03/31/13 — Walnut Creek Council rejects sewer

View Archive

Walnut Creek Council rejects sewer

By Staff Reports
Published in News on March 31, 2013 1:50 AM

The Walnut Creek Village Council voted unanimously last week to end its push for a village-wide sewer system.

After the proposal caused an uproar among most residents, the five council members chose to find another way to deal with the village's sewer problems.

"We're just going to start over," said Mayor Darrell Horne after the vote. "I read every email, every letter, every petition, and I just felt like it wasn't the right thing to do.

"The people on the sewer committee are going to take all the comments and see if there's a better solution."

Opponents turned out en masse to public meetings in January and February to express their criticism of the sewer expansion, which had been discussed in earnest for almost a decade.

Engineering estimates had said that the extension, if approved, would require village residents not yet on the sewer line to pay for property assessments estimated at $8,500 each and hook-up costs estimated at more than $1,000.

Problems with several sewer tanks and the potential threat of sewage runoff in the village lake had prompted the proposal earlier this year.

But many residents said their septic tanks were working fine and that there was no proof of any environmental danger.

Original plans for the village from the 1960s called for a sewer system that would include all households. But those plans, when pulled from a dusty shelf, did nothing to convince many homeowners that the need was still there.

About 45 percent of the village's homes are already on a sewer system, but the majority use septic tanks. The plan had been to bring every home into the system.