Where is Nipomo?
Nipomo is located is southern San Luis Obispo County on the Central Coast and next to Highway 101 and is located approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The nearest city to the north is Arroyo Grande and the nearest city to the south is Santa Maria.
What is the meaning of “Nipomo”?
Nipomo is located at the foot of the hills of the Temetate Ridge. Appropriately, the name Nipomo is derived from the Chumash Indian word ” Nepomah”, meaning “the foot of the hills”.
History of NCSD
Solving Nipomo’s Early Water Problems
After four confirmed cases of typhoid fever were identified in the early 1960’s, the County Health Department did a detailed testing program in the community and found high concentrations of nitrate and chlorides in the water. It was determined that wastewater was seeping into the water supply. There was also a direct relationship established between the occurrence of infant methemoglobinemia (Blue Babies) and the presence of nitrates in the drinking water. The presence of coliform was also found in most of the private water wells in Nipomo. The community was fortunate that a serious outbreak of water-borne diseases had not occurred sooner.
On June 4, 1964, Mr. Bob Born, then County Hydraulic Engineer, made a report to the County Board of Supervisors on the water and sanitary problems in Nipomo. In the report Mr. Born investigated the possible interim and long-range solutions to the critical water problems. He mentioned that there were at least 84 known private wells that existed in the built-up portion of the community and 46 of these wells were located within the boundaries of Thompson, Cedar, Chestnut and Dana streets. It was noted that some of these wells were located less than 30 feet from individual septic tanks.
Mr. Born’s report concluded with the recommendation that a public entity be formed to take care of the water and sewer problems in Nipomo.
Committee Formed to Create a Community Services District
The Nipomo Citizen’s Steering Committee assisted in the formation of the District. The Committee included David W. McKim, M. J. Munk, Mrs. Glenn Westfall, Mrs. Vernon Miller, Stan Carpenter, Jim O. Miller, M. J. Hermreck, and Jerry Greene.
The Committee prepared and filed a petition with the County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) requesting the formation of a Community Services District. The proposed District consisted of 1,384 acres, which included 560 dwellings with an approximate population of 2,300 people. At the conclusion of this petition, the Committee made this statement, “San Luis Obispo County, and indeed the State and Federal Government, should be proud of a community that is willing to raise itself by its own bootstraps instead of crying for assistance or let George do it.” The report also stated, “Time and again, Nipomo has shown its interest and concerns over its own welfare and its determination to do something about it. Evidenced by school board meetings, interest coordination council activities, and the participation in dynamic organizations and clubs in the area, we have a great deal of unspoken pride in the way we handle our own affairs.”
The Formation of N.C.S.D.
On January 28, 1965, Nipomo Community Services District formed under the Community Services District Law of the Government Code Section 61000. The first elected Board Members were William C. Black, Cecil E. (Gene) Davis, James A. Kitchen, Oren W. (Jim) Miller and John R. Mylan. The Board of Directors immediately pursued the construction of the District’s first public water system. A bond election was held on February 15, 1966, and the voters approved the sale of bonds worth $650,000 for the acquisition, construction, installation, and maintenance of the District’s first water system. Construction began in June 1966, and was completed in November 1966, at which time water began to flow. This 25-year bond issue was paid off June 15, 1991.
The District’s Continuing Commitment Toward the Betterment of Nipomo
In the early part of the 1980’s, the District embarked on a sewer collection and disposal system project. Funding for this project came from various sources. The planning and pre-operation phase of the project was paid by property owners in our District who were willing to risk their money and become volunteers. With the assistance of Federal and State grants and the formation of an assessment district, the balance of the project was funded. The sewer project was constructed in 1984-85 and became operational in 1986.