Money & Company

Tracking the market and economic trends
that shape your finances.

« Previous Post | Money & Company Home | Next Post »

Malibu picks sewers over smell

November 6, 2009 | 10:15 am


The Malibu septic-tank-versus-sewers issue has finally been settled after years of debate, according to "Septic tanks on their way out in Malibu" at The timeline:

New septic systems will not be permitted in Malibu, and owners of existing systems will have to halt wastewater discharges within a decade.

What it'll cost homeowners:

Residents in affected areas would be required to pay about $500 a month to cover the cost of hooking into a central sewage system, according to the city's projections. And businesses would face payments of up to $20,000 a month.

Wow. $500 a month? Some historical perspective:

In many ways, the septic tanks played a large role in Malibu becoming a city. It incorporated and formed its own government in 1991 to stave off Los Angeles County's efforts to install a sewer system in the area. Residents at the time feared sewers would unleash a wave of development that would turn Malibu into Miami Beach West.

In Malibu, septic tanks, leach pits and the ubiquitous stench known as the "Malibu smell" are familiar topics. After rainstorms, officials often post signs on Surfrider Beach urging swimmers and surfers to steer clear because of health dangers. Surfrider often gets failing grades on Heal the Bay's annual water-quality report cards.

Just in case you thought it was all a day at the beach in Malibu.

-- Lauren Beale

Thoughts? Comments?

Photo: Surfrider Beach in Malibu. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times