BARSTOW • The county plans to impose a new limit on how much septic waste the Barstow Landfill can accept daily.
Starting Monday, the landfill will accept a maximum of 7,500 gallons of septic waste per day. That restriction is expected to remain in place for at least a year. The county-operated Barstow Landfill currently averages 15,000 gallons of septic waste daily.
A news release from the San Bernardino County Department of Public Works Solid Waste Management Division provided a reason for the change.
"During the last year, below-average temperatures have caused below-normal evaporation rates to occur within the ponds, resulting in less space being available for incoming septic waste," the release said.
"The way the process is supposed to work is that the pond is a holding pond," SWMD Programs Administrator Rex Richardson said. "They're engineered to get a particular rate of evaporation. The bulk of the material that septic haulers deliver there is not solids, it's liquid. Continuing operation of those ponds is dependent on a particular rate of evaporation.
"The ponds are designed with historical rates of evaporation. Temperature plays into that, humidity, a lot of different variables."
Danny Trexler, of Burns Septic and Rotary in Barstow, expressed concerns about the new limit.
"It'll probably raise the price," Trexler said. "This is the result of the county landfill letting Victorville, Lucerne Valley (and) everybody outside of Barstow use our landfill. And now local businesses can't dump. It's going to be first come, first served."
The county is encouraging septic waste haulers to go to the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority in Victorville as an alternative. Trexler said that could result in longer wait times at VVWRA, and that hauls could be rejected, forcing haulers to go to remote areas such as Landers.
"What it's going to do is kill small business," Trexler said.