Workshop on Los Osos sewer hookups planned as system nears completion

The Los Osos sewage treatment plant, shown here under construction in October 2014.
The Los Osos sewage treatment plant, shown here under construction in October 2014. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Construction of the Los Osos sewage treatment plant is nearly done, and residents will soon connect their homes to sewer lines already installed under their streets.

The county will hold a workshop Saturday at Los Osos Middle School with contractors on hand to meet with homeowners and answer any questions about connecting lateral sewer lines from their homes to the main line at the street.

Homeowners are responsible for covering the costs of connecting their home sewer lines to the street, and the estimated cost for contracting the hookups is $2,000 to $10,000, with the median being about $3,000. The workshop will include information about financial assistance for low-income residents, as well as ways decommissioned septic tanks can be reused to capture rain water for irrigation.

A list of contractors available to offer their connection services already has been posted on the county’s website.

$3,000 Median cost for homeowners to connect their homes to Los Osos’ sewer lines

The treatment plant is expected to be finished in March, at which time the work to establish the connections can begin, said John Waddell, the county’s project coordinator.

Residents will have six months to connect to the system once connection work begins in their part of town, Waddell said. The county will notify residents by mail when their connection phase begins.

Most people will be able to connect their homes to the street sewer lines in a few days, Waddell said, and decommissioning septics may take another couple of days. Traffic on community streets won’t be affected in any significant way, he said.

4,500 The approximate number of homes in Los Osos linking the new sewage treatment system

The sewage treatment system will serve about 4,500 homes in the community’s Prohibition Zone — an area where septic tanks must be removed because of nitrate contamination in the groundwater. In 1983, the Regional Water Quality Control Board imposed regulations halting new construction and major expansions of existing development in the area, which encompasses most of Los Osos.

In addition to paying the cost to connect to the main sewer line, residents will start being assessed for the cost to build the new sewer system. Those fees are estimated to be $165 per month and will be charged on a homeowner’s property tax bill. The first payment will be due in December 2016.

Workshop details

The workshop will be held Saturday at Los Osos Middle School, 1555 El Morro Ave. Three sessions will be held at 1-2 p.m., 2-3 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.