October 18 2007

Good News for Rincon

by Surfrider Foundation

Rincon Septic-to-Sewer Plan Approved

The normally sleepy proceedings of the Carpinteria Sanitary District Board of Directors exploded this week as multimillion-dollar-home owners, their lawyers, and surfers descended on the scene looking to change what happens when toilets get flushed along Rincon Point.

For years, people have been getting sick after surfing the world-class waves of Rincon, often blaming their fevers, sore throats, ear infections, and stomach problems on the septic tanks that service the 72 homes in the gated Rincon Point community on the popular Carpinteria point break. Led by Santa Barbara nonprofit Heal the Ocean, a plan has been in motion for the better part of nine years to convert the individual septic tanks to a comprehensive sewage system under the jurisdiction of the Sanitary District. Tuesday, October 16, marked the final step in that long process: a tally of votes from Rincon Point homeowners as to whether or not they support the conversion.

According to the "unofficial" results, 41 of the 72 property owners voted in favor of the septic-to-sewer switch. Upon hearing the uncertified results, Heal the Ocean executive director Hillary Hauser was visibly emotional about what, to her, is a bittersweet victory: "After all these years I always imagined a big celebration on this day but instead, because of all this negativity and the accusations, it just seems so sad right now."