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All new or repair septic permits will have to follow the new OWTS Manual.
All new or repair septic permits will have to follow the new OWTS Manual.

County Has Adopted
Onsite Wastewater Treatment System
(OWTS) Manual 7
version 7 dated 8/15/19

Aug 26, 2019
by Chuck Ramsey, Russian River Alliance


I attended the Stumptown Beerfest on our beach recently.  Many out of area and local folks having a great time. Perfect weather. You look around and see people in the river, you see the mountains and the marine layer mist starting to come in. In some ways Monte Rio hasn’t changed over the decades. It’s still one gorgeous paradise.

Russian River Pride is back! 

September and there’s a change in air. High season begins to wind down and we look forward to the peace and still of fall and winter. But before taking a break, attend Russian River Pride Saturday Sept 7th.  Kudos to Rodger Jensen for bringing Pride back to the River. Hopefully the newly remodeled r3 will be open by then as well. 

There are several changes involving the county recently.

First one being they have adopted the Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Manual, version 7 dated 8/15/19. All new or repair septic permits will have to follow this manual. I recently went through this process upgrading my redwood box prior to the change in regulations. On the plus side, it seems that while no cesspools will be allowed, existing functioning redwood boxes will be. The difference is a cesspool has holes on the sides where liquids and solids seep out. Over time they clog, fail, and contaminate the soil. Redwood boxes keep the solids inside. Next summer you will be asked what type of system you have. Systems will have to be inspected every 5 years (you pay for inspection). Cesspools and systems that don’t pass inspection will have to be upgraded within 15 years. Some systems might require pre-treatment in the future. There might be low interest loans or grants available, but there are none at this time. In doing research I was surprised to learn that 25% of all homes in the US (including newly built homes) are on septic systems.  The manual can be found at:

We also have a new ombudsperson,  Alisha O’Loughlin, who can assist residents regarding septic upgrades. She will hold office hours at the Monte Rio Community Center. 

In the Fifth District Office, Elise VanDyne has taken over the field rep position from Amie Windsor Elise was most recently the Executive Director for Russian River Chamber. District Director Susan Upchurch will be retiring to her home on Whidbey Island near Seattle in October after 11 years of service. I thank Susan for helping me and the community over the years and wish her many years of enjoying the good life in retirement.  Leo Chyi will be taking her place and will be working with her during the transition starting August 23rd. He worked for the City and County of San Francisco for the past 10 years. He and his partner have been regular visitors to West county for years and they own a home here. Welcome Leo!    

On Labor Day, Sept 2nd The Friends of Monte Rio Supper Club features A Guy and His Grill BBQ with music by Dave Hamilton Band at the Community Center. BYOB $15 6-8pm

Ready for fall? Curtain Call Theater presents The Haunting of Hill House Sept 6-28.

Vacation Wonderland, we just keep getting better. 

Monte Rio Musings by Chuck Ramsey



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