Ramona Municipal Water District’s sewer District’s sewer (Santa Maria plant) is currently operating at 110 percent of its rated capacity. This caused a sewer “spill” incident in December 2010 putting Santa Maria Creek in dangerous peril.
So how are developments being proposed and passed in Ramona where additional sewage will be generated? Package Treatment Plants (PTP) have been the method of getting the developer’s foot into Ramona’s sewage system’s door.
When Mt. Woodson was developed, a PTP was built with the intent of the homeowners association operating its own PTP. But PTPs are not easy to run or cheap to repair when things go wrong. With eventual failure, Mt. Woodson development hooked up to Ramona’s sewer system. Burdens placed on Ramona’s sewer system by Mt. Woodson were paid for by existing sewer users in the form of increased sewer rates.
Montecito Ranch development and the head trauma facility expansion both used the same PTP approach to getting their projects approved, with the long-term hope of hooking up to Ramona’s sewage system without paying for sewer capacity increases needed for their developments.
The Cumming Ranch housing development is the next one “down the pipe.” How does it plan on processing the sewage of its 125 houses at the intersection of Highland Valley/Dye Road and Highway 67? Another PTP with less open space? Where is the Cumming Ranch developer putting a sprayfield? We hope it will not be in the “open space nature conservation area” between Etcheverry Creek and Santa Maria Creek.
In the 2020 general plan, Ramona and Valley Center are the main areas targeted to take on the majority of the growth of the county, meaning more of these PTPs are being proposed to enable development in our community — with failures experienced in the past.
Is a hodge-podge of multiple mini-sewage plants spraying effluent on fields throughout our valley the solution we want to leave our children? Maybe a better plan is to preserve our grasslands and tell the County of San Diego to put its growth plans elsewhere. We want to keep Ramona rural.