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October 22, 2021

County opposes state’s proposed septic tank rules

The proposed regulations would put rules on septic system
placement, monitoring requirements and exemptions and requirements
for major repairs. All of the related repairs would be property
owners’ responsibility. Costs could easily near $1,000 for
inspection and maintenance, local officials contend.
HOLLISTER

County supervisors have agreed to take a negative stance against a state law change that would tighten regulations on the operation and ownership of septic tanks.

The legislation, AB 885, was introduced in 1999 to address coastal on-site sewage treatment systems in the Malibu Beach area. According to County Environmental Health Specialist Bob Shingai, the measure passed in Malibu in 2000 but the state water board has decided to pursue implementing them statewide – which would happen in January 2010.

“These proposed regulations would add some considerable cost to the monitoring of on-site wastewater treatment,” said Kathy Flores, San Benito County’s director of health and human services. “It would pose some undue burdens to homeowners and businesses that are located in rural California.”

The proposed regulations would put rules on septic system placement, monitoring requirements and exemptions and requirements for major repairs. All of the related repairs would be property owners’ responsibility. Costs could easily near $1,000 for inspection and maintenance, local officials contend.

Shingai said major concerns regarding AB 885 are that it would be “too costly for individual homeowners.”

“Some people may lose their homes because they can’t meet the mandates.”

Supervisor Anthony Botelho spoke fervently about this topic at the Tuesday’s meeting.

“There is just a complete outcry in the rural counties of our state over these unfathomable regulations that all but makes it illegal to have a septic system,” Botelho said.

The board requested that staff talk with Regional Council of Rural Counties and then write up a resolution to send to the county’s two legislative representatives, the governor and the state water board.

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