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Malibu Homeowners May Soon Pay Much to Flush

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It will cost a lot more to empty your bowels in the 'Bu if the Los Angeles County Regional Water Quality Control Board votes on November 5 to implement a ban on septic systems, which the Water Board says contributes to ocean pollution. If the ban goes through, homeowners would be hit with a $1,000 monthly fee that would finance a $52 million centralized wastewater treatment facility. Septic systems would be phased out over five years, and those not complying would be fined $10,000 per day or $100 per gallon of wastewater "discharged" (ew). The Malibu Times says just the "mere threat" of the fees have hurt market values in the already suffering 'Bu (median home prices in the oceanfront town dropped about 33 percent in 2009, the paper reports). “As a real estate agent, it's difficult to explain definite costs or what this will mean because so many issues are unresolved," Michael Novotny, manager of Prudential Malibu Realty, told the Times. "For those remodeling, it's not knowing how to advise them on whether to put in a new onsite wastewater system or not. That's why it's a problem right now, especially with this five-year window period." The proposed ban would affect commercial areas of the Civic Center (the monthly fees would be higher for businesses), the stretch of PCH from Serra Road to Sweetwater Canyon, and residential areas of Malibu Colony, Malibu Road, Serra Retreat, Sweetwater Mesa, and the Malibu Knolls. The city has threatened to sue the Water Board if they implement the ban. (Pictured: a typical bathroom in Malibu)
· Many Fear Negative Impact of Septic Ban on Market [Malibu Times]