Water board lifts septic tank orders on 38 Los Osos homes
September 30, 2014
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
Against the recommendation of its staff, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board has rescinded orders that required some Los Osos homeowners to spend thousands of dollars treating their septic tanks while waiting for the construction of a sewer system.
In 2006, the water board mandated that 50 homes connect to a planned sewer as soon as possible, and in the interim, pump their septic tanks every three years in order to pass inspections. The water board later reduced the number of homes to 38, but many of the homeowners selected had to spend thousands of dollars treating or upgrading their septic tanks.
The water board said it selected the homes randomly, but critics suggest that opponents of the Los Osos sewer project were targeted for enforcement. Some of the selected homeowners sued the water board over the enforcement orders.
San Luis Obispo County, the current owner of the sewer project, already has an ordinance in place mandating that Los Osos residents connect to the wastewater system once it is completed. However, the county board of supervisors has yet to adopt rules and regulations for how to go about connecting homes to the sewer.
More than 4,000 septic tanks must be dug up in the process.