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Sewer Rates Could Skyrocket

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stan Dean is chief engineer for the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District. This week he told the Sacramento City Council…including Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy…that most homeowners pay a monthly sewer bill of $20.

Stan Dean: "That $20 could escalate to $50 even as much as the $60 a month range."

Sandy Sheedy: "This is just reprehensible. In an economic downturn that we're in right now, the worst thing we can do is raise it that high."

But Dean says that's what'll happen if the Sanitation District is forced to comply with much stricter water standards proposed by the state. He says they'd have to put $2 billion worth of upgrades into the treatment plant which is off Franklin Boulevard in Elk Grove.  

Michael Boccadoro is with the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta which represents San Joaquin Valley farmers who depend on Delta water. He says the wastewater treatment facility is discharging too much ammonia which finds its way into the Delta and hurts crops and wildlife.

"Increased costs particularly in a time of economic recession are never welcomed but in this case they're highly necessary."

Boccadoro says the state is only requiring Sacramento to do what most other water agencies already do.

"And that is a process of more significant treatment that reduces the discharges that are harmful to the environment and public health."

Friday is the deadline for people to turn in written comments about the issue to the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board. A public hearing is expected to take place in December. SOC

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