaimed water for beneficial reuse.

The process generates two types of water: high-purity reverse osmosis water which is sold to industrial users and R1 water used for irrigation.

The project also includes a collection system and reclaimed water distribution system.


Veolia’s solution


Innovative solutions:

  • Constructed microfiltration/RO building, R1 product delivery pump station, reuse influent pump station, hydroclear seven-bay sand filtration, UV channel, R1 transfer pump station, three reservoir tanks, operations building and laboratory, yard and distribution piping.
  • Veolia led the design/build development of the facility.
  • Industrial processes use 7,751 m3/d (2 MGD) of RO water, which frees 13,627 m3/d (3.6 MGD) of valuable potable water for potential residential and domestic uses.
  • Backwash water is returned to the Honolulu Wastewater Treatment Plant influent and a new 24 km (15-mile) network distributes the reclaimed product to users.


The benefits


  • Projected $35 million in cost savings over the contract term.
  • Veolia assumes full risks and responsibility for the project.
  • Eliminates the need for the community to spend millions of dollars to build treatment facilities necessary to meet a federal consent decree.
  • Enables the community preserve its limited potable water resources through stringent treatment and reuse of wastewater — a win-win for rate payers, the city, the environment and a number of businesses that will have a guaranteed supply of quality water.
  • Recognized by the WateReuse Association through its 2003 award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Water Use.
  • ​Recipient of the Regional Operational Excellence Award for Large Municipal Project (2011) from Veolia.

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Duration: since 1998, extended to 2038

Type: DBO & O&M

49,210 m3/day of wastewater treated

45,424 m3/day of reclaimed water

7,751 m3/day for industrial use

The Board is proud that it was quick to recognize the benefits of water reclamation. Thinking strategicall is critical for communities challenged by limited resources. Water reclamation has become a cornerstone of the state’s strategy for water management, broken down into watershed management, conservation and diversification of water supplies.

Barry Usagawa, the Board’s water supply program administrator


VEOLIA’S PURPOSE: committing to a multifaceted performance


  • Maximize community resources.
  • 92% of treated wastewater is recycled. The reclaimed water is used instead for lawn and golf course maintenance as well as for industrial operations.


  • Innovative solutions to sustain growth and preserve fresh water resources.
  • Cost savings.
  • Energy efficiency improved by 65%.


  • Minimize water footprint;

The plant has helped save an average of 10 million gallons of fresh water in island aquifers and other reserves each year.


  • Zero lost time incidents.