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Why Do We Need The Project?
The Wastewater Reclamation System is needed to protect our groundwater. Septic systems leave behind nitrates and other pollutants. For more than 60 years, these contaminants have been accumulating underground in our aquifer.
In 2007, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, the state agency responsible for enforcing rules and regulations to protect water quality, identified the Town of Yucca Valley as a top priority for eliminating the use of septic systems. In addition, the State has passed prohibiting future septic discharge in the ground in Phase 1, 2016; Phase 2, 2019; Phase 3, 2022.
Today, continuing to rely on septic systems is no longer an option. Extensive USGS studies confimed that septic discharge and nitrates continue to pose a threat to the groundwater. In fact, the USGS estimate 880 acre-feet of septic discharge currently reaches the groundwater every year.
What does this mean to me?
If we do not move forward with the Wastewater Reclamation Project, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board will "implement prompt, consistent, fair, and progressive enforcement," to those who fail to stop septic discharge and continue to pollute the groundwater. Septic tanks could be required to be sealed and pumped frequently. Cease and Desist orders and Civil Liability Complaints, or fines of up to $5,000 per day could be levied against individual property owners who do not comply.
“Water-quality analyses indicate that septage from septic tanks is the primary source of the high-nitrate concentrations measured in the Warren groundwater basin.” - USGS; Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4009; Evaluation of the Source and Transport of High Nitrate Concentrations in Ground Water, Warren Sub basin, California.