Saturday, August 17, 2013


Directors present:
Barbara Boucke, Vice President
Sandra Cross, Director
Morey Nelsen, Director

Directors absent:
Jim Zell, President
Lawrence Baskin, Director

Treasurer present:
Judy Stemen

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

Staff present:
Richard Souza - District Engineer
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Asst.




The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.


  1. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Request for installation of a new septic system using an alternative type system, vacant lot located at 213 Seadrift Road, Caitlin Pardo De Zela, Owner, APN 195-331-39, continued from the July 20, 2013 Board meeting.
    The General Manager briefly described the following three issues which caused the project to be continued from the July 20 Board meeting and which were subsequently discussed at the July 29, 2013 Wastewater Committee meeting: (1) wet weather testing, (2) lead agency for CEQA, and (3) ten foot separation from the water main line to the septic system.

    (1) District Engineer Souza confirmed that wet weather groundwater testing was conducted on the property in early April of this year. There is at least three feet of vertical separation from the bottom of the leach field trenches to seasonal high groundwater.

    (2) Since a Coastal Permit is required, the County will be the lead agency for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The District is thus not responsible for preparation or approval of the CEQA Initial Study documents.

    (3) The District's existing water main line appears to be between nine to ten feet from the nearest edge of the proposed leach field. If the septic system construction does not meet the ten foot separation requirement, the owner will be required to relocate portions of the water main line that are within ten feet of the leach field.

    Director Nelsen moved to approve draft Resolution No. WW 2013-02, granting a variance to the Title IV Regulations Ordinance No. 2012-01, Sec. 4.15.100, to reduce a property line setback from 5 to 4 feet to a leach line and Sec. 4.19.010, to utilize an alternative wastewater system. Vice President Boucke seconded the motion, provided that an additional condition is added to the resolution requiring the installation of water conservation plumbing fixtures. The motion was approved unanimously by Vice President Boucke and Directors Cross and Nelsen.
  2. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Waiver Request for replacing an existing septic system with a new alternative system for property located at 24 Calle del Resaca, Harold Parker Properties, Owner, Acct. #520, continued from the July 20, 2013 Board meeting.
    The General Manager briefly described the following two issues which caused the project to be continued from the July 20 Board meeting and which were subsequently discussed at the July 29, 2013 Wastewater Committee meeting: (1) Cumulative impact of neighboring septic systems and (2) waiver request for a setback reduction.

    (1) District Engineer Souza reported that the District's records show there is at least 36 inches of separation between seasonal high groundwater and existing grade. A cumulative impact analysis was not required since groundwater elevation is not within 36 inches from existing grade. The new alternative raised bed system will significantly reduce the strength of the waste [Total Suspended Solids and Biological Oxygen Demand].

    (2) Troy Pearce of AYS Engineering, the project's Design Engineer, has revised his design plans to meet the District's five foot setback regulations. Therefore, the only waiver request to the Title IV regulations relates to the use of an alternative wastewater system design.

    Director Nelsen moved to approve draft Resolution No. WW 2013-03 granting a waiver to the Title IV Regulations Ordinance No. 2012-01, Sec. 4.19.010, to replace the existing wastewater system with an alternative wastewater system. Director Cross seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by Vice President Boucke and Directors Cross and Nelsen.


  1. Discussion and possible direction to staff re policy and procedures for backflow device testing.
    At last month's Board meeting, John Washington, doing business as Stinson Beach Maintenance Company, requested that the District's backflow testing charge be placed on this month's agenda. He performs backflow tests and stated that businesses cannot compete with the District's charge for performing the tests. Mr. Washington noted his expenses include his cost of attending a mandatory recertification class every three years.

    Fire Chief Kenny Stevens, who also performs backflow tests, pointed out that the cost of the multiple printed forms is another item which impacts the profit margin of the independent testers.

    The General Manager surveyed numerous other agencies and contractors for their charge for testing backflow devices. There is a wide range of charges. Contractors within North Marin and Marin Municipal Water Districts charge from $45 to $188 per test. The Stinson Beach County Water District charges $70 per test. The District's estimated cost is $68.80. If the District's fee does not exceed the cost of providing the service, it is not subject to Proposition 218, because it is a fee for a service requested by the customer and not a property related fee. If the District fee was more than the cost of the service, then the District would be subject to Proposition 218 and all its requirements. The General Manager noted that the District is only one of a few agencies that still do backflow tests, as most agencies have turned over this function to private contractors.

    The District does not wish to take away any business from the independent backflow testing contractors. The District's customers are free to choose a backflow tester, whether it is the District or an outside tester. However, if the customer does not respond to the District's notification letter that the annual backflow prevention device test is due, the District will perform the backflow test. Director Nelsen recommended modifying its customer letters to state that henceforth the District will no longer make any repairs to a customer's backflow device. If a backflow device does not pass its initial testing by the District, any repairs and subsequent retesting are to be performed by an individual hired by the customer.

    After much back and forth discussion, the Board decided to discuss these issues, including the parameters for requiring backflow devices, at the next Water Operations Committee meeting.


Director Cross was not present at the July 20, 2013 Board meeting. Thus, a quorum was not met at this August 17 Board meeting, and the approval of the Minutes of July 20, 2013 was moved to the September 21, 2013 Board meeting.


Vice President Boucke moved to approve the disbursements of July 30, 2013. Director Nelsen seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved unanimously.


The General Manager discussed his monthly report. Maze & Associates, the District's financial auditor, will conduct their on site visit on September 3.

The Board has received a copy of the General Manager's Operations Manual. The other employee manuals are in the final stages of completion.

The mixer that will be installed in the District's Steep Ravine Tank by the Pax Corporation in the next several weeks will be smaller than the model originally presented to the District. He will notify the Board after installation is completed.

The General Manager will set up a meeting with the Legal Committee and Steve McCaffrey of Redwood Empire Disposal regarding a possible garbage rate increase.

The General Manager distributed an e-mail from Lance Benjamin of the Pall Corporation, confirming the delivery of the replacement tank and one year free phone support.

Vice President Boucke requested that the General Manager obtain the geographical dimensions of the Coastal Zone for Stinson Beach and obtain copies of the FEMA map zones.

She also requested that the Administrative Assistant attend future Wastewater Committee and Water Operations Committee meetings to take informal minutes of these meetings which will then be e-mailed to the Board.

Vice President Boucke recommended that the District have an annual workshop to discuss proposed changes to the District's Title IV Onsite Wastewater Management Code.

The General Manager will notify the Board when new septic projects are listed on the County's weekly building permit applications and permits issued.

Director Cross suggested that the General Manager issue a press release to the Marin Independent Journal and Point Reyes Light regarding the EPA's findings of the District's excellent water quality.

Vice President Boucke asked if the September 7, 2013 meeting of the Village Association could be held at the District Office, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Director Nelsen will attend the meeting and open the office.


Director Nelsen reported that he and Vice President Boucke have been reading the Village Green I and II Parks water meters and then transmitting this data to Richard Reasoner, who is assisting the District in preparing new water budgets for Village Green I and II. Mr. Nelsen will obtain plans from Architect Michael Mitchell to determine the square footage of lawn, ground cover or other plantings in both parks. The General Manager will send letters to the District's ten largest residential water users to inquire if they wish to participate in a voluntary irrigation water use plan. These residential water budgets would only be implemented if the District moved to a Stage III Water Conservation Alert. The General Manager will provide the Board with the source of the District's authority to require reduction in water use and/or shut water off for water wasting.




The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

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