Frequently Asked Questions
How does the SSLOCSD ensure the safety of our water?
The District operates under permits issued by the State of California Regional Water Quality Control Board. These permits establish stringent requirements that the District must meet in terms of water quality for all wastewater that leaves the plant and enters the ocean. Rigorous testing is conducted that ranges from hourly testing to annual testing to confirm that the plant is meeting its discharge requirements. Monthly compliance reports are submitted to the Water Board confirming the plant’s performance. In fact a link to the Water Board’s site to review the District’s permits is available on the District’s website.
Will customer rates be increased in light of recent budget concerns?
Of the ten public agencies that provide wastewater treatment in San Luis Obispo County the agencies that are served by the District (Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano) have the lowest wastewater rates. When comparing against the 18 agencies in Santa Barbara County only two have lower rates.
Historically, the District has been able to keep rates low without significant increases for long periods of time. There are no plans at this time to increase rates beyond any CPI increases outlined in the 2006 rate study. In fact, recent and forthcoming budget cuts are meant to stave off a rate increase. However, given the age of the plant and the need to continue to meet changing regulations, rates could increase at some point in future years.
What cost-savings measures are you considering?
The District has recently installed a Cogeneration facility that uses gas generated from the wastewater process to produce enough electricity to meet about 75% of the District’s existing power requirements. This saves ratepayers over $100,000 a year. We also have recently outsourced most of our laboratory testing to an independent third party laboratory ($75,000 savings/yr) and have recently renegotiated the District’s chemical supply contract ($140,000 savings/yr). We are also implementing other cost savings measures that include re-evaluating our administrative, legal and engineering costs (targeting a 20% reduction). Finally, given that replacement and improvement projects are a significant cost to the District, we are considering postponing some projects that would not compromise the performance of the plant.
Why was the District issued a Notice of Violation (N.O.V.) by the Water Board in July 2010?
The NOV focused on two main areas: (1) the need to better maintain and organize the required operational and maintenance documents, and (2) the District’s water sampling methodologies needed to be better documented to meet the Water Board’s requirements.
What is the District doing in response to the N.O.V.?
The District has been diligently working with the Water Board since May 2010 to resolve the issues raised in the N.O.V. The effort to update our O&M manual had already been previously identified last year and is now nearing completion. Sampling changes have already been made and implemented.
How do I obtain copies of records from the SSLOCSD?
Please note that complete Board agendas, minutes and staff reports are now posted on the District’s website. If you wish more specific information, please fill out the records request form that is posted on the District’s website. This will help District staff to meet your request in a timely manner.
How do I contact the District with questions or concerns?
Please contact Matthew Haber, District Secretary at (805) 481-6903, or John Wallace, District Administrator at (805) 544-4011 or email
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