Sewer Company

The purpose of this information is to provide an understanding of the Hidden Springs Waste Water Treatment Facility (WWTF) and the challenges and responsibilities Hidden Springs Town Association and its members face as owners of the Hidden Springs Sewer Company for the operations and maintenance of our sewer and reclaimed water-irrigation system.

Hidden Springs and Cartwright Ranch residents are encouraged to read this document.  Everyone’s sewer fees are directly tied to the wellbeing of the Hidden Springs Sewer Company.  You are encouraged to take special note of the Cartwright Ranch CC&R's prohibiting the installation of regenerative soft water systems (i.e. salt based systems) and the potential of increased sewer fees should the salt content in the sewer water from the Cartwright Ranch connection be determined to be in excess of prescribed limits per the facilities DEQ reuse permit.

Both Hidden Springs and Cartwright Ranch homes sewer lines are connected to the Hidden Springs Sewer Company waste water treatment facility which is located in the hills just west of Hidden Springs.   The treated water is used for the irrigation of the green spaces within Hidden Springs. This water is cleaned and treated for safety by a process that is tightly governed by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). All of us have a very important role to play in keeping the facility operational and the irrigation water clean and healthy. 

What goes down the drain directly impacts the facility and the water.  Anything that isn’t biodegradable has to be mechanically or manually removed which costs everyone more. If we don’t do our part, fees will increase to keep the facility operating in accordance with the permit standards and to the health and benefit of the green spaces.

After an extensive investigation, it was determined that the maple trees along W. Hidden Springs Drive suffered significant health challenges due to excessive salt in the water, most likely from regenerative soft water systems.  Testing revealed that there is a high concentration of salt in the influent (sewage) water.  Replacing and restoring the trees was a costly project each of us paid to fix.

We hope the information provided helps you participate in the health and well-being of our community and impresses upon you, the direct role you play in keeping our sewer fees as low as possible.

Who owns and manages the system?

The Hidden Springs Sewer Company, LLC (HSSC) is a stand-alone business entity that owns and operates the sewer plant on the Hidden Springs property and provides wastewater treatment services to properties in Hidden Springs and Cartwright Ranch. It also owns appurtenant facilities including the influent sewer lines, lift pumps and the initial portions of the effluent distribution system. The remainder of the effluent distribution system (sprinklers heads and feeder lines) is owned by HSTA. HSSC holds the permit with the State of Idaho that provides for treated sewage effluent application onto the land within Hidden Springs.

HSSC is private wastewater treatment utility. The Idaho State Public Utilities Commission does not exercise any rate-setting authority over HSSC. Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) does have permitting and regulatory authority over HSSC sewer operations and land use application of treated wastewater, but it has no pricing oversight authority.

The system is operated by OMCS, LLC, a professional wastewater treatment operations company. 

Is Hidden Springs on a septic or sewer system?

There is a central sewer collection system and wastewater treatment facility.  A sewer service connection “stub” (4-inch diameter pipe) has been installed to connect your home to the sewer system.

Is it safe and effective?

The technology in the Hidden Springs system has been used for over 42 years.  Environmental regulatory agencies have recognized this treatment as safe and effective when properly operated and maintained.  The system is regulated by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, who approved the design of the system and regularly inspects and monitors its performance.

Are there problems with odor?

The system was designed and constructed to minimize odor issues.  While the developers of Hidden Springs has expended a great deal of effort to eliminate such issues, Hidden Springs Sewer Company cannot guarantee that there will never be any odor from the system.  However, the probability of there being odors periodically are the same or less than from a city sewer system (i.e., City of Boise sewer system).

As a resident of Hidden Springs and Cartwright Ranch, you can help protect our sewer system!

FLUSH only the three ‘P’s’ down the toilet - Pee, Poop & toilet Paper.  Throw trash into a waste bin or recycle it – don’t put it down the drain! Keep fats, oils and grease (FOG) out of your kitchen sink!  When poured down the drain, FOG can build up in pipes and equipment and cause significant problems in the sewer system and wastewater treatment plant.  Hazardous chemicals (i.e., garden pesticides, automotive fluids) should be disposed of at the Hidden Hollow Landfill or a mobile collection site. 

Protect community green spaces – Avoid traditional salt-based water softeners!

Salt (both sodium and chloride ions) pose serious environmental threats, from harming aquatic and marine life in the discharge areas (rivers, lakes) to damaging the delicate biochemical balance in the soil (if effluent is used as irrigation water).  Removing salt from wastewater treatment plants is extremely expensive as additional microfiltration and reverse osmosis facilities must be built to remove chloride from the treated wastewater.  To minimize salt discharge, avoid increased costs due to sewage treatment associated with excess salt discharge into the sewer and the negative impact to community parks and green spaces, residents are asked to use salt-free water softeners or tank exchange systems versus regenerative systems.

NOTE – Cartwright Ranch CC&R’s prohibit the installation of salt-based water softeners (Cartwright Ranch CC&Rs section 6.3)