The Arcata City Council will meet on Wednesday to consider introducing an ordinance that would revise the requirements for connecting to the city's sewer system.
According to a staff report, an amendment to the existing code would allow property owners who have functioning on-site sewer disposal systems to continue to operate them if the system hasn't failed -- and isn't at risk of failure -- under the Humboldt County Environmental Health Department or the city's public works director's standards. Residents could also continue to operate their systems if the owner proposes a new expansion or construction on the property that wouldn't exceed the existing system's capacity, based on criteria from the public works director.
The code currently requires any property that's next to streets which have or in the future may have a public sewer to connect to the public system, the report states.
The issue arose last spring when the city annexed -- or incorporated into city limits -- 17 parcels in the Shirley Boulevard and Park Avenue neighborhood to remedy a recurring problem pertaining to sewage disposal.
Four of the parcels have experienced septic system failure, requiring emergency sewer service from the city, the report states. The sentiment was echoed by other neighbors.
Although four properties required emergency connection, others haven't failed and don't appear to be in danger of imminent failure, according to the report.
During the annexation hearings, one owner objected to being forced to pay connection fees to the city when the existing system was operating without problems and others had been recently improved, according to the report.
The annexation was conditionally approved by the Local Agency Formation Commission in July, with the city agreeing to amend the code.
Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez.
If you go:
What: Arcata City Council meeting
Where: City Council chamber, 736 F St.
When: 6 p.m., Wednesday