The Ravalli County Health Board will begin discussions concerning a draft revision of the Ravalli County Subsurface Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Regulations on Wednesday, March 6, at 2 p.m. in the Board of County Commissioners meeting room. A subsequent public hearing for the first reading of the rule changes is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13 at 3 p.m. Public comment, verbal or written, may be submitted prior to this meeting or at this meeting. A draft is available for review on the county’s website.
According to Health Board member Roger DeHaan, he and John Palacio, Director of the County Environmental Health Department, worked together on producing the current draft. He said most of the proposed changes are minor and have more to do with form than substance. He said one more significant change was agreed to by both him and Palacio having to do with the restrictions on camping.
DeHaan said the change was necessary because people were misinterpreting the current regulation which does prohibit someone from staying in an RV for more than 30 days.
“It is allowed for up to thirty days in the regulations but after that a parked RV is considered permanent and in violation of septic regulations,” said DeHaan “But some people were interpreting this to mean that if you removed the vehicle after 29 days and then returned it a day later that you would be allowed another 30 days. We had to address that and make it clear that isn’t a correct interpretation.”
Another item of significance, according to DeHaan, was the addition of some language setting up a mechanism by which a septic system is reviewed when a property is sold and changes hands. He said sometimes a property has a structure but no permit for its septic system recorded. Other times a property has been added to, increasing the occupancy beyond what the original septic was permitted for. He said that having them reviewed at the time of sale could resolve a lot of headaches later on.