Letter to the County on Los Osos Water

S&T Water thanks you for the opportunity to voice our perspective on the planning efforts for our community here in Los Osos. We certainly understand that a great deal of time and effort have gone into the County’s work with the Los Osos Community plan.

While we are the smallest purveyor of water in our community, we are on the front line of those affected by seawater intrusion and nitrates from historical and current septic systems. Our primary well is the westernmost community water source and as such, our water supply is very vulnerable to seawater intrusion. As you know, the current metrics of the Basin Management Committee are indicating no improvement and perhaps even an increase in the threat of seawater intrusion. In addition to the threat of sea water intrusion, S&T is also threatened by nitrate pollution originating from the high-density septic systems currently permitted by the County in the Cabrillo Estates area. The S&T community water source, which supplies drinking water to approximately 591 citizens of Los Osos, is threatened with imminent failure when the nitrate concentrations in this source continue to increase in the next decade or two.

We are cautiously optimistic that the programs under the management of the Los Osos Basin Management Committee will eventually allow the community water sources in Los Osos to become sustainable for the current population. We do not believe these supplies to be sustainable now. Progress is materializing, but we are fearful that “turning on the tap” of development, without greater margins of safety, will lead to unnecessary harm and expense.

Our primary responsibility is to our shareholders to continue to provide a safe, clean and sustainable water supply.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Chris Gardner
Los Osos
Vice President of the Board and S&T Staff Representative to the Los Osos Basin Management Committee

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