Los Osans raise a stink over sewage



An increasingly vocal group out of Los Osos is accusing SLO County of pushing the small bayside town toward a sewage system some do not want.

They believe the county is leaning toward a gravity sewage transportation system, which, like its name says, uses gravity to transport sewage from homes to a treatment facility. But many residents are vying for a Septic Tank Effluent Pumping (STEP) system, which pumps from individual septic tanks to a community main line.

County officials took several Los Osans on a field trip to sewage facilities in Scotts Valley and Discovery Bay on Sept. 3. The trip highlighted innovative technologies that could be used in Los Osos.

At the Sept. 9 Board of Supervisors meeting, a stream of Los Osans blasted the field trip as a waste of time and money. The facilities that were visited on the field trip utilize gravity systems which would not be required with a STEP system.

“We are in a time that we need to be moving ahead of old dinosaur technology,” Linde Owen said.

Ben DiFatpa said the county’s preferred system would be too expensive and would force many elderly and poor out of their homes.

“Los Osos lives will be devastated,” DiFatpa told the board. “And rest assured, you will be hammering the final nail in their coffins.”

A community survey sent to 4,200 residents was also criticized. The survey showed that 16 percent of respondents did not want a STEP system, but only 42 percent of the surveys were actually returned.

“There’s something seriously wrong here in this process,” Owen said.

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