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LETTER: Septic tank bill would be a burden to homeowners

The Review-Journal’s March 13 article “Biggest water users,” explains components of Assembly Bill 220 but is misleading about septic systems. The article states water from septics is being “lost into the ground.” AB220 proponents say we need to “reclaim” wastewater that is going into septics, also implying this water is currently just being lost.

Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s article, “The soil accepts, treats and disperses wastewater as it percolates through the soil, ultimately discharging to groundwater.” Since septic systems filter waste naturally and release the clean water back into our valley’s aquifer. It is not being lost.

I testified at the March 14 hearing for AB220. Much time was spent reviewing the very detailed amendment presented by the Southern Nevada Water Authority. It would seem that agency officials, not the Legislature, are writing and promoting this bill.

In the time allowed for comments by constituents, all testified in opposition, especially because the bill proposes an unfunded mandate that will force homeowners to pay tens of thousands of dollars to convert their already paid-for septic system to sewer and then pay a monthly bill for sewage maintenance.

The naturally cleaned water coming out of septic systems is not lost, nor will forcing homeowners to change to sewer provide more than a drop in the bucket toward this drought. AB220 will make this water only more easily controlled and monetized by the water authority.

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