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New regulations being proposed by the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) would establish new statewide minimum requirements for all new and existing septic systems.

Because there are an estimated 26,000 septic systems in Placer County that may be affected by the new state regulations, Placer County Environmental Health Director Jill Pahl and staff will be attending several county municipal advisory councils during January to inform the public about these proposals.

The proposed changes to state law, which implement AB 885 approved in 2000, are intended to prevent the discharge of pollution into the state’s waterways.

The new regulations are required by state law and could change:

  • where systems may be located;
  • how they will be permitted;
  • how they may be constructed;
  • when and where they may be operated;
  • maintenance requirements; and
  • performance levels while they are operating.

Public comments have now closed.

The information is being provided at the county’s municipal advisory council’s to inform people who are interested or potentially affected by the proposed regulations about the State Board’s process.

The presentations at the MACs will provide the public with information on how proposed regulations may differ from current county standards and how the public may comment on the State Board’s proposed regulations.The proposed regulations would impose new requirements on existing septic tank systems. Information provided on the State Board web site indicates that current owners of septic tanks could be required to have them inspected every five years, costing approximately $325. Also, owners of an onsite domestic well could be required to have the water analyzed every five years with a report sent electronically to the state, costing approximately $325.

For information about the county’s municipal advisory council meetings, please call 530-889-4010.

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