Community Hall reopens following septic repairs

Getting into their work, the crew installs the system in record time. Bill Donahue photo

After a couple of weeks’ closure due to a reported leaking septic system, the Anza Community Hall is open for business once again.

Home to Missy’s Place Country Cafe, the hall was closed after a “gray water” system was found to be leaking kitchen sink water out into the parking area on the east side of the building.

When the Community Hall was built, the kitchen sink was treated as a gray water drain. “Gray water” is now defined as waste water from wash basins, washing machines and bathtubs but does not include kitchen sinks or dishwashers. Approved gray water systems are legal in the state of California and are separate from the building’s toilet septic system. The county inspectors received a complaint and shut down all Hall activities until the issue could be corrected.

“Someone who knew about the configuration of this drain filed several complaints with Environmental Health,” Bill Donahue said. “We thought we had a temporary solution worked out after the first complaint, but it became clear that a more invasive temporary solution would be needed after the second complaint.”

Typically, a business would be shut down until a permanent solution could be designed, approved, submitted through plan-check, permitted and installed. This process normally takes months to complete.

Through an unprecedented cooperative effort that involved Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington’s office, the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health and Land Use, Lanik Septic Pumping and the Community Hall Board, a temporary solution was designed, approved and installed in days rather than months.

“It took some time to do all the required research concerning existing conditions,” Donahue said. “Once we proved we could comply with all the required setbacks, the county approved the work at the miraculous speed of hours rather than days or weeks. Once approval was received, Terry Phillips, along with James Lanik and his crew jumped on the project despite unseasonably cold and windy weather. They had the hole excavated, a 1,500-gallon septic tank installed and everything back-filled in one day. After receiving the certification by James Lanik, the county once again acted at record speed, giving us approval to start food service at the Community Hall again.”

Fans of Missy’s cooking were pleased to see her open for business again, starting Monday, Feb. 19, serving her famous burgers, soups, sandwiches and breakfasts.

For more information about the Anza Community Hall, visit them on Facebook at or online at

For information about Missy’s Place Country Cafe, visit them on Facebook at or call (951) 492-5175.

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