Why is the City making property owners connect to the sewer project?
The City is providing one State-approved mechanism for property owner compliance with orders from two State agencies, the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), that were recorded into state law through a Basin Plan amendment in 2010. The order is a prohibition of discharge from onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) in a specific zone by specific dates. Penalties for violating the Prohibition Order will be directed at individual property owners, not the City (except as a property owner). The City of Malibu is NOT making property owners connect to the proposed sewer project.

A property owner who violates the Prohibition and continues to discharge wastewater to an OWTS could be subject to individual orders from the RWQCB. These orders could range from a mandate to convert septic tanks to sewage holding tanks (with associated truck hauling of the stored flow) to fines of up to $10,000 per day for large volume, high impacting discharges.

The RWQCB and SWRCB provided a compliance mechanism via a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the City is currently following. If property owners had rejected this approved option (such as through a negative vote on assessment district formation), the consequences would have been imposed by the RWQCB on the individual property owners within the Prohibition Zone, not the City of Malibu.

More details about the Basin Plan Amendment and the State’s proceedings to establish the prohibition can be found on the City’s website at: www.malibucity.org/index.aspx?NID=263 and on the SWRCB website at: http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/rwqcb4/water_issues/programs/basin_plan/index.shtml

Show All Answers

1. Why is the City making property owners connect to the sewer project?
2. What is the scientific basis for implementing this project? How do we know it will work to clean up Malibu Creek and Lagoon?
3. Why is the Winter Canyon property the preferred site for the treatment plant? Why were other sites rejected?
4. How is it safe to locate a treatment plant across the street from a school and dense multifamily development? What other examples are there of treatment plants being sited in this type of location?
5. Was any consideration given to the effects the new treatment plant will have on property values for residents across the street?
6. What are the water quality standards that will be met for treated wastewater that is used for recycling and for dispersal into the lower aquifer that flows to the ocean?
7. Are there airborne pathogens or odors that will leave the treatment plant site and affect the schools / residences across the street?
8. Are there violations in effect for the two other treatment plants- the County-operated plant serving the condominiums and the former plant on the new CCWTF site?
9. Will any parking spaces lost to the injection well installation on Malibu Road be replaced?
10. Does the Phase 1 project include storage for delivery of recycled water to properties for irrigation?
11. Will Phase 2 and 3 property owners have to pay for a 10 million-gallon recycled water storage tank?
12. Will Phase 2 and 3 property owners be paying for infrastructure, including recycled water storage, required for Phase 1?
13. Will Serra Canyon households be charged for use of recycled water? If Serra Canyon does not vote to hook up in Phase 2, will there be any change to the recycled water dispersal plans or constraints fo
14. How far do the Phase 1 collection and distribution systems extend?
15. Serra property owners commissioned a study that shows no impact on Malibu Creek and Malibu Lagoon from these properties. Why is the City requiring them to be in the prohibition zone?
16. What infrastructure will be in the floodplain and how protected is this infrastructure?
17. What happens if there is a major earthquake?
18. What will prevent sewage or treatment chemicals from spilling into the wetlands on the treatment plant site, or flowing under Pacific Coast Hwy, if there is a power outage or a major backup?
19. What about homes that sit below the level of the street, such as in the Malibu Knolls area?