In 2008-2009, the Board of Directors voted not to enact the previously approved 9% rate increase (approved as part of the last "Prop. 218 process"). It did vote to enact the previously approved 2009-2010 4% rate increase and has initiated a new 218 process to investigate rate increases which would take effect in 2010 through 2014. Stay tuned for more information.
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Financial Statements Are Online
Audited financial statements for the District's 2010-2011 Fiscal Year, as well as the District’s FY 2012-2013 Budget, are now posted. You are encouraged to peruse them both.
Despite the diligence of the District's maintenance program, overflows do still occur. Culprits include: diapers and other hygiene products that should not have been flushed down the toilet; fats, oils, and grease (FOG) that should not have been poured down the drain; and construction debris introduced into the collection system. In short, overflows are usually preventable. Overflow cleanup is costly and has the potential to introduce pathogens into the environment. If an overflow reaches a storm drain or watershed, the District is required to report the incident to environmental agencies, raising the potential for fines or litigation (under provisions of the Clean Water Act) by environmental watchdog groups. In fact, the District recently settled (for $17,000) with such a group whose cause of action was based simply on the fact that overflows had occurred.
If a blockage occurs in the sanitary sewer system, sewage will rise through a manhole and overflow to the surrounding area. However, if your house plumbing is below the level of the overflowing manhole, the sewage can backup through your house side sewer lateral and enter your home through your plumbing drains. Backflow prevention devices are designed to prevent sewage from entering your home and are mandated by building code as well as District ordinance. When the need for a backflow prevention device is overlooked or ignored, the consequences can be devastating.
With cost estimates approaching $600,000, limited storage capacity and a lengthy payback period (40+ years), a program to deliver "Title 22" recycled water to the community-at-large is difficult to justify even if funds were available. Undaunted however, the District is pursuing opportunities with individual home-owners where their proximity to its facilities makes it feasible.
Although the main plant is located in a south-facing, "solar-power sweet spot," the District's facilities are without sufficient roof-area or adjacent real-estate for the installation of photovoltaic panels to make a meaningful contribution to its energy needs. However, through its participation in PG&E's demand reduction programs and through the use of the methane gas that is a byproduct of operations, the District was able to reduce its utility costs by 1.5% over the previous year.