Our letter to California State Water Resources Control Board

February 23, 2009


            My name is Steve Dangler and I live in Mendocino. As Vice President of NatureClean, I work throughout California. We design, build and install Aerobic Waste Water Treatment Systems for residential, commercial and municipal use.


California has over 1,320,000 OWTS and one plan will not apply. That’s like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. California is a very diverse state with changing topography, geology and proximity to water, like the ocean, rivers, lakes, wetlands and wells. Systems need be site specific. A home near a lake is much different than one in the desert. Mendocino County has 75 % of homeowners on OWTS.


            AB 885 will impose unrealistic conditions like reduction of side wall filtration (making the fields 3 times longer), unnecessary testing of wells and septic systems which most have no problems. This bill will burden homeowners who are in compliance; also this bill does not resolve anything. DEIR does not address funding to make these changes.


            It will curtail property owner’s ability to develop their land. Property owners have rights and this bill could deny certain properties their right to build or exist on their land. This would be a “taking” and could result in litigation and class action suits against the state and counties.


When this was presented to the Board of Supervisors in Mendocino County by the Department of Environmental Health (01-13-2009), the Board voted unanimously to oppose this bill. Many citizens gave testimony against the bill. How will this help meet and achieve regional housing needs and allocation?


The California Association of Realtors sent a letter to Todd Thompson on December 8, 2008 regarding the consequences of this bill and sent out a RED ALERT to us realtors about the importance and consequences of this bill on December 16, 2008.


            You may have heard that the Board meeting scheduled on January 27, 2009 in Santa Rosa at the Well Fargo Center, where I meet Tam, James, Tom and Marlene who represented the board, that so many people showed up that the meeting had to be cancelled due to public safety. I want to thank Tam and her staff for quickly scheduling another meeting at the Wells Fargo Center on February 02, 2009 in the large theatre with two times for locals to attend. The newspaper quoted over 1600 people showed up to understand what AB 885 was about and to express their concerns. RCRC who represent 30 of the 58 counties expressed deep concern over the writing of this bill and continues to offer help to create good workable guidelines for OWTS.


            Per your handout, areas noted with impaired water bodies where in part of Southern California. That leaves the majority of the state without designation or problems. Of the 600,000 wells only 1000 where tested and only in five counties. What do we know about the remaining 53 counties in California? The testing done only focused on OWTS and not other natural influences. Set backs proposed would greatly restrict land use and owners right to land that would meet current conditions. Each county has a General Plan that they must follow. AB 885 would put counties out of compliance with their General Plan making them subject to litigation from homeowners to commercial real estate owners. California Supreme Court in 1990 requires the county to follow their General Plan.


            What we need is “SOLUTIONS” to these problems not to be burdened with cost and bureaucracy. There is not one solution in AB885. We have systems available today to meet the needs from residential, commercial and municipal. We of NatureClean know how to meet these needs using nature and technology for a clean environment. We can streamline the process; develop plans, while preserving defined habitat areas. The need for testing and service providers will cause additional transportation which is contrary to AB 32.


            You are not understanding the total cause and effects of these impaired water bodies. You also do not provide ways to correct these problems other that replacing the system and/or field. Much could be done with public awareness on proper use and guidelines for OWTS. The majority of the systems could be improved, others with field problems could be restored and if necessary then you would replace the system/field. The public needs to understand they can not treat their septic tank like a trash can. We are responsible for what we use and where it goes.


            The simplest guideline would be the DO’S AND DON’T of septic systems (available upon request). Then proper blended bacteria (available now) could be used on a scheduled basis to help the digestive nature of these systems. Tam may remember that after I gave my speech at the Wells Fargo Center how many people had their hand out to talk to me about this bacteria and our company. We can work with impacted fields and restore them. Troubled systems could have aeration added to breakup the anaerobic sludge and with bacteria providing a more efficient breakdown of the effluent, and then we can go after the grease, oils and phosphates that clogs the field (#1 cause of failure). We can even, site specific, blend formulations for breaking down pharmaceuticals.


            We do not want this to turn into a circus with lawyers running around signing everyone up for a class action suit. We would rather have the state, region and counties use their money to educate and improve those systems necessary for the betterment of all and the environment.


            As a note, the biggest problem today is the municipal systems with old infrastructure. Every time we have a big rain those plants can not handle the excess sewage flow. Why, because the pipes leak and let ground water in. Now if ground water can get in, that means the rest of the time sewage can leak out.


            We are here to help. It is time to overcome the challenges with fresh thinking and bold new ideas. We are finding solutions to the environmental crisis. Together we can invest in the future to achieve balance with our Earth. We use technology and nature for a clean environment. Our business philosophy is one of sustainability and responsibility. It is based upon respect for the natural environment; we are all dependent as well as considerate for human and social factors.

                                                Sincerely,         Steve Dangler

                                                                        VP Construction/Sales

                        California Licensed Contractor #428287        

                                               California Licensed Realtor #181519377