Why treat sewage water?

There are a lot of good reasons why sewage treatment is so important. Consequences of a lack of proper sewage treatment can be serious for the environment and for our health. Clean water is critical to plants and animals that live in and near water.

Wastewater treatment is a process used to remove contaminants from wastewater and convert it into an effluent that can be returned to the water cycle. Once returned to the water cycle, the effluent creates an acceptable impact on the environment or is reused for various purposes.

What does my service payment pay for?

The Districts’ fixed charge is the minimum amount necessary to keep the entire wastewater system and services available. Continual maintenance of the District is required to keep the environment safe from pollution. The District is required to be ready to receive flow 24 hours per day 365 days per year. We staff weekends and holidays. Two employees are on call when we are not fully staffed and ready to respond to any after hour problems.

I am not full time why do I pay the same?

The cost of treatment is very similar for zero gallons as 1,000 gallons of raw sewage. The reason is our treatment plants are designed as to treat 700 thousand gallons a day. The machinery and staff have to be kept at the same level at all times to ensure that any and all incoming wastewater can be properly treated to comply with the Districts’ discharge requirements.

Is there much State Regulations and compliance?

We have many regulators overseeing the districts operations. This list includes State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA). We report to SWRCB monthly quarterly and yearly. These regulators require a lot of programs year-round. Record keeping is a large part of the different agency’s requirements of the District.

Why does it cost more here than down the hill?

It’s fairly simple why it costs more in Crestline to treat wastewater than say big cities. The economy of scale. We follow the same regulations, do the same job and have a fraction of the customers at 4,900 approximate connections. Large cities have new housing tracks that help pay for large improvements. The mountain terrain is problematic and cost more to clean and maintain. Our aging infrastructure also cost more to maintain.

Why don’t we sell our effluent?

We are always actively looking for any use of CSD’s water. We did sell it for dust control on the Hwy 138 project. Unfortunately, there is very little demand for the use of CSD’s water. Large parks and golf courses use the most recycled water. But, that kind of water reuse needs to go to the highly clean tertiary treatment. Currently the District only cleans the water to a secondary standard. Without a large consumer the cost would have to be passed on amongst the users in Crestline and that would be very expensive per person with no revenue to help offset the cost.

How does Crestline Sanitation District user fees compare to other agencies on the mountain?

The District rates are very competitive compared the rest of the mountain districts. These rates are the monthly fees.

  • Big Bear CSD $34.90
  • Big Bear Lake $38.77
  • Arrowbear Park $41.00
  • Crestline SD $52.82
  • Lake Arrowhead CSD $55.40
  • Running Springs WD $67.99
  • Lytle Creek CSA $75.19
  • Fawnskin CSA $87.78

The average of the above districts is $56.73.

Why do the treatment plants need to be upgraded?

The master plan completed in September 2018 identified $18,858,000 of needed improvements throughout the District. Some of the smaller, less costly improvements are being completed with our reserves. Huston Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant is in need of the most work. Our sludge dewatering facility was built in 1985. The solids press is becoming less dependable and obsolete. Parts are becoming impossible to obtain. The primary clarifiers were built in 1952. We have no redundancy and cannot remove them from service for long period of time. Currently the Huston Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant does not have a generator and needs to have one in order to stay in compliance with the state of California.