Your septic system was designed and sized to support a certain number of people based on the number of bedrooms in your home. Typically, your septic tank size is based on 1.5+ people per bedroom. So a 4 bedroom house will accommodate 6 people. We calculate an average expected water usage from each person in the household and select an appropriate tank size to accommodate your family’s water consumption and plumbing needs.

The source of the information provided in the below tables is the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website.
No. of Occupants
(75 gallons per person)
Minimum Tank Size
System Daily Design Flow
(gallons per day)
up to 21
up to 28
up to 35
up to 41
up to 45


raccoon worms
Baylisascaris procyonis roundworm in the eye of a child

Please don't feed raccoons!

Adding unnatural food resources, intentionally or not, encourages over population of their natural habitat and increases the infection risk of Baylisascaris procyonis roundworms to people and their pets. An informational flier is available here as an 111k pdf file.

When microscopic larvae are accidentally ingested or inhaled they can migrate to the eyes and brain and cause blindness, migraines, neurological disorders and death. Raccoons have a symbiotic relationship with the parasite and seem to suffer no ill effects as their host.

Throwing food scraps into the woods is not composting nor is it ecologically sound! If you are using a composting system be sure to maintain it regularly and secure it so you don't attract and breed vermin.

Avoid direct contact with raccoons – especially their feces. Do not keep, feed, or adopt raccoons as pets! Raccoons are wild animals.

Discourage raccoons from living in and around your home or parks by:
• preventing access to food
• closing off access to attics and basements
• keeping sand boxes covered at all times, (becomes a latrine)
• removing fish ponds – they eat the fish and drink the water
• eliminating all water sources
• removing bird feeders
• keeping trash containers tightly closed
• clearing brush so raccoons are not likely to make a den on your property

Stay away from areas and materials that might be contaminated by raccoon feces. Raccoons typically defecate at the base of or in raised forks of trees, or on raised horizontal surfaces such as fallen logs, stumps, or large rocks. Raccoon feces also can be found on woodpiles, decks, rooftops, and in attics, garages, and haylofts. Feces usually are dark and tubular, have a pungent odor (usually worse than dog or cat feces), and often contain undigested seeds or other food items.

To eliminate eggs, raccoon feces and material contaminated with raccoon feces should be removed carefully and burned, buried, or sent to a landfill. Care should be taken to avoid contaminating hands and clothes.

Treat decks, patios, and other surfaces with boiling water or a propane flame-gun. (Exercise proper precautions!) Newly deposited eggs take at least 2-4 weeks to become infective. Prompt removal and destruction of raccoon feces will reduce risk for exposure and possible infection.



Beware of those who indiscriminately "love" animals and want to befriend wildlife. (I refer to this as "Loving Them to Death".) It's far better to respect and protect them and their natural ways from harm by not feeding them. Feeding California wildlife is illegal and considered HARASSMENT:

§251.1. Harassment of Animals. Except as otherwise authorized in these regulations or in the Fish and Game Code, no person shall harass, herd or drive any game or nongame bird or mammal or furbearing mammal. For the purposes of this section, harass is defined as an intentional act which disrupts an animal’s normal behavior patterns, which includes, but is not limited to, breeding, feeding or sheltering. This section does not apply to a landowner or tenant who drives or herds birds or mammals for the purpose of preventing damage to private or public property, including aquaculture and agriculture crops.

There are very good reasons for this protection law: Feeding wildlife, either directly or indirectly, can be a death sentence for wild animals that become reliant on unnatural food sources and become habituated to the presence of humans.

Decreasing their natural distrust of humans can make them more aggressive to people. Perhaps not to you, but to your neighbors and their children.

Feeding can cause unnatural, and often massive overpopulation problems. Eventually, unnaturally high populations of wildlife are unable to sustain their numbers, even with someone feeding them, and illnesses (some of which may be transmissible to humans) are nature’s answer.

Overpopulation can cause animals to find new places in which to live. It may be your neighbor's attic, crawl space, or under their homes, leading them to resort to lethal measures to protect their homes and selves.

Increases in populations of prey species (which includes feral cat colonies and rats), draws in predators such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions.

Allowing wildlife to access food scented garbage can cause unintentional consumption of plastic wrap and even risking getting their heads stuck in jars.

Take care and be gentle when attempting to educate fervent Animal Lovers: They can become irrationally defensive and hostile!

Video Found on Facebook:

Photos Found on Facebook, with these captions:Feeding skunks in Monte RIo
"Our 5th Generation of These ADORABLE Little Ones!
Yes, We Take Care of the Wildlife that Come to Our Stairs!"

Feeding Raccoons in Monte Ro
"Some people think heaven is in the sky
For our raccoons heaven isn't that high" 


ivy in bloom
It's autumn: English ivy is blooming and will soon produce berries that spread this tenacious and destructive species.

Please remove all ivy blossoms/berries from your property. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Organizing work parties are a great way to foster community spirit!

Monte Rio Main St before
Ivy on Main St, from the Dutch Bill Creek Bridge to the Pink which was removed by a local resident.
Mouse over image for 'before' photo.

Monte Rio Main St after
Devouring the sidewalk!
Mouse over image for 'before' photo.

fence, before and after
Another bonus: The old cyclone fence, once exposed, was determined to be unsafe and the county replaced it with a new and more attractive one! Mouse over image for 'before' photo.

Emergency intervention is needed NOW!

English ivy is not native to the United States and has no natural predators or pests to keep it in check. It easily escapes from planting areas and invades natural areas, parks and urban forests. It creates "Ivy Deserts" - areas so dominated by ivy that no other vegetation survives.

Ivy as ground cover crowds out native flora AND fauna. Despite popular belief, ivy is NOT a good ground cover for erosion control due to its shallow root system and suppression of other plants. When it crowds out native plants on stream banks, it degrades water quality.

Remove ivy from redwoods and other trees, it smothers and kills them. Ivy adding weight to limbs and reducing air flow around the tree's trunk, makes a tree more susceptible to canopy failure, wind stress and disease. It can also strangle trees around their base and reduce the flow of nutrients up and down the tree. Keep a 6 foot ring around trees Ivy Free.

Remove ivy from building structures, it undermines structural integrity, contributes to wood rot and mold.

English ivy does not provide a significant food or habitat for native wildlife, but does provide habitat for RATS.

When using ivy as part of your landscape it's easier to manage and control when rooted in pots. Ivy not in pots needs close, regular inspection to make sure it doesn't spread and get out of control. Since mature ivy blooms in the fall and has purple black berries in the winter (when it's further spread by birds) you may not even be around to know just how widely ivy on your property is contributing to to the destruction of our delicate coastal redwood habitat. If you are not a full time resident that is willing to keep an eye on ivy being cultivated on your property PLEASE REMOVE IT! You will be amazed by the quick recovery of native species if you do so.

Darrell Sukovitzen, The Tree Climber, has written an excellent pamphlet on Redwood Care.
Click here to view it.

Ivy Removal Methods

Girdle - The most basic technique to stop tree-climbing ivy dead in its tracks.

Once you have located a tree infested with ivy, use either loppers or a pruning saw to cut through each vine clinging to the tree trunk at shoulder height and at ankle height. This severs the connection between the life sustaining roots and the rest of the ivy. Be sure to cut ALL vines as even one can continue to nourish ivy higher up the tree. Strip the Ivy away from the tree between the two cuts - some vines can be so big that you need to pry them away from the tree - just be careful not to damage the bark. Recheck the 'girdled' area for any thin vines which may have grown under the tree's bark and you're finished but after all that work, you don't want to give Ivy a head start by leaving it to grow next to the base of the tree...

Full Lifesaver - After girdling a tree work to clear the surrounding area of ivy.

Imagine a 6-foot radius circle around the tree you have girdled; begin by peeling back the ivy mat 6 feet from the tree and thoroughly pull every vine and root from the circle. You may also find it helpful to cut "slices" in the ivy mat within your imaginary circle and rip out ivy like a piece of pie. If you are working on a slope, pull downhill and let gravity work with you.

Research has shown the once ivy has been pulled more than 6 feet away from a tree it will continue to grow away from the tree rather than towards it again in most cases. Our field tests have shown that a good 6+ foot Lifesaver will slow the re-infestation of a tree for over 5 years! The keys to an effective Lifesaver are consistency and patience; all vines and roots must be removed.

Log Roll - This method is most effective in areas with a serious ivy problem, and when used properly can be quite efficient and gratifying.

Begin by designating the area to be log rolled (a hillside or group of infested trees). Mark the top perimeter by cutting a line in the ivy mat, be sure to get every vine! If you are on a slope, cut horizontally across the slope to allow the ivy mat to be pulled downhill. Start to lift the mat and pull the cut edge of the vines downhill, rolling the ivy mat over itself. Let gravity do most of the work but also be aware of your surroundings unless you regularly perform backwards somersaults. Scan for native plants that may make rolling difficult and cut a line in the ivy perpendicular to your pulling edge so that the vine mat can be pulled around; this saves native plants that might otherwise have been uprooted by the thick mat and makes the log roll much more manageable.

If you find yourself with a stuck roll proceed to divide the log into several pieces and slice out the remaining perimeter.

Disposal - Treat the ivy cuttings as yard waste. Compost the remains only when dry and dead. Don't leave clippings or piles where they may re sprout! When dried, the clippings will break down, but beware of seeds.

English Ivy Fact Sheet - pdf flyer with more on removal from the Nat'l Parks Service.


FRENCH BROOM - Highly Invasive Fire Fuel

French Broom
Pulling French Broom is fun, easy, and educational for children! Small brooms have very shallow tap roots.

These highly competitive shrubs grow rapidly and form dense stands that both people and wildlife find impenetrable. Their dense stems make regeneration of most other plant species difficult or impossible, and they create a dangerous fire hazard. In addition, as legumes, brooms can fix atmospheric nitrogen, increasing soil fertility and giving a competitive advantage to other non-native weeds that, unlike the local natives, thrive on high nitrogen levels.

The pods ripen during the dry summer months, then explosively eject their seeds several feet away, making a popping noise audible for some distance. All brooms are prolific seed producers, with a single shrub producing as many as 2,000 to 3,500 pods containing up to 20,000 seeds.

The seeds have an impervious seed coat, enabling some seeds to remain dormant in the soil for decades and making long-term management difficult. 

Brooms were introduced into North America from Europe and North Africa in the mid-1800s. Brooms can be found growing along roadsides, forestlands, coastlines, riparian areas, brushlands, and disturbed areas.

MANAGEMENT - The two primary methods for managing brooms are mechanical removal and treatment with herbicides (weed killers). Broom establishment is through seed dispersal, so maintaining a healthy cover of desirable vegetation and reducing soil disturbance may reduce the potential for broom invasion. Ongoing monitoring for new seedlings is crucial for successful management.

Mechanical Control - Small infestations can be removed by hand-pulling or mechanical grubbing. A variety of tools can aid in removal, including shovels or picks, chains, or specialized tools such as the Brush Grubber or The Uprooter. It is easiest to remove plants in early spring or late fall when the soil is moist and roots can be dislodged. Grubbing when the soil is dry and hard usually will break off the stems, leaving rootstalks that may resprout.

Mowing broom plants gives poor control unless performed repeatedly throughout the growing season. Within a couple months of germination, young plants usually have produced underground rootstocks large enough to recover from a single mowing. Use extreme caution when mowing during spring and summer because of the potential for wildfires. Mowing later in the season also can spread seeds.

Lopping mature plants near the base will provide some control if done when plants are moisture-stressed in late summer, or in late spring following a winter with little rainfall. Lopping at other times can lead to vigorous resprouting.

Under most conditions in California, brush rakes and bulldozers that leave pieces of rootstocks behind do not provide successful control. In some cases, brush removal in late summer, when plants experience moisture stress, can slow their ability to recover. However, using large equipment to clear land may also promote seedling establishment, making follow-up control essential.  

More information about French Broom at the California Invasive Plant Council website.



Small gestures can have a huge impact!

Unfortunately, one small bit of litter seems to create a domino effect: Litter is a magnet for more litter.

The following is a list of simple things you can do to make a difference in our community:

1. Go for a walk and bring a bag for any garbage you find.

2. Check for litter on and near your property.

3. Chose a length of road or block and "adopt" it.

4. Gather garbage from the beach after a storm.

5. Have a dog? Please pick up your dog poop! This isn't just a city issue!

6. Smokers: Carry a pocket ashtray. Altoid tins work great for this. Give extra tins to smoking friends.

7. Organize a street clean up party: This helps to create public awareness and educates our children! Street cleaning parties can be listed on the Monte Rio Central events calendar!

8. Prevent raccoons from raiding your garbage cans: Keep all food scraps and food soiled paper frozen or refrigerated and put in your can no sooner than the night before collection. Rinse containers of food before recycling. Spray your can with a strong solution of vinegar & water as a deterrent. Secure the lid with a bungee cord or heavy weight. Clean up your can area the same day as garbage collection.

9. Throwing food scraps into the woods is not composting nor is it ecologically sound! If you are using a composting system be sure to maintain it regularly and secure it so you don't attract and breed vermin.

10. Make this a golden rule: Try to leave every place cleaner than you find it.


Friends of Monte Rio

The Mission of the Friends of Monte Rio is to enhance the quality of community life in Monte Rio, CA by sponsoring a series of social events and educational programs within the MRRP District.

Whether you want to coordinate an event, volunteer for a project, contribute funds or be part of the audience - we count on your involvement!

facebook | website



Russian River tsunami hazard

Locate where you live, work, or visit. If you are in a yellow hazard area after feeling an earthquake that lasts a long time, or you receive an official evacuation notification, evacuate by foot immediately to a green area.

Click HERE to check your area.