December 14, 2020
Your CSD Board continues to work on your behalf to develop a cost-effective wastewater management solution for our community. Our focus remains developing Resident Guidelines for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems as well as permitting a Phase 1 Collection and Treatment System for the downtown core and securing grants to help pay for all phases of this work.
Here’s a brief overview of the second half of 2020 and a look forward to 2021:
Resident Guidelines for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems for Los Olivos
Giving district residents certainty and understanding of their system maintenance options and requirements is the goal of having Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Residential Guidelines.
- In November we had an introductory meeting with Lars Siefert, new director of Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services, to brief him on our district’s challenges and discuss how we can work together to give residents clear guidance on system maintenance and replacement requirements while ensuring groundwater protection.
- A consultant with experience in the County’s wastewater management plans is creating draft guidelines for review by the Board in January. These guidelines will also need approval from County Environmental Health Services.
We plan to hold a community workshop in January or February to discuss the proposed Resident Guidelines for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems and hear feedback from residents and property owners. The date will be posted on the District website, at the Post Office and will be sent to everyone on our e-mail list. Sign up for email updates here.
Phase 1 Wastewater Collection and Treatment System
We continue to work on projects funded by County Environmental Health Services. All three of these initiatives will be back before the Board for consideration in Q1 2021.
- Preliminary design services, including a Wastewater Load Study, estimating anticipated volumes and wastewater strength.
- Development of a Groundwater Monitoring Plan and Preliminary Soils/Geotechnical Report.
- Preliminary environmental services to determine potential impacts and mitigations required.
We continued coordination with the County, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and community partners including the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District – ID1.
Phase 1 System Siting Progress
We continue to seek alternative potential sites for the Phase 1 wastewater treatment and reclamation plant in or adjacent to the downtown core. It is imperative we identify multiple potential sites to study simultaneously and to ensure any final site is both environmentally and economically feasible. Sites that are ideal potential candidates are:
- In or adjacent to the CSD boundary
- Approximately 0.5-1 acre in size (District can facilitate lot split or subdivision)
- Located down gradient of the Commercial Zone (preferred but not required)
If you or anyone you know has a parcel that may meet these criteria and might be interested in talking with us about potential use, please call or email us.
The County is in the process of authorizing an easement to use an excess road right-of-way parcel adjacent to Mattei’s Tavern and St. Marks in the Valley as a potential site. The easement would only be granted when and if a project is approved for that site. Thank you to Supervisor Hartmann for her role in facilitating this process.
Grant & Funding Source Update
We are submitting a grant funding application to the State Water Board by December 31, 2020. A successful application will make us eligible for up to $5 million in grant money plus eligibility for a balance of the funding needed in the form of a low interest loan.
Our team continues to research and identify additional grant opportunities that may be a good fit for our district to reduce the overall costs to district property owner for studies, design and construction costs.