Small rural communities that operate wastewater treatment plants in California are facing a problem that is quickly escalating into a crisis. Many small communities are struggling to make required upgrades to sanitation facilities due to the high costs being spread among a small number of rate payers, permit requirements that often appear onerous, limited funding opportunities, short timelines and other challenges. Although most of these communities have demonstrated a commitment to clean water, they are increasingly faced with wastewater regulations requiring high-tech, expensive compliance projects coupled with rapidly rising construction costs. This results in compliance projects that are unaffordable to many rural communities.
A prime example of this problem is in the community of Cascade Shores, with a community sewer system. Current State and Federal regulations, complicated by a landslide next to the existing plant, required the construction of a costly new wastewater treatment plant that has resulted in excessively high costs to homeowners.
The links under the "Related Items" section below will take you to my collection of letters and other documents related to the County's efforts to bring these costs under control and to develop better policies for assuring clean water in rural communities.