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Deadline Extended on Septic Regs to Feb. 9

Russian River Folks,

The Water Board will have 2 make-up hearings to present the regs and take comments.  See notice attached.  Both are Feb. 9 in Santa Rosa at the Finley Theatre at the Wells Fargo Center for the Performing Arts.  PLEASE BE HEARD.

Also, the deadline for written comments on the Draft EIR has been extended until Feb. 23.  Again, please be heard!!

All septic systems will have to be inspected every 5 years.  The regs don’t require the inspection reports be submitted to the Agencies, but nonetheless if not inspected or if substandard this matter will likely be a seller-disclosure problem and/or financing obstacle when the property is sold.  An older system which is a cesspool will eventually need to be replaced with a new conforming system; the regs do not provide an exact time, but real-world “triggering” events are likely to be a major remodel, new financing, a complaint, etc.

For those in a “303(d)” area, i.e. within 600′ horizontal feet of an “impaired waterbody” such as a so-designated portion of the Russian River near Occidental and Camp Meeker, the regs are tougher – you’ll have 1 year to turn-in a system report, and 1-5 years to replace with a system performing to the new regulations.  This is a costly measure, and a technical challenge if not impossibility.  Folks will have another option – 4 years to commit legally to a conventional sewer system and 5 additional years to actually connect.

The regs provide that local agencies or the Water Board can mandate “supplemental treatment systems for any existing or new” system where further treatment is needed due to insufficient soil depths.  Rocky, steep hillside properties face new exposure to such a mandate.

For those who need a building permit, or wish to rebuild after a major loss, it is uncertain if Sonoma County will allow the re-use of the current system or require an upgrade.

All replacement septics must be engineered and built by a licensed engineeering contractor.

Revised Notice for Proposed Regulations and Waiver for Septic Systems

Date: Friday, January 30, 2009
Attention Santa Rosa Workshop Attendees,

Please find attached the Revised Notice for the State Water
Resources Control Board Workshop and Hearing regarding the
Proposed Regulations and Waiver for Onsite Wastewater
Treatment Systems. The Santa Rosa Workshop has been
rescheduled for February 9, 2009. Please see the attached
Notice for details.

Thank you,

Isabel J. Baer,
Staff Environmental Scientist

State Water Board
Office of Public Participation
Address: 1001 ‘I’ Street
Sacramento, CA    95814-2828

IBaer@waterboards.ca.gov