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State Matches Funds to Start Design and Planning of Project!

October 6, 2021

Read the PDF version of this District Update by clicking here.

We are moving forward with the public process of converting the community’s individual septic systems to a community sewer system – the single purpose for which the district was formed by voters in 2018. The conversion process includes the design, approval, financing, and construction of a community wastewater collection system. A compact, pre-manufactured “package” plant will process the collected wastewater; the reclaimed water will be reinjected to replenish our groundwater and/or reused.

State Water Recycling $150,000 Matching Grant Funds Approved; District Authorizes Engineering Contractor to Begin Preliminary Design of the Community Wastewater Collection and Treatment System.

The District hit a big milestone last week with the “green light” from the State to begin using matching grant funds for the design and planning of our community septic to sewer conversion project. This $150,000 in state matching funds will assist the district with preliminary design costs on a reimbursement basis. At a Monday, October 4 special meeting, the Board authorized design contractor Stantec to begin preliminary design of our community system.

As part of its action, the Board also directed Stantec to further evaluate the entire list of 18 potential package plant locations provided in the June 2021 Urban Planning Concepts (UPC) Siting Study, in conjunction with the District’s geotechnical contractor GSI Engineering, in order to develop recommendations for collection system layout options and potential package plant site or sites based on additional geotechnical, engineering, environmental and economic study and data.

A compact, pre-manufactured “package” plant will process the collected wastewater; the reclaimed water will be reinjected to replenish our groundwater and/or reused.

With more design technical facts and information from Stantec, which we expect to have in December 2021, the District Board and property owners can then have an informed discussion about the various design options, ensuring that the ultimate system design and final package plant site selection makes the best sense for the project and the community from an environmental and economic standpoint.

Once the preliminary design is complete, the District can then develop accurate project cost estimates to use in developing the benefit assessment for each property, which will in turn be voted on by property owners sometime in Summer 2022. 

Septic to Sewer Conversion Progress Update

As required, in September the district submitted a quarterly update to the Santa Barbara County Local Agency Formation Commission summarizing the district’s progress toward its septic-to-sewer conversion goals, including holding a property owner benefit assessment vote in Summer 2022 to approve the project and its financing.

Potential Wastewater Package Plant Contractor Cloacina to Hold Open House First Week of November

Arroyo Grande-based Cloacina, manufacturer of state-of-the-art stainless steel package wastewater treatment plants and a contractor who will submit a bid to provide services for Los Olivos, is holding both a virtual and in-person open house November 1 – 5. To learn more about these compact community systems and find out more about the open house see

Why Septic to Sewer Conversion?

• Eliminate costly repairs and maintenance of individual septic systems.

• Ease property improvement restrictions imposed by the County due to individual septic system limits.

• Increase property values by providing a publicly owned and managed wastewater system which will lead to removal of our Special Problems Area designation.

• A locally developed, community-based wastewater solution will be less expensive than a stateimposed solution.

• Improve overall groundwater quality.