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State water board outlaws septic systems in much of Malibu [Updated]

Septic systems will be prohibited throughout much of Malibu after the State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to ratify a recommendation by regional water quality officials that the coastal city be required to install its first central sewage treatment facility.

The 5-0 vote in Sacramento had been anticipated by environmental activists and surfers who contended that Malibu had for too long delayed solving the problem of tainted water in Malibu Creek, Malibu Lagoon and Surfrider Beach. Last November, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board proposed a septic ban for about 550 businesses and residences in central and eastern Malibu.

Malibu officials had said the proposed zone was so large that the city could not devise a system capable of handling all of the waste water that would be produced. The city presented to the state board a modified plan covering fewer homes and businesses. In the end, the state water board backed the regional panel’s proposal.

However, in discussions before the vote, the city and the regional board vowed to continue to negotiate a possible reduction in the size of the zone. State board Chairman Charles R. Hoppin said he would contact both parties twice a month for the next few months as they work out specifics. Sam Unger, the regional board’s executive officer, said the panel’s plan had always anticipated some tinkering in response to additional scientific findings or data.

[Updated at 4:45 p.m.: Heal the Bay President Mark Gold said the move was long overdue. "We encourage Malibu to move forward with a clean water solution rather than pursuing the confrontational path of litigation. The state's action provides a future of "A" grades at Surfrider Beach."]

-- Martha Groves

Comments () | Archives (10)

Hooray -NO more Poo in the Bu!

How is cityhood working out for you, Malibu?

What local control? People in Sacramento and Washington are much more qualified to decide what a community should do than the local authorities. Now the liberals in Malibu get a dose of central government. Next I assume the coastal commission will require them to remove their decks from the shoreline?

You know, if the SWRC would just take a look at The Jet System, which actually is effective in this kind of situation, a lot of travail and taxpayer expense could be avoided. Granted, commercial property owners would have to install this system, but maybe the taxpayers could share some of the cost via rebates. THis seems a lot more cost effective than building a giantt treatment plant somewhere in Malibu. I think the Jet System is a "smaller is better" solution to this issue. You could have systems online in less than six monthst versus the five year wait for mega plant constuction. Certainly, older septic system technology can not remain in place in the Malibu.

If they do that how will all the rich people go peepee?

Take notice everyone, this means that every encampment of meth heads, runaway teenagers and the ever present illegal immigrant day laborer will be flushed out to ensure that continued "measurements" cannot be used any longer to attack residents as if it is solely the problems attached to the homes.
We have serious problems in the transient problems rampant in our area and the effluent that floats down from other cities towards the ocean, so I guess it's time to limit the visitors coming to the beaches and parks as well as the unwelcome transient population?
Let's try and see how well all those public bathrooms on the beaches and parks are functioning while all these power hungry egotistical "experts" are on the contract tittie....isn't it enough of a hint that there are so many outhouses and portable toilets at public areas to solicit questions regarding these impacts on our ocean as well?
Have the state take care of it's properties FIRST, especially before they start to levy restrictions, fines and threats against homeowners.
Clean up time in Malibu must include the encampments, the marijuana cartel growing sites and all the visitor serving facilities that contribute massive trash and human waste.

Malibu AND Santa Monica Bay Locals have been asking Sacramento for this for a LONG time James Andrews .... The sewage that has seeped and spilled already is ENOUGH !!! It's about life and death for many of us LOCALS !

Mr. Andrews...sometimes top down control is better than local control. All politics is local and the locals play worse than the state and feds. The city officials, local businesses, and residents (not all) only see the cost of having to install adequate wastewater treatment systems.

This is a fundamental aspect of life - poor sanitation leads to disease and death. City planners and military leaders have known this since pre-Roman times. Now-a-days, it is even more imperative as we concentrate more people into smaller areas like a densely populated city.

So as you flush your toilet into a system that maybe has been around 20-50 years, the underlying ground is saturated with your perc'ing waste and as all liquids are wont to do...it flows somewhere else....all shyte travels down hill.

Again, since the local authorities do not want to take responsibility...others must come in and make you do it. typical practice in our current society. tell ya what...people with common sense should stand up, demand that land (maybe an entire state) be given over to people like you to live in and govern as you choose....the rest of taxpayers that want a clean, well run system will be well rid of you

Now this is a topic that old "diaper rash" is quite knowledgeable about-if i may give myself a pat of approval on my own bottom.

There may be a viable third approach to resolving the septic system vs. sewage system dilemna facing Malibu.

It is called the composting toilet and has been available for decades.

No more leeching into the field and no more bureaucracies leeching off your property rights.

As an additional benefit they require little to no water and the final product can be used to fertilize your geraniums.

You can find the U.S. made line of composting toilets by SUN-MAR available on SEARS.com.

Go to HomeDepot.com to choose from the european made BioLet line.

One of the comments expressed concern over the continued impact of the waste product attributed to the vagrant and homeless component in Malibu.

For a direct and effective approach to solve that problem head on over to Target.com to order a case of my favorite new consumer product of the year under fifteen dollars.

It is called the Luggable Loo and at $14.99 a piece I think you are going to love it.

composting toilets are definitely the best solution for Malibu!

Malibu contains many sensitive ecosystems. It is crazy to think that we will be installing sprawling wastewater channels for miles in every direction! This is sure to have unforeseen, detrimental consequences!

Not to mention, the average family of four sends 40 gallons of purified drinking water down the toilet every day! What a barbaric practice! Malibu needs that water for irrigation, firefighting, and simply preserving the health of our aquifers!

If you live in Malibu, lead the way and take this opportunity to install a composting system in your home!



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