Earth to Supervisors, locals speak out

Septic system rules

EDITOR: Our local politicians have again avoided their responsibilities on the issue of Russian River water quality by delaying regulation of septic systems within 600 feet of our waterways (“Delay sought for septic system rules,” May 23). Why does this remind me of how national politicians avoid gun control?

For more than three supervisorial terms, I have written to the state water board, the planning department and the Board of Supervisors urging them to at least start by separating commercial establishments — restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals — from single-family residences in terms of regulations. These “mini-hotels” (homes converted to weekend rentals) should face stricter regulation as well as all the commercial establishments on our waterways.

The millions already spent studying the issue over the past decades could have been used to fund retrofits for those facing economic hardship. The commercial establishments and vacation rentals can and should pay full freight and stop hiding behind the little guys.

At the least, the county should force a review of a septic system when properties sell and yearly for commercial properties. Many buyers of homes with septic systems don’t know where they are located on the property, much less the condition they are in.

It’s not about a Buick or Cadillac. We can do better.