|Apr 22, 2011 --
The community of Weedpatch is a very small unincorporated area 6 miles southeast of Bakersfield, Calif. The neighborhood is currently using private septic systems for wastewater treatment and disposal, but many residents have experienced septic system failures. As a result, sewage and grey water have been surfacing in people's yards.
The community received a letter of violation from the Kern County Environmental Health Services Department stating they were in violation of public health regulations. As well, many of the homes did not have large enough lot sizes for septic system installation or leach field replacement, so they needed to connect to a sewer system. It was soon identified that the Lamont Public Utility District had an existing sewer main line near the neighborhood.
USDA Rural Development was able to assist with a $298,000 grant, along with $100,000 Community Development Block Grant funds though the County of Kern to provide financing for the project. The septic tanks will all be decommissioned and connections to the residences will be installed. This will connect the 33 homes to the nearby Lamont sewer system.
USDA Rural Development has previously provided funding to upgrade the wastewater treatment system in Lamont; therefore, the Lamont sewer system has sufficient capacity to allow for the additional sewer service connections from the Weedpatch neighborhood.
When this project is complete, the Weedpatch community will have a new sewer system that will comply with public health regulations and remedy this health hazard and potential pollution problem for the local water supply.
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