AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Already, Lancaster sewer-service bills have more than doubled since 2004, to $160 per house this coming year from $67 in 2003-2004, to pay for facilities to help stop the spillage, which has occurred for decades. The fees paid by developers to connect new homes to the sewage systems have nearly doubled since 2004, from $1,780 to $3,190 per house. In approving the permit for the new storage ponds, the Lahonton board forbid any increase in nitrates in the groundwater beneath the plant and limited the amount of dissolved solids. The four storage ponds would hold nearly 1.3 billion gallons of sewage outflow treated so it is safe for human contact. Sanitation District officials had wanted to leave the ponds unlined, saying they would sit on clay soil that is relatively impervious. LANCASTER – Lancaster residents could be facing higher sewer-service bills in the future after state water-quality officials imposed new restrictions for the community’s sewage treatment plant expansion. The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Board imposed groundwater-quality requirements that Sanitation District officials say will mean installing impervious liners in new earthen storage basins, upping the plant expansion’s expected $173 million cost by a preliminary estimate of $30 million. “We now have to go back and design the most cost effective liner we can,” said Ray Tremblay, head of the Los Angeles County Sanitation District 14 monitoring section. The water-quality requirements are part of an permit granted last week for four storage ponds to be added to the Lancaster treatment facility as part of an expansion to meet population growth and stop treated sewage from spilling onto Edwards Air Force Base’s Rosamond Dry Lake. But district estimates said seepage from the ponds could increase the presence of dissolved solids, a classification that includes sodium and chloride among other chemicals, to 900 milligrams per liter in groundwater. State regulations limit so-called “total dissolved solids” in drinking water to less than 1,000 milligrams per liter. In approving the permit, the Lahontan board set a limit of 450 milligrams per liter. The board also directed that nitrate levels go no higher than 2.4 milligrams per liter – the level that already exists in the groundwater. The dissolved solids would not come directly from the treated sewage but would occur as water leaches from the ponds, goes through naturally occurring salts in the soil and reaches the groundwater. Preliminary estimates put the additional cost for lining the ponds at $30 million, but better estimates won’t be known until a design is completed, official said. The ponds are part of an overall expansion of the Lancaster facility that would increase its capacity from 16 million gallons a day to 21 million gallons a day by 2014 and to 26 million gallons a day by 2020. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!