I received a letter from the California Farm Bureau concerning an upcoming law. According to The Bureau, "The State Water Resources Control Board is calling them Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, which basically is just a fancy way of saying septic tanks.These septic tanks, which can be found on virtually every rural property in California, are the latest targets of proposed state regulationsâ€”and accompanying fees." Basically the state want's to make sure that septic systems be installed properly and function correctly. Fine so far. To make sure they do function properly the state say's, "property owners must have their septic tanks inspected for solids accumulations every five years by a qualified service provider. The estimated cost is $325. Owners whose existing septic systems are within 600 feet of a surface water body that does not meet water quality standards (impaired water body) will be subject to additional requirements."
I really don't have a problem having our septic system pumped every five years or when necessary. The inspection fee could be absorbed. What's concerning is the following. "Where existing septic systems have been identified by a regional water board to be contributing to the water quality impairment (pollution) of nearby surface water bodies, owners of those septic systems within 600 feet of the impaired surface water body will be required to have a qualified professional determine whether the septic system is contributing to the impairment. If so, retrofit of the septic system with supplemental treatment will be required at an estimated cost of $45,000."Yes, that's 45,000 dollars. What happens to someone who can't afford this? Most everyone here in the foothills have a septic system.
The Farm Bureau states, "In these times of limited resources, why would the state put these requirements on everyone rather than paying attention to specific areas where there are known concerns with contamination of ground or surface water. There's something wrong with priorities when the city of San Francisco is allowed to knowingly dump sewage into the bay following heavy rain events and the state instead goes after all of these individual property owners."Â Yes, why are they going after individuals instead of cities like San Francisco, that dump sewage into the ocean in volumes much greater than any individual? Because the City has the resources and legal eagles to fight something like this. Grandma and Grandpa don't, and will have to cough up the money.
I am all for keeping our water way's clean. I am wondering if anyone else, in other locations has to deal with this type of over site? If you are a resident of California and live in a rural area you will be affected. If you within 600' of a small creek or stream, hold on to your wallet!