Editorial: Sewer not a done deal, but closer

No, it’s still not over. Nonetheless, a few high-fives and a small sigh of relief are in order following Tuesday’s approval of the Los Osos sewer project by the county Board of Supervisors.

Now, only the state Coastal Commission looms as a major hurdle, unless opponents of the project take the matter to court.

For the moment, though, we won’t even go there.

Instead, we want to commend the Board of Supervisors for moving forward with a viable plan — albeit one far different from county staff’s initial recommendation.

The staff had identified the 645-acre Tonini property on Turri Road as the best location for the sewer plant. The Planning Commission, however, moved the location closer to town, to the 38-acre Giacomazzi parcel north of Los Osos Valley Memorial Park.

The method of disposal also is much different. Under the revised project, treated wastewater will be used for irrigation and to recharge the Los Osos groundwater basin, which is threatened by seawater intrusion. Under the old plan, a significant portion would have been disposed of outside the basin.

The Board of Supervisors could have become hopelessly sidetracked on any number of points, but it pressed forward into the night. Ultimately, the board unanimously agreed to the revised project, which is a significant vote of confidence.

Not everyone was happy with the outcome, but we believe this is a good option that addresses the need for a sewer and helps resolve the community’s groundwater problems.

The end may not be here, but it’s finally in sight.