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Sewer rates to jump for Woodside customers

Original post made on Apr 3, 2013

Woodside is semi-rural and most of the town's 2,200 properties use septic tanks in lieu of sewers, but for some 157 properties that do not, the annual cost for sewer service will rise about 100 percent for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 9:48 AM

Comments (11)

Posted by canada
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 3, 2013 at 5:42 am

To go from $359 to $1,353 per year is not affordable, acceptable or realistic. Granted $359 was undercharging, but to raise rates 1000% is CRIMINAL.

Posted by canada
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 3, 2013 at 5:51 am

Looking at other places around the US that publicize their rates, I see $59 a year, $250 a year, even $300 a year. But well over a $1000?

Find another option or I will be installing my owner septic system, as will other people, and then you will have that massive cost on the backs of 50-100 people instead of 157 properties.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 3, 2013 at 7:53 am


An inexpensive septic system will run you about $25,000, not including perc tests and permits. You're looking at about 20+ years to even break even if you put in septic.

Posted by woodside
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm

IF that's true, it sounds like typical bay area overcharging and high labor costs. I've had them installed in other states for $5000 all in.

Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 3, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Before you get too worked up, you should note that (a) Woodside hasn't had a rate increase in 18 years and (b) the increased is proposed to be spread over 5 years.

I know it's not as much fun, but you may want to actually read the article before you make such outlandish comments.

Posted by woodside
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Not only did I read the article, I read the letter that the town sent to me in detail. I think doubling the rates to $800 a year seems fair, given the lack of increases the past 18 years, but nearly doubling again is too much. There are only 157 properties in the woodside area that are on town septic, and spreading many millions of upgrades on the backs of 157 families is excessive. There must be another way.

And from what i can tell from basic internet research, the typical cost to install a sewer and drain field runs $5-10k, including engineering design and town permits. Any individual property may be wildly different, but the break-even of installing my own system could very well be 5-10 years, not 20 years. Do the math.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 4, 2013 at 7:14 am


The cost all depends on your property. Where it's located, on a hill or flat. What the access for equipment is like. How well it percs which determines how large a leach field you have to put in. All of these things can cause a wide variation from "typical" costs. I suggest you get actual proposals for your property. Good luck.

Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

woodside -

I was referring to canada's comment "...To go from $359 to $1,353 per year..." which is clearly inaccurate.

But what makes anyone think that a septic field is preferable to a sewer line? In my experience, most people with septic would give anything to have nearby sewer line to connect to. Septic systems, in addition to being very expensive and a big project to install (ripping up your yard), do require maintenance. And when they fail, good luck with that. If you think you'll be living in your home for more than 20 years - just enough time to break even on the installation of a septic system, I think only about 25% of homeowners are in a house for that long.

That would be quite a gamble to pay that much upfront with just a 1 in 4 chance of just breaking even in 20 years. I prefer pay the $100 a month and remember my bargain I've been receiving for the past 18 years.

Posted by Just sayin'
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm

To quote the article:
"In five years, the town's projections show those customers paying $1,353."

So to go from $359 this year, to ~$800 next year, to $1,353 in 5 years is about as accurate as you can get.

The mailer from the town also should the rates of other local towns. Woodside will now be near the absolute top, after being near the bottom.

The roads jutting off Canada road has many of the lower income residents of Woodside, so every increase is consequential to some people. Not every resident is Larry Ellison wealthy.

Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

To repeat, canada's comment "...To go from $359 to $1,353 per year..." was and is clearly inaccurate. It is not a ONE year increase.

No, not everyone is Larry Ellison (and I don't recall anyone making that statement except Just sayin'. The Bay Area isn't cheap by any means and Woodside is among the most expensive communities of all. We all have to pay mortgages, taxes, utilities and insurance. Paying your sewer bill is a part of that.

In November, a majority of voters levied a huge state and federal tax increase to many citizens. I know many people - who didn't consider themselves rich - thought this wouldn't impact them, but it has. Welcome to the club.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on Jun 2, 2017 at 1:39 am

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