New regulations being proposed by the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) would establish new statewide minimum requirements for all new and existing septic systems.
Because there are an estimated 26,000 septic systems in Placer County that may be affected by the new state regulations, Placer County Environmental Health Director Jill Pahl and staff will be attending several county municipal advisory councils during January to inform the public about these proposals.
The proposed changes to state law, which implement AB 885 approved in 2000, are intended to prevent the discharge of pollution into the state’s waterways. The new regulations are required by state law and could change:
- where systems may be located;
- how they will be permitted;
- how they may be constructed;
- when and where they may be operated;
- maintenance requirements; and
- performance levels while they are operating.
The State Water Resources Control Board is seeking public input regarding the proposed regulations. The final date to comment is Feb. 9, 2009. New regulations are proposed to take effect on Jan. 1, 2010.
The information is being provided at the county’s municipal advisory councils to inform people who are interested or potentially affected by the proposed regulations about the State Board’s process. The presentations at the MACs will provide the public with information on how proposed regulations may differ from current county standards and how the public may comment on the State Board’s proposed regulations.
Placer County has set up a webpage with links and contacts to the Water Board, in addition to information from Placer County web pages on septic systems. Click this link to access Placer County's septic system page
Information about the proposed regulations is available on the State Board’s web site. The Water Board's executive summary and question and answer sections are available by clicking on the following links: Executive Summary, Septic Tank Regulation Q&A.
Information from Placer County Environmental Health about proposed septic regulations is also available on the Environmental Health web site.
The proposed regulations would impose new requirements on existing septic tank systems. Information provided on the State Board web site indicates that current owners of septic tanks could be required to have them inspected every five years, costing approximately $325. Also, owners of an onsite domestic well could be required to have the water analyzed every five years with a report sent electronically to the state, costing approximately $325.
The Municipal Advisory Council meetings are planned for the following dates and locations:
- Foresthill Forum, Monday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. at the Foresthill Veterans Memorial Hall;
- Granite Bay MAC, Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m., at the Eureka Union High School District Office;
- Meadow Vista MAC, Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m., at Placer Hills School, Room 22;
- West Placer Dry Creek MAC, Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m., at Dry Creek Elementary School;
- North Auburn MAC, Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m., at the county’s Community Development Resources Center;
- Sheridan MAC, Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m., at Stewart Hall;
- Newcastle Ophir MAC, Thursday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. at Ophir Elementary School, 1373 Lozanos Rd., Newcastle;
- Horseshoe Bar MAC, Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m., at the Loomis Library;
- Weimar, Applegate, Colfax MAC, Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. at Colfax Memorial Hall;
- Rural Lincoln MAC, Monday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m., at Mt. Pleasant Hall;
- Penryn MAC, Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., at the Loomis Veterans Memorial Hall;
- Squaw Valley MAC, Thursday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. at the Squaw Valley Fire Dept.
The state is currently hosting a series of workshops on the proposed regulations. A hearing on the State Boards’ four alternatives and the current draft environmental impact report is planned for Feb. 9, 2009, 1:30 p.m. in the California EPA Building, 1001 I Street in Sacramento. A 90-day public comment period will end on that day. After the comment period the State Board will prepare a final environmental impact report that provides responses to comments on environmental issues addressed in the draft document.
The State Board will then hold another hearing and decide whether to certify the final environmental document and approve the regulations.
Comments to the State Water Resources Control Board regarding the proposed changes must be received or postmarked on or before Feb. 9, 2009. Please submit comments to AB885@waterboards.ca.gov or to the address below:
State Water Resources Control Board
Division of Water Quality
Attn: Todd Thompson, P.E.
1001 I Street, 15th Floor, P.O. Box 2231
Sacramento, CA 95812
Comments can be made to the State Board at AB885@waterboards.ca.gov .
Questions about the proposed regulations can be addressed to Todd Thompson at the State Board, (916) 341-5518 or email@example.com.
For information about the county’s municipal advisory council meetings, please call 530-889-4010 or visit the county’s web site MAC website.