The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Sewer service expanding

Septic tank to be replaced outlying areas


March 28, 2019 | View PDF

Several outlying areas of Shafter will be getting a new sewer system installed, allowing them to be hooked up to Shafter's main sewer line, alleviating the need for septic tanks.

Residents who live in West Shafter, Southwest Shafter, Thomas Lane, Smith Corner, Burbank Avenue and Cherokee Strip are currently utilizing septic sewer tanks that discharge wastewater into leach lines and seepage pits located on individual properties. The continued use of multiple septic tank systems in proximity of local groundwater wells raises concerns about drinking water quality.

The majority of the residents have been using septic tanks, which can become expensive to replace, as well as maintain. Many residents drain their shower and washing machine water into their yards and into the streets..

Supervisor David Couch and his office is backing a project underway that will give the residents a new sewer system, alleviating the need for septic tanks altogether.

The County of Kern has secured a grant for over $10.1 million for the planning, design and construction of a first-time main sewer line called a trunk line for the residents of the communities. They have also submitted an additional $3 million grant application to connect the trunk line to the main sewer line of the city.

Mark Salvaggio, constituent services specialist in Supervisor Couch's office, said, "People seem to take sewer service for granted where they live, but to these people who have been without a sewer system for so long, this is a godsend." The project will result in supplying sewer service to approximately 480 residences and businesses.

"We have had our septic tank for a long time and it will be so awesome to have a regular sewer line in there," one resident commented. "I know it can't be good for so many people having to use septic tanks, because of the chance of contamination."

The project would begin by creating the trunk line, connecting all of the residents in the different communities to the main trunk line, then connecting it to Shafter's main line going to the 7th Standard Road facility.

Funding for the project will come from the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund- Wastewater Treatment Projects, from Proposition 1. The proposition authorized the issuance of bonds to finance safe drinking water and water supply reliability programs.

There have been several projects in the recent past cleaning up areas of unincorporated portions of the Shafter community, including clean up being done in the La Colonia area of Shafter, as well as new lighting and road signs. The area will also be the site of a major bulky waste event that will take place, allowing the residents to dispose of furniture, appliances, as well as other bulky items which will be taken free of charge.


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