First home hooked up to the Los Osos sewer plant

March 28, 2016

Los ososFollowing the successful inspection of the new Los Osos sewer plant, a local contractor connected the first home to the plant on Monday.

Gellerman Construction, one of about 80 contractors working on the project, plans to connect two homes on Monday. The first phase of connections includes about 1,800 homes and businesses south of Los Osos Valley Road and in the Sunset Terrace, and Cuesta by the Sea neighborhoods.

The second and third phases of the project include the Baywood Park area, but that isn’t expected to happen until later this year. It could take several years before all homes and businesses in Los Osos are connected to the sewer.

Jorge Estrada

Did the first flush cost $200,000,000.00 or was it three? In thirty years and surprise growth, the cost will go down too.


Thanks JT for again adding clarity for those that haven’t any idea of how complex this issue has been. Regarding ‘mid-town’; whatever you want to call it, building the WWP feet from our Library, Church, the only park we have and across the street from housing was the most ridiculous idea ever purposed.

Los Osos could look a lot better than it does now and the WWP is going to be the key that changes what was

. Los Osos is the premier coastal community on the central coast, hands down the winner over any other city. Ideal weather, outstanding views of Morro Rock and bay, access to Montana de Oro state park a step away, horse back riding and hiking.

Yes Rich we are stepping into the 21st Century. Hopefully we’ll do it right.

Kaiser Bill

“Los Osos is the premier coastal community on the central coast, hands down the winner over any other city. Ideal weather, outstanding views of Morro Rock and bay, access to Montana de Oro state park a step away, horse back riding and hiking.”

Ideal weather? Maybe if you like 55 degrees and fog all summer.

Outstanding views? This is true pretty much anywhere on the Central Coast, whether you are in Cambria, MB, SLO, Pismo.

Access to Montana de Oro a step away? Not exactly. Montana de Oro is a few miles outside town. And there are very few parks in that town, which you reference by stating that there is only one public park in a community of 20,000.

I do think that Los Osos will start to change very rapidly now that the sewer is coming online. Hopefully good decisions are made and the cookie cutter crap developments and chain stores are kept out.


Ironically, this year my wife and I will pay off our home; a home that was purchased NOT in Los Osos because when we were looking, back then, the impending sewer system was just being fleshed out. At that time we were told, by our agent, to expect an additional $50 / month for as long as we owned the home to pay for the system.

That was the going theory at the time. Well, $50/month was a bit more “house” when calculating mortgages, so we opted for SLO. To think they are just finalizing the system in the time it took us to pay off our SLO home is incredible. Granted, I opted for a nice 15-yr fixed a while back, but still…


It’s so exciting! Hopefully, no more run off of nitrates to our watershed and bay.

Don’t forget to repurpose your skeptics as rainwater catchment! It’s such a great opportunity to recycle water for dry season, to use on plants in summer.

We’re excited! Our bids have been $3400 thus far for septic conversion and lateral tie in.


I’m not so sure about re-purposing the skeptics… One might even say that I’m skeptical on that.


What, are they doing one a month? Year?


They have to dig all the way to each unit’s sewer line – a line that is probably connected to a septic tank or something; so that needs to be dealt with. It will be a long, painful, and incredibly expensive affair. The kind of thing where cost over-runs become the norm, and people just pay because it’s not entirely their money being paid.

Most one could hope for is a block at a time, such as they are in Los Osos, to be connected and tested.


Pumping your poop and waste water miles and miles around town is not 21st century; it more like 19th century.

Kaiser Bill

Those strange denizens of Los Osos could have had a cheap sewer in the early 2000s, but they threw a fit and drove up the cost of the sewer another $100 million because the proposed sewer was “in the middle of town, and next to the library.” I never knew there was a middle of town in Los Osos.

Now people in Los Osos are stuck paying off hefty sewer assessment.


KB, “the early 2000’s?” That would be the “Faster, Better, Cheaper” ponds in the middle of town that were rejected by the water board. The LOCSD board morphed that project into a buried conventional sewer plant.

The Tri-W project got its Coastal Development Permit in mid-2005, construction began in August with the recall in late September. That project was $157M and had NO recycled water going to farmers — a price that would have had to be added on. This project is $183M and includes recycling to farmers (the wrong ones, so that will have to get fixed in the future).

While the LOCSD project did not have an assessment on your property tax, it eventually would have had a monthly bill similar to the amount we face today. There was never a “cheap sewer” to be had.

We did the right thing by moving the sewer plant from the middle of town and it didn’t add anywhere near “$100 million”.

As for there being a “middle” of Los Osos, well, the County renamed the Tri-W site to “Mid-Town” so it must be true.


We will pay $29 million more for this sewer than the one at Tri-W.

We will pay not only the $17 million bond for THAT sewer for 20 years (less actually, now that we are a few years into paying off that sewer bond—we ARE paying for that old sewer), PLUS we will pay 30 years on one of the loans for THIS sewer, and 40 years on the other part (part of that is already on our sewer bills and the price will go up once each house hooks up). We would have paid O & M regardless of which sewer plan that was built.

We have severly damaged our water supply by inaction on water conservation for many, many years and it will cost millions to recify that mess — $24 million is the starter number bandied about. That is one more expensive fallout of not flushing and forgetting like we would have since 2008 on the old Tri-W project. NOTE — it is 2016!

Do the math. Nice try to spin the stopping of Tri-W Julie, but it IS more expensive no matter how hard you try to justify your “handiwork.”

PS — Tri-W was not a “conventional sewer plant.” That is what we have now. Tri-W was, and still would be, state-of-the-art in sewer parlance.


So who is paying for recycled water going to the farmers, water from the plant for crop irrigation needs to go thru an RO process to remove salts and such, in Morro Bay the price is said to be about 2600 $ an acre ft of water that the farmers would pay to recieve it, that does not compute when ground water is around 150 $ an acre ft to pump.

And who are the wrong farmers, and who do you think the right ones should be.


The LO sewer ratepayers are subsidizing the cost of the recycled water going to farmers and the schools. The waste water is NOT going through RO, it will go through UV filtration and be tertiary once completed.

The salts are expected to be on the order of the water they pump now — we won’t know for sure until the product is produced.

The cost to produce is on the order of $2600 per acre foot here too. The county is only charging $100AF for farmers (the wrong farmers are dry land farmers. They do not irrigate now, these farmers use of the water will not offset farmers who are drawing from the aquifer(the right farmers)) and about $1,500 for turf irrigation at the 4 schools.


I don’t think tertiary water will work for irrigation,still too many salts,San Luis is irrigating with their water and there is too much salt in it and the parks lawns are having an issue with that and the city hopes that the winter rains wash the salts thru the soil,so without extra treatment this doesn’t work and at meetings at Morro Bay we’re told the same thing,so saving water to trade for farming is pretty expensive and I see no reason for the rate payers or County to pay for this to happen.


Yes indeed, our SLO County planning folk chose a more intelligent long- term location, room for expansion, downwind and almost out of sight.

No underground costly construction to hide the monstrosity or ‘wave-walls’ etc.

Excellent move, supported by a majority of long-time residents & business folk that didn’t believe in co-mingling a park & sewer-plant ……. outright lunacy.

The areal photo of the huge plant tells it all, it’s like a small city.

Hopefully, the County will retain & maintain the plant, because for decaddes our local CSD track record of “managing” has been far from perfect.


wolfhound says, “room for expansion”

Ah yes. Exactly what the reluctance to have a sewer was all about right from the get go – too many houses might be built (and the cost). Well, the physical ability to curb growth is gone now with all of that land oout there and water from Naci could see very appealing to some develper. And the cost….well, that train left the station a long time ago. We delay, we pay.

I have heard the County can’t wait until the mandated time is up so they can pass the sewer back.



Yes, “room for expansion”, unlike Tri-W (RIP)

We have about 830 or so vacant lots in town. Some owners have waited over 30 years to build, now it ‘may’ happen providing we can

can address sea-water intrusion & water shortage problems.


The town will indeed expand & develop , you are right.

I doubt that the County would be foolish enough to turn over the system to a dysfunctional CSD, but only time will tell.


The cheap sewer was in the early 80’s – superfund clean-up monies would have paid 90% of the cost.



The 1980’s sewer would have dumped the water in the creek, feeding Morro Bay, that water would have been lost forever. With the decades of delay the septic’s have been discharging to the upper aquifer, recharging it, and in some cases seeping to the lower aquifer too.

State-of-the art? Sure to bury a sewer plant was state-of-the-art and it cost a pretty penny. The O&M for an Membrane Bio Reactor and “odor scrubbing” building that was under “negative pressure” would have been much MORE than the oxidation ditches were get behind the cemetery. The Tri-W project NEVER would have an opportunity for a solar component, where at least this one has roof lines oriented to the south.

You and I can split hairs all day long on who did what when, but you forget to mention the meddling of Taxpayer Watch who lobbied for the district to be fined out of existence and for the SRF loan to be revoked.

The I will say one thing the LOCSD project was to have done superior to the cemetery project was to have built concurrently, the treatment plant is a year behind the collection system and flows could have started sooner if construction management had scheduled it that way. Oh, but of course, that phasing happened because the SRF wanted to see the USDA fund spent down prior to letting their loan.

Rich in MB

Water lost forever?

There is this thing called the water cycle…sheesh…no wounder Los Osos is so backwards.

Kaiser Bill

Los Osos is a town with no streetlights, because the town residents “Wanted to see the stars.”

Los Osos, the town where the sixties never ended.


Yes those “Strange Denizens” who thought Hmmm what idiot thought to put a sewer right next to the community center, Library and directly over our Sweet Springs Reserve?

It was a sad waste of $$ yes, for that IDIOT to think the Tri W was the place to dig, when all the studies said it was indeed the worse! thank God they stopped that stupid move!!

Kaiser Bill

That old sewer site is not the middle of town. It was a red herring argument by people who could afford to pay for a steeper assessment to move the sewer far out of town.

That is only the middle of town for the old farts who go to their Bocce Ball games at the Community Center and return their Matlock DVDs to the Library.

I don’t live in Los Osos, but I feel for the hard working people who listened to the idiots, charlatans, and snake oil salesmen that wanted to move the sewer and are now left holding the bag in the form of $20,000 assessment.


Then you should also feel sorry for the people of Morro Bay.

Kaiser Bill

I do feel for the people of Morro Bay, and they are being similarly misled by their trust fund politicians in the effort to build an expensive sewer far out of town and at a higher elevation up Highway 41.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it will cost money to pump poop up hill.


..and to think it only took 25 years and nearly as much $ as the big dig to accomplish!


Make that 35 years.

Rich in MB

Welcome to the 21st Century Los Osos….:)


Technically, the Romans had a sewer systems all over, and the oldest known sewer was discovered in Van (Turkey) and dates back to 700+ years before Christ.

Better late than never?