February 2015 Newsletter

Problematic waste disposal long time concern for local officials….
The history of lax septic management in West Sonoma County has been considered problematic for many years because of a very difficult environment that includes sliding slopes, big floods, high ground water, and towering trees that shake and sometimes fall during heavy winds. The mostly substandard lots can contain inadequate septic systems, especially on steep hillsides and river banks, that may leak during heavy rains (other times also) ending up in the Russian River.
Conventional sewer has not proven to be the best way to go in our very constrained and volatile west county environment partly because of the extraordinary construction costs and limited financial assistance. (Several years back, plans for both Monte Rio sewer system and Camp Meeker/Occidental came in at $22 million each for about 600 hookups.) Numerous leaders have tried to address the problem for some communities and have mostly failed. Occidental has been out of compliance with their permit for almost 20 years and are now under orders to build a new system by 2017.