Straight From the Source

Straight From the Source

HDWD will be addressing questions concerning the Wastewater Reclamation Project.

All submitted questions will be answered.

If you have a question you would like answered Straight from the Source, please submit it in the form below.

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Past Questions Answered

Q: How were the ballots be counted?
A: A private company, Koppel and Gruber, tabulated all returned ballots via an electronic reader after the close of the Public Hearing. Updates were announced hourly and the tabulation process was in public view.

Q:  What needed to happen before the assessment vote? When did the vote occur?
A:  Assessment ballots were mailed out on March 27, 2015, after the State Water Resources Control Board approved an interest rate on the loan to construct the project. Before the State Board finalized the interest rate, the following items had to be completed:

  • State Board staff’s legal review of the Assessment Engineer’s Report;
  • Final assessment costs for individual property owners;
  • Addendum to the original Environmental Review for the Wastewater Treatment Facility site.

All ballots had to be submitted by May 13, 2015 before the close of the Public Hearing.

Q: If you sell your house after the completion of sewer line construction, do you still carry the debt for the installation or does it carry over to the new owner?
A: The Assessment District Loan and Private Property Connection Loan will be placed onto property taxes. So if a property is sold, the responsibility to re-pay the loans will transfer to the new property owner.

Q: Will you have to dig up 29 Palms Highway as a part of the sewer project?
A: No. The sewer pipe will not be installed in the highway. If you would like to see a map of all sewer pipes in Phase I, visit

Q: Will taxes be levied for the treatment plant without being voted upon by property owners?
A: The shared cost assessments to construct the sewer system (i.e. Pipes and Treatment Facility) will be placed on property taxes after property owners successfully vote to form an assessment district. By forming an assessment district, property owners will secure a loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to finance their share of construction costs at a very low interest rate.

Q: What will we need to do with the old Septic Tank after we have connected to the sewer? Can we leave the septic tank under ground?
A: The Town of Yucca Valley has the local land-use authority and they will be determining what will be required of property owners to abandon their septic tanks. The Building and Safety Department at the Town of Yucca Valley at (760) 365-0099 should be able to answer any questions you have about the Town’s requirements for private property connections.

Q: I understand that 79 grinder pumps have been eliminated from the design, thereby reducing costs by approximately $300,000. How can the new design work without grinder pumps?
A: In the previous design, when sewage exited certain homes, it would have traveled through small pipes. These small pipes would have been located underneath the main lines which transport sewage to the treatment facility, (located to the east end of town). The grinder pumps would have pumped the sewage up from the small pipes to the main lines.
Our engineers have reconfigured those connections, that would have needed grinder pumps, by redirecting those private property connections through easements which will allow the sewage to be transported by gravity instead of pumping up hill.

Q: How will HDWD navigate environmental requirements, such as performing tortoise surveys?
A: HDWD’s specialty is in water, and that is why we hired a consultant by the name of Tom Dodson who works for Tom Dodson and Associates. This is a consulting firm that provides environmental consulting, including desert tortoise surveying, for our project.

Q: What does the new senior housing complex use for waste water disposal?
A: The Senior Housing Project is currently using an onsite package treatment plant system which means they are meeting the State’s discharge requirements; therefore, they are not required to connect to the sewer and since they will not be utilizing the system, they will not be assessed. If in the future, they decide to connect, then at that time will be assessed.

Q: Are permits being issued, currently, for new construction of traditional on-site septic tanks / leaching fields?
A: The Town is currently responsible for issuing permits for septic tanks and leach fields. You can contact the Yucca Valley Building Department at (760) 365-1339.

Additional Questions and Answers can be found by visiting our FAQ page.