From the desk of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX
As we enter the Holiday Season in Shasta County we can look back on how this year has transpired in regards to real estate. For those of you who keep an eye on our local area housing market we can clearly see that Shasta County home sales have outperformed last year by nearly 3% year to date. However, active inventory has remained steady throughout the year.
If you own a property which requires a septic system, you need to watch this video!
Click Here to watch Josh's video blog for the month of November
There are changes that are coming to Shasta County in relation to septic systems. In the year 2000, there was a water situation that took place in the Santa Barbara area. As a result, there was water contamination and the State of California required the Water Quality Control Board to conduct an Environmental Impact Study to determine what the best measures would be to protect our water systems as a State. However we all know Santa Barbara is entirely different than Shasta County. The solution found by the State required a separation between ground water and all septic systems in order to prevent contamination. They determined that a separation of between 4 and 20 feet be applied. If we applied that new requirement here in Shasta County it is likely very few homes would actually qualify to have a septic system at all, or one that would be economically feasible to install.
After this determination by the State, each County responded to the Water Quality Control Board with comments as to why each area would not be able to apply the stringent new requirements. Out of the comments made by local counties, a new program was adopted called LAMP, (Local Area Management Program) and each county was responsible for submitting their own report about how they planned to protect the local water system itself.
Shasta County New Water Quality Regulations
Currently in Shasta County the minimum separation between groundwater and a septic system is 1 foot. Beginning in May, 2018 that requirement is going to change. The increase will be from 1 foot to 2 feet of separation. This may seem like a very small change, but will have a big impact on existing septic systems as well as new systems being installed in the future. We are likely going to see septic systems becoming more and more shallow. There will need to be additional engineering and design in order to facilitate an operational septic system. Pumps, raised burms, and curtain drains are some of the methods that can be adopted to create a working septic system and still meet the new requirements of LAMP.
If you already own property in Shasta County and you're thinking about selling within the next couple of years, you may want to consider obtaining a septic permit before May 2018. If submitted before May you may be able to remain under the current requirements. If you wait, you may be subject to the new guidelines. If your current system is limping along and maintenance may be needed within the next year, you may want to consider resolving the situation sooner rather than later, before the new requirements become effective.
If you would like to learn more, I would recommend speaking to the Shasta County Environmental Health Department. The department will be able to walk you through some of the steps that are necessary in order to resolve your particular septic issue or question.
Beyond the county, if you're looking for advice from someone who actually installs septic systems, it is best to get in touch with a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. There are several of these specialists in town that qualify for the designation, and tend to have the most knowledge when it comes to solving problems with septic systems and how to meet those new requirements coming in the future.
As always we're always here to help. If you have any questions at all please give us a call at 530-222-3800 or reply to this email. We can help point you in the right direction.
Your local Realtor,