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Malibu Sewage War ... won?

18:48 6th November 2009 by
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Image by www.surfrider.org.

Residents of US surfing’s most iconic neighborhood have been told they need to hook up to a proper sewage system to help halt the ubiquitous evidence – visual and olfactory – of raw shit along the inshore zone.

According Surfrider USA, which along with other environment and local groups has been campaigning for clean water in the area, “measurements taken from the Heal the Bay Beach Report Card … show a) Malibu is REALLY polluted and b) it’s more polluted than other places you surf. How polluted? How about an ‘F’ rating 51% of the time during dry weather. And it’s getting dirtier each year.”

Septic tanks will now no longer be allowed, while businesses and homes in the area will be forced to switche to mainline sewage pipes over the next 10 years.

That battle has been raging for several years, with residents reluctant to ban septic tanks, despite the famous ‘Malibu Stink’ for fear that a proper sewage system would encourage uncontrolled growth of the exclusive area. Resident Hollywood stars and surfers have been divided over the sewage issue and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board finally reached a decision on Thursday to end the era of seeping septic tanks.

Septic tanks are common in the developing world and can be effective in areas where population is low and naturally broken-down sewage has a chance to soak away into the soil. Those arguing for an end to the technology in the area contest that Malibu has become too populous and built up so that the ground no longer absorbs the amount of effluent produced.Surfers, not surprisingly, have been the seeking a hygenic solution for a long time thanks to the negative health effects that sewage contamination has.

In a story for the The Los Angeles Times, surfer Ken Seino’s story is highlighted. He contracted a near-fatal heart condition as a result of the sewage-polluted water is quoted as saying, “I will die before my time because of this infection,” he says.

For more on the campaign go to www.surfriderwlam.org and for the full LA Times news story go to: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-malibu-septic6-2009nov06,0,6007608.story

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