Prosser resident petitions for sewer service
A resident of Prosser Lakeview Estates has begun a petition to annex the Prosser subdivision into the Truckee Sanitary District.
“I’ve lived here for 12 years now and I’ve always heard that in three to five years we would be getting a sewer system,” said Kenn Rieders, a Prosser Lakeview Estates homeowner. “Finally, I just decided to attend a (Truckee Sanitary District) meeting and I found out that there was nothing in the works.”
Rieders began having problems with his septic tank in 1999 after noticing very green areas surrounding his leach lines. He discovered shortly thereafter that his system had failed and he was forced to install a new one.
“I’ve already fixed my problem,” said Rieders. “I’m looking towards the long run and am concerned for my neighbors … Septic systems only last 20 years.”
Janie Sharp, a realtor who lives in Prosser Lakeview, agrees.
“I think it’d be a real benefit to have sewer service,” said Sharp. “You have to be concerned about contamination with septic systems.”
Problems with outdated septic systems can be costly to repair, and environmental restrictions can further raise costs to homeowners.
“A lot of homes out there are over 20 years old, and their systems are failing,” said Sharp. “Sewer is just so much better in the long run.”
Some of the first signs of septic system failure may be fertile plant growth in the area of the leach field, slow or sluggish drains or the smell of sewage on or around the property. Rieders experienced all of these problems when his system failed.
He thinks the subdivision is already dealing with soil or ground water contamination due to the outdated systems. He points out that drinking water has had to be heavily chlorinated within the past several years.
But the cost of installing a sewer system is expensive. The estimated cost per homeowner could range anywhere from $6,000 to $16,000.
O.R. Butterfield, the general manager and chief engineer of the Truckee Sanitary District, says finding a majority of homeowners to agree to annexation might be harder than Rieders anticipates.
“I just can’t imagine why people, who aren’t experiencing any problems with their systems, would go for something like this … it’s pretty expensive,” said Butterfield.
Annexing into the Truckee Sanitation District will require a majority of the homeowners signatures. Butterfield says in all, Rieders will need around 400 signatures.
Once the petition is turned in and approved, the process to annex should take about a year, says Butterfield.
But, if Prosser Lakeview Estates is determined to be contaminated, the process could move much more quickly.
“If the Lahontan Water Quality Control Board or if a Nevada County Environmental Health Officer determines there to be a contamination problem, it will eliminate the necessity of a vote by the people,” said O.R. Butterfield, the general manager of the Truckee Sanitary District.
Rieders plans to canvass most of the subdivision within the next few weeks getting signatures.
“(Signing this petition) obligates (home owners) to nothing except confirming that they are in favor of a sewer system,” said Rieders. “And it also means they will agree to pay a $50 per acre annexation fee.”
Rieders points out that installing a sewer system should also increase the value of the Prosser Lakeview homes.
“Just look at Glenshire,” said Rieders. “After they put their sewer system in, their house values really went up.”
To contact Rieders or to sign the petition, call (530) 587-4317. For more information about the Truckee Sanitary District call (530) 587-1340.
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This story will be updated as more votes are counted. The results must be certified by Oct. 22.