The Coast: In Beach Enclave, Affluent Are Split Over Effluent
RINCON POINT, Calif. — Septic tanks or sewers? The question of how to treat wastewater in this exclusive beachfront community is pitting neighbors, surfers and environmentalists against one another.
Sewers would cost residents like Brook Harvey-Taylor and her husband, Billy, who oppose them, about $80,000 per home.
Surfers have long complained about getting sick at the world-class surf break here that straddles Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. And blame for the pollution has long been laid on the septic tanks of the multimillion-dollar homes in the gated enclave of Rincon Point.
After nine years of debate and several lawsuits, homeowners are to vote next month on whether to convert from the tanks to a sewer system. While most residents appear to back the conversion, a vocal group of residents is questioning its wisdom, with several saying they feel bullied into paying for an expensive system that would only encourage more development and more pollution.
“There is no evidence that our septic tanks are polluting anything,” said a homeowner, Billy Taylor, who with his wife, Brook Harvey-Taylor, is a surfer and an outspoken opponent. “Are we cleaning up the ocean? Or are we just moving our waste into another part of the ocean?”
The rest of the story: The New York Times.