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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ripley’s Reversed View

Calhoun’s Can(n)ons, for The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA
August 16, 2006

When I was a kid I used to love to look through the wrong end of the binoculars. Instead of seeing only part of something up close, the reverse view allowed me to see the whole scene, albeit reduced to a very small size. I found something comforting in that as a child; the big, complex world, with its huge fragmented pieces, could suddenly be reduced to a miniature world with all the puzzle pieces in view.

I was thinking about that flipped binocular view as I listened to the Ripley Pacific’s Wastewater Project Update Report at the Community Center on August 4th. For years, regulators, engineers, government officials have confused “sewers” with “clean water.” They’re not the same. And for years, they have been looking through their binoculars and only seeing a sewer plant that spent pots of money to remove something considered a “waste” (nitrates) and in doing so, created a product – treated water and sludge – that had to be “put” someplace. And getting stuff out and putting everything someplace kept getting harder and more expensive to do.

Ripley has reversed the whole thing by looking at a broader but much simpler issue: How much does it cost to produce an acre foot of potable water and get it to your door? The answer can be found by linking WATER with ENERGY.

And that linkage is something that needs serious consideration. Like it or not, deny it as you will, the fact remains that global warming is our future. It is a future that will bring weather changes to a state that is already short of water, while energy costs will do nothing but escalate. From this point forward, no community can afford to continue to do business as usual. Build for the 19th century, and you will not survive the 21st.

Ripley also asked another couple of critical questions: Septic tanks use no energy to work 24/7 to digest 90% of biosolids. Why spend pots of money on expensive energy needed to daily remove, treat and haul away that 90% in for form of sludge, which has to be taken to a “somewhere,” a “somewhere” that keeps getting harder and more expensive to find?

And why spend pots of money on the energy needed to get nitrates out of the wastewater when nitrates left in the water can be sent to farms where it is a valuable resource needed by the plants grown by farmers who then don’t have to spend pots of money buying sacks of increasingly expensive nitrogen fertilizer to put on their crops? And, by receiving nitrate-laden water for their crops, farmers can stop irrigating with lower aquifer water, thereby leaving that water in the ground to use for drinking. (Irrigating crops with drinking water makes about as much ecological and economic sense as watering your lawn with bottles of imported Fiji Water.)

In short, by reversing the view, Ripley’s proposal correctly sees “waste” as a “resource,” views “sewers” as only one component of a flexible basin-wide WATER MANAGEMENT problem, and links water and energy as the key method to determine both long term sustainability and cost.

This being Los Osos, the hidden-agenda monkey wrenchers and Sewer Jihadis on both sides of this issue are out scurrying about in the chaparral, cranking up their various spin machines. So, Caveat lector. The Ripley Report is both online at http://www.losososcsd.org/ , with hard copies available for review at the CSD office. I urge all Los Ososians to read the information for themselves.

And then do one simple thing: If/when the county takes over the wastewater project, the Ripley update will end up on the table along with all the other studies. When that happens, if the citizens of this fair burg don’t want to get spun and conned and threatened and bamboozled off another cliff, they’d better let the engineers and regulators sitting at that table know that this time, they’re watching. This time, they want an honest evaluation of the options. No unsupported “over riding considerations,” no “bait and switch,” no phony “strongly held community values,” no personal nose-out-of-joint pique putting sly fingers on the scale. Let’s have the best science, the best engineering, the best long-term sustainability criteria, no hide-the-salami “deferred” costs, no hidden agendas, then a fair vote.

After which we can all go home, pay the piper, and then pick some other topic to argue about.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This time, they want an honest evaluation of the options. No unsupported “over riding considerations,” no “bait and switch,” no phony “strongly held community values,”

...no "We can do it for under $100.00" no "We're ready to go just trust us" no "We won't get fined" no "We won't lose the SRF loan" no "the water boards are paper tigers"

Shark Inlet said...

Here's the problem, Ann ...

Even if the cost of energy goes waaaaaaaay up, TriW still might be cheaper. Ripley is just speculating on the costs of his plant and he's assuming the RWQCB will sign off on a few items they've indicated in the past that they'll not sign off on.

If you can accurately predict the general inflation rate and the energy inflation rate and if you can accurately predict the actual costs of the Ripley plan and the timeframe you can probably tell us whether the Ripley plan is less expensive than TriW in the long run.

However, until you put forward numbers that you're using for the cost of the Ripley plant the energy inflation rate and the general inflation rate and the interest rate for borrowing the money to build the plant you're doing no better than trying to guestimate the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin.

Ann, I know how much you hate speculation, so I am sure you are doing some sort of self-flagellation right now in penance.

Oh, and I think that you should look up the meaning of the phrase "hide the salami" before you use it again.

Ron said...

Ann said:

"... sludge, which has to be taken to a “somewhere,” a “somewhere” that keeps getting harder and more expensive to find?"

There's a very interesting scenario playing out as I type on that exact subject over in the central valley. Seems the Valley folk weren't down with L.A. dumping all their sludge on them, so they voted that L.A. can't do that anymore. Now, L.A.'s challenging the vote.

"After which we can all go home, pay the piper, and then pick some other topic to argue about."

Ahhhh... doesn't that sound nice.

Spectator said...

Ron: It seems to me that the whole thing going on over in the valley is a political fight with a lot of misinformation.

You start with sewer sludge, the water is extracted, and you have bio-solids. This is then composted, and through the process, pasturized by the heat of the mass. It is then used for fertilizer. We do this with all sorts of manure, and it is sold as compost, and we pay good money for it.

The problem is that when people are agitated by misinformation, mostly put out by politicians, the compost is called sewer sludge by the agitators.

Spectator said...

Ann: I agree with your commentary.

But Ripley's plan will need the support of the CCRWQCB, and they are calling for tertiary treatment which will push the energy costs, design expense, and construction expense much higher. So why did not Ripley give us figures on a tertiary treatment facility? When will they update their figures and give us the effects on costs and ag exchange? Where is the time line? How much will the delay cost?
What about the property owners outside near the Ripley project?
How long will they be able to delay the Ripley project?

In any case, if all the fixed income folks want a more expensive sewer (Ripley) with higher monthly payments, it will be fine with me. I just want a sewer and for my real estate values in the PZ to go up.

However, this has always been about money, and the vast majority of the people are concerned about money.

Also the Ripley plan depends upon water usage of fifty gallons a day per person. What will be the hidden costs of relandscaping or increased water rates if Ripley goes through?

Does any one know if we can just drill a shallow well into the upper aquifer and use the water for landscaping? I do not think we can.

If the upper aquifer is not recharged, what will happen to our trees in dry seasons. Apparently there are many people concerned with trees and CO2 conversion. Will Los Osos become a desert and look like the plains of Montana de Oro? What about bird and butterfly sites. Stinky Euks (gum trees) require lots of water.

How much will state water cost? Maybe El Tiburon knows.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"However, until you put forward numbers that you're using "

Uh, tell me again what numbers I was putting forward and using? Where? I read my column again, since that's what I presume you're refering to, and I don't see any of "my" numbers there. I see the number "90" which is what, according to Ripley, is about what septic tanks "digest" in biosolids. And the numbers 24/7 refering to the biosolid digestion going on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And so forth. But I'm not clear as to which "numbers" you say I'm putting forward . . . .?

Inlet also sez:"Oh, and I think that you should look up the meaning of the phrase "hide the salami" before you use it again."


I know exactly what the meaning is and in the case of TriW it's more than apt.

Spectator sez:"If the upper aquifer is not recharged, what will happen to our trees in dry seasons."

I asked Mr. Schmidt that, by way of asking about pumping down the upper aquifer. He pointed out that you can't pump the upper aquifer down too far because you'll get salt water intrusion at the lower depths. By pumping out a certain amount, you allow for more to come in, i.e. from the rainwater, hill run-off, , etc.That's why, according to him, ag excahnge makes sense using some of the upper aquifer, because (hopefully) the "new" water coming in would be cleaner . . . although THAT might not work if there's nitrates coming off the natural areas which would also wash down into the upper aquifer -- one reason that Dr. Wickham noted that you could build a $200 million dollar sewer and STILL have high nitrates in the upper aquifer.

and Spectator also sez: "Does any one know if we can just drill a shallow well into the upper aquifer and use the water for landscaping? I do not think we can."

My neighbor did just that and he's using the higher nitrate water to keep his lawn green! But he lives on about an acre, and I think there's a lot-size limitation to being allowed to drill wells. Irony is he can run his pump 24/7 and let the water run forever and be utterly wasted and nobody can say boo to him. There are laws stating that he can't create a nuissance (i.e. flooding streets & etc) and there's some law that can be invoked if he's somehow "wasting" water, but it's very grey and very hard to prove. Interestingly, we here in Los Osos could be in the middle of a severe drought, with "regular" homes eeking out the most strict water conservation measures, our lawns dying, plants dying, etc. and my neighbor could be running that pump and sprinkler round the clock. So much for water law. Amazing and arcane and really tough to control and make fair.

One interesting thing about water use, at several meetings, Richard Margetson noted that Los Osos' water use per capita is waaaaayyyy higher than either Morro Bay or Cambria. If true, then we're either profligates here or maybe our water rates are too low?

*PG-13 said...

Spectator > You start with sewer sludge, the water is extracted, and you have bio-solids. This is then composted, and through the process, pasturized by the heat of the mass. It is then used for fertilizer. We do this with all sorts of manure, and it is sold as compost, and we pay good money for it. The problem is that when people are agitated by misinformation, mostly put out by politicians, the compost is called sewer sludge by the agitators.

OK. Finally something I do know a little about. I don't claim to have extraordinary knowledge about sludge but I have been following the sludge developments in Kern County fairly closely. (Please don't ask) And there is much more to it than Spectator's light brush-off. It is a serious issue. No, more than serious, it is becoming a critical issue. And if those with too much sludge think they can keep dumping it on those who don't want their sludge they are soon going to be very very surprised that they have nowhere to put their sludge.

Here's a bit more on the sludge wars going on Kern county. LA has been tossing over 99% of its treated human and industrial sewage sludge over the Grapevine for nearly 30 years. I could quote the actual numbers in pounds or acre feet but those numbers are meaningless. They are simply too large to fathom. If 99%-plus of treated human and industrial sewage sludge generated by Los Angeles (and other LA basin communities) doesn't work for you accept my word for it. Its more than a truck full. Indeed, there are many of dozens of trucks driving over the mountains everyday with what Spectator would have you believe is compost. Unfortunately there is no scientific understanding of the effects of this sludge - be that short term, mid term or long term. Kern county which has served as LA's toilet depository for a long time is finally waking up to the potential ramifications of accepting this waste. They are concerned. They are getting very concerned that it may pollute their aquifers among many other things. Sound familiar? Also, they don't like the sludge blowing in the wind, they don't like all the truck traffic, they don't like what the sludge might be doing to farmland and the crops grown on it, and they don't like the many illegal dumping irregularities. And that's just the illegal operations which have been recorded. It is presumed they represent a very small - like 1-2 % - of the actual illegal dumping that is going on. Do not be deceived, this isn't a monitored application of compost to aid the growing of vegetables as Spectator would imply. Up until last year it was a largely unregulated and unmonitored dumping activity. Much, if not most, of the sludge was simply hauled and dumped in large, privately owned and contracted, open spaces. Piles and piles of it. Unmanaged and unused. Simply dumped and blowing in the wind. The land owners owning this otherwise useless land and getting paid to receive the dried and treated crap - uh, sorry make that compost - think this is a great deal. Something for nothing the future be damned. There is still a lot sludge applied to working farmland but there is no scientific understanding of such application over time. Or how it is effecting the water supply. Over the last couple of years those receiving the sludge are beginning to be held accountable. Last year there was a voter initiative (Measure E) overwhelmingly (83%) approving a ban of importing sludge into Kern county. LA is fighting this with the best and most expensive lawyers they can get and the most influential political connections they can bring to bear. It is now a federal lawsuit.

Spectator, if 83% of the voters are against importing sludge are these all agitators? Or is this something else? I suggest you look at the issue again.

Regardless which way the sludge wars in Kern county go it does not bode well for other municipalities (and CSD's) looking for a place to dump their sludge. Remember those garbage barges going up and down the east coast looking for a place which would take New York's waste? A regular port-less armada it was. Much of it finally getting dumped directly into the ocean. It doesn't take much imagination to visualize thousands of trucks driving aimlessly around California looking for a place to dump their sludge. Similar to but not quite like nuclear waste I'm sure it will ultimately find a place. But it's not going to be easy or cheap. Like the cost of energy exporting our sludge is only going to go up. Far better to minimize our sludge now however we can. This is called engineering with foresight. AKA good systems engineering. Much like Ann describes in her lead blog - this is a systemic issue not a sewer issue.

*PG-13 said...

Shark Inlet > Oh, and I think that you should look up the meaning of the phrase "hide the salami" before you use it again.

Ann > I know exactly what the meaning is and in the case of TriW it's more than apt.

While the etymology of 'Hide the Salami' is clearly one borne of, um, sexual intimacy, it is also sometimes used in other similar but different ways. For example, one of my favorites is Howard Dean using it to describe whether G.W. should release documents written by Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers as chief White House counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, or whether he should claim executive privilege.

Chris Matthews > Do you believe that the President can claim executive privilege?

Howard Dean > Well, certainly the president can claim executive privilege - but in this case, I think with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, you can't play uh, you know, hide the, the salami, or whatever it's called. He has got to go out there and say something about this woman We deserve to know something about her."

Sound bite HERE

Granted, Howard Dean probably shouldn't be used as a leading example of anything. While Ann's usage is a bit of a stretch I think using this phrase while discussing the performance of the LOCSD may be, in a way, an oddly appropriate term. (See Bend Over Bucko.)

Let's talk about cigars next!

Spectator said...

To PG-13

Thank you for the information, and I have looked at the information. It is good you put it here. But this political battle goes far deeper. LA has robbed Kern County's water resources for years, and sent the water over the hill for its own use. There is a great deal of resentment about this. Looks like payback time. This is the something else.

And so I say to you, what is the big difference between using secondary treated sewage water to put on farmers fields, and compost made from sewer sludge? Glad you admitted it was compost. Enlighten me as to the same type of unknown consequences.

Want milk? Consider the dairy herds in the valley.

The disposal of sewer sludge and garbage in the New York Metro area is a terrific problem. None has been dumped in the ocean for many years. Many towns use incinerators, but then the ash has to go to land fills in Pennsylvania. Those areas without an incinerator truck complete garbage to landfills out of state.

AND THESE LANDFILLS ARE BEING FILLED UP. The New York Metro area and other large cities are drowning in garbage, in fact up to their necks right now. With the high energy prices it is getting more expensive every day for garbage collection.

Take a ride out to the Coal Canyon Landfill here in San Luis Obispo County. What to do when this fills up? We will have to have another.

Forty years ago I used to fish off New Jersey at a place called the "tin can grounds" that came from dumped garbage. Then they used to dump sludge there at another area called "the brown stain". Fishing was good, I ate the fish, but not too many. Primarily football sized tuna and mackerel.

As far as Los Osos is concerned, the sludge minimalization arguement does not pass for putting a far more expensive plant "out of town". We got garbage trucks here working the town, different areas, different times of the week. Three more trucks full of biomass, directed to the proper composting area to be mixed with our green waste, will not hurt. I doubt there will be that much. Pumping of our septic tanks because of delay every two months will. Bad argument when you think of the finantial consequences.

*PG-13 said...

re: Sludge

Many good points. You've done your homework. This is deep water and to get into it deeply and comprehensively would be like building a sewer in LO. Still, some quickie retorts:

> LA has robbed Kern County's water resources for years, and sent the water over the hill for its own use. There is a great deal of resentment about this. Looks like payback time. This is the something else.

Yes, there is huge resentment against how LA has abused Kern county over the years. And its only now when Kern is beginning to grow in population and sophistication that they are waking up and beginning to think they don't have to take it anymore. No doubt the sludge wars are an ongoing part of this - LA abuse now being responded to by Kern county. But the sludge thing is a thing of its own. Water is big issue. And sludge is now becoming a big issue. To think it only a knee jerk reaction to ongoing frustration with LA is kind of like LA hoping the whole problem will just go away. And they're paying big bucks to try to make it go away. Won't happen. Its in federal court now largely because the LA lawyers believe the state courts will be more receptive to home rule arguments. Your sludge; your problem; solve your own problems. It used to be you could just pay somebody to get rid of your problems. Toss the sludge over the mountains, pay for a place to dump it, out of sight out of mind. But the world is growing smaller. LA's sludge problem is now a Kern sludge problem. Still lots of drama to be played out yet and who knows how it will end. My point was sludge is not as easy or as cheap to get rid of as it used to be. Times are a change'n and it doesn't take a weatherman to see which ways the winds are blowing. Los Osos sludge might not be a problem for awhile yet. But someday it will be a problem. The less sludge the better.

> ... what is the big difference between using secondary treated sewage water to put on farmers fields, and compost made from sewer sludge?

I'm not an expert in this. To be sure, there aren't too many claiming a lot of accepted scientific knowledge about this. This is one of the issues in Kern. Nobody, including the experts, knows what the mid and long term effect of using so much sludge this way might be. Still, here are a couple of things to think about: Secondary treated water is pumpable and can be applied more easily with finer dose measurement versus trucking sludge, dumping and spreading it in a field and then pumping water to irrigate it. Treated water is taken up and used by plants more readily. As often noted previously the water stays in the system, some of it percolating down to resupply the aquifer. Ask the farmers which they would prefer. Another big difference is we would be using our treated waste water locally versus exporting the sludge. See which way the winds are blow'n above.

> Glad you admitted it was compost. Enlighten me as to the same type of unknown consequences.

I'm sure many of the links Ron supplied discuss this. I remember reading a lot about these consequences but I don't feel qualified to discuss it knowledgeably here and now. I think the biggest concern is pollution of the aquifers. Also, I do have a problem calling this compost. If ya wanna call it compost I think it should be referred to as Metro and Industrial Waste Compost. Compost sorta implies organic waste. Sludge has loads of inorganic impurities never found in the garden compost pile. To call it compost is a misleading misnomer.

I think you did a great job of describing the impending waste problems of the future. It isn't pretty is it? And it seems we're producing waste faster than we seem to be able to effectively manage it. Sooner or later we're gonna hit a trip point. Or, like Al's frog, we're just gonna sit and stew in our own garbage and think it natural.

> Forty years ago I used to fish off New Jersey at a place called the "tin can grounds" that came from dumped garbage. Then they used to dump sludge there at another area called "the brown stain". Fishing was good, I ate the fish, but not too many. Primarily football sized tuna and mackerel.

Gee, that explains a lot ;-) Sorry, I couldn't pass that one up ;-P

> As far as Los Osos is concerned, the sludge minimalization arguement does not pass for putting a far more expensive plant "out of town".

I don't think I was making that argument. I was making an argument for full system design and not just a sewer.

Spectator said...

Industrial waste compost brings thoughts of illegal chemicals and solids being flushed down a drain. Can't do that legally. After all the biomass comes from a sewer treatment facility. Industry is very tightly controlled.

So is "industrial sludge" another sound bite?

As far as Howard Dean is concerned, this guy is the best thing that could happen to the Republican party. May he continue to open his mouth and insert foot.

I think Howard Dean is the greatest!

Mike Green said...

PG! Great post! Thanks.
The unfortunate thing to me, is that our particular form of local government leads to situations of disaster control, rather that intelligent planning. The least expensive solution is almost always sought after and then later , when the consequences of poor planning rears its ugly head, it's a FEMA issue.
Ultimatly WAY more expensive!

As for "Hide the salami"
There are MANY Elizabethian (Italian) pauper plays that have thier begginings way back in the 12 to 14 hundreds.
The punch line to most of these plays was the "Salami De La Amore"
It's still funny to this day!
(and still means about the same thing)

Anonymous said...

Jon Arcuni said... "Industrial waste compost brings thoughts of illegal chemicals and solids being flushed down a drain. Can't do that legally. After all the biomass comes from a sewer treatment facility. Industry is very tightly controlled."

Just because it is illegal, doesnt mean it isnt happening. (see below)

Jon Arcuni said... "LA has robbed Kern County's water resources for years, and sent the water over the hill for its own use. There is a great deal of resentment about this. Looks like payback time."

I have quoted an article below that discusses issues with sludge from Oxnard being trucked to Kern County... interesting reading and very relevant to Los Osos... they key point here though... Oxnard doesnt get water from Kern County, so what are they getting paid back for, Jon??

The second key point... This sludge is now considered "hazardous waste".

Your argument doesnt hold water... this is about sludge... not water.

You know Jon, it seems to me that everytime you post something on here you get a bloody nose... now I've heard bloody noses may be something you're accustomed to, but please try and get your shit together a little better before bloviating here.

I guess I will just continue to knock down every one of your arguments as you lay them up there... I mean you make it so easy.

Anayway... please enjoy reading the article...

Here's the story...

URL: http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs/news/article/0,1375,VCS_121_4877712,00.html

Oxnard meets deadline for hazardous waste removal

By Charles Levin, clevin@VenturaCountyStar.com

July 28, 2006

The city of Oxnard has met a deadline for removing potentially hazardous waste from its Kern County sludge facility, spending about $2.5 million but avoiding a six-figure fine, officials said.

Kern County regulators cited Oxnard in February for violating public nuisance codes at the city's 1,280-acre farm near Wasco. The city had transported sludge — a wastewater byproduct also known as biosolids — to the farm for 10 years. The sludge was mixed with an ash compound at the farm to reduce pathogens, then used as fertilizer.

The amount of ash on the site, however, exceeded Kern County limits.

After a failed city appeal in April, Kern County lawmakers fined Oxnard and its farm operator, USA Transport, $25,000 each. They also imposed a 90-day deadline to remove the ash or face $3,000-a-day fines.

By meeting the 90-day deadline, Oxnard avoided a roughly $270,000 fine, but it still must pay the initial $25,000.

Oxnard officials originally projected the removal costs at $1.3 million, but the figure rose to $2.5 million partly because of more ash there than anticipated.

"The volume we had up there was much more extensive than we thought," said Mark Norris, Oxnard's wastewater superintendent.

The pressure to meet the deadline and special requirements for handling hazardous materials also led to cost increases, Norris said.

Since February, Oxnard has instead been transporting biosolids generated here to a compost facility near the farm. In June, Kern County voters approved a ban on imported sludge, but the initiative does not apply to compost operations, Norris said.

The city can't operate the farm anyway because Kern County lawmakers revoked Oxnard's operating permit, said Matt Constantine, Kern's director of environmental health services.

Meanwhile, a dispute over whether the ash is indeed hazardous is still not resolved.

Last year, state regulators said the ash's pH content exceeded standards. Compounds with high pH levels are corrosive to skin and metals. Oxnard disagrees that the ash is harmful.

The city and state agreed to independently test samples from the site to resolve the dispute.

Oxnard's testing consultant found the ash was not hazardous, Norris said. The state Department of Toxic Substances Control found the opposite, said Jeanne Garcia, an agency spokeswoman.

The city's next step is unclear. City officials have not decided whether to sell the farm site, Norris said.

Copyright 2006, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved

Anonymous said...

Lets break down this article posted above...

The city of Oxnard has met a deadline for removing potentially hazardous waste from its Kern County sludge facility, spending about $2.5 million but avoiding a six-figure fine, officials said.

Do we really want to be faced with this in the future??

Kern County regulators cited Oxnard in February for violating public nuisance codes at the city's 1,280-acre farm near Wasco.

So Oxnard bought property in Kern County just to use to dump their sludge...

I wonder why they did that? Were they having trouble finding a processor to accept their sludge like the facility in Santa Maria we planned on using?

How much did that land cost?

Is there staff there to watch and maintain that facility? How much does that cost?

The city had transported sludge — a wastewater byproduct also known as biosolids — to the farm for 10 years.

The sludge was mixed with an ash compound at the farm to reduce pathogens, then used as fertilizer.


Pathogens? Interesting...

Must not have been much of a market for this fertilizer if there is now such a stockpile for them to remove... I wonder why? Maybe its all those pathogens?

The amount of ash on the site, however, exceeded Kern County limits.

After a failed city appeal in April, Kern County lawmakers fined Oxnard and its farm operator, USA Transport, $25,000 each. They also imposed a 90-day deadline to remove the ash or face $3,000-a-day fines.

By meeting the 90-day deadline, Oxnard avoided a roughly $270,000 fine, but it still must pay the initial $25,000.

Oxnard officials originally projected the removal costs at $1.3 million, but the figure rose to $2.5 million partly because of more ash there than anticipated.


More ash than anticipated?? Hey Jon, where are those industry regulations you were talking about??

"The volume we had up there was much more extensive than we thought," said Mark Norris, Oxnard's wastewater superintendent.

Sounds like one big pile of shit... I wonder how it got so out of control? Seems they were producing way more sludge than they really thought they were... wouldnt it be nice if they had a way of reducing sludge production on site so they wouldnt have to truck it to Wasco at all.

The pressure to meet the deadline and special requirements for handling hazardous materials also led to cost increases, Norris said.

Since February, Oxnard has instead been transporting biosolids generated here to a compost facility near the farm. In June, Kern County voters approved a ban on imported sludge, but the initiative does not apply to compost operations, Norris said.


So now they are required by law to pay a compost facility to accept their sludge... I wonder how much that is costing IN ADDITION to what they already spent on their "shit farm".

The city can't operate the farm anyway because Kern County lawmakers revoked Oxnard's operating permit, said Matt Constantine, Kern's director of environmental health services.

Meanwhile, a dispute over whether the ash is indeed hazardous is still not resolved.

Last year, state regulators said the ash's pH content exceeded standards. Compounds with high pH levels are corrosive to skin and metals. Oxnard disagrees that the ash is harmful.

The city and state agreed to independently test samples from the site to resolve the dispute.

Oxnard's testing consultant found the ash was not hazardous, Norris said. The state Department of Toxic Substances Control found the opposite, said Jeanne Garcia, an agency spokeswoman.

The city's next step is unclear. City officials have not decided whether to sell the farm site, Norris said.


Do you thing they'll even be able to sell that farm site?? Now probably forever labelled a hazerdous waste site.

Mike Green said...

To Anon "The Storey"
Thanks for the article from the Star.

That was very relevant.
But, as you wrote:
"but please try and get your shit together a little better before bloviating here."
Is rude and offensive, you may concider yourself a "cutting edge, hard hitting blogger" but personal attacks only lower the value of your discourse.

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Ah, come on Mr. Green! Not having one's "shit together" is just par for the course in Los Osos! Thatis a classic comment and shouldn't be taken as offensive! Haven't you seen the bumper stickers?

Mike Green said...

No, it dosen't say you don't have your shit together. It says we can't agree about shit!
Totaly different. ( by the way, who thought that up? )
Anyway, I was most concerned with the use of "bloviating"
Jon dose not need my defense, he's quite capable himself. I just wanted to raise the quality of your excellent posts, it was just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

The article posted mentions an overage of ASH to the compost mixture as the problem not the compost itself.

It appears that this is just the ususal problem of to much "pissing in the wind" that exists in LO. It goes well with the shit peddled by this poster though.

Sewertoons said...

Just a silly question, but even if poop is contained in closed tanks under the Ripley plan -- when our septics are pumped every XX# of years -- where will all of that go??

Other than amount of water content, how is THIS poop, with its concentration of used medicine, rinsing agents, oven cleaners, and whatever strange new chemicals (or strange hybrid pathogens) these ingredients could spawn, is it different or somehow "better" because it is concentrated?? Al's Septic will drop this off - where??

I'm not so sure with the latest report (University of Iowa) of the upper aquifer being contaminated with anti-seizure drugs, etc., while not considered dangerous now (although neither the USEPA or USFDA have any guidelines regarding safe levels for these emerging contaminants), that in 20 years as this stuff percolates down off the farms using the "nitrogen, etc." rich water into the lower aquifer or the bay that this was such a great idea. I thnk I'd rather have it in one place, like the Yucca Mountain that is Santa Maria, or its next incarnation. So call me a NIMBY.

Anonymous said...

Why dont we just all drive to San Luis Obispo and take a shit at McDonalds everytime we have to go...

I dont want any of this stuff in Los Osos at all... it's just too icky!!!

Spectator said...

To the anons who do not read well:

"Kern County regulators cited Oxnard in February for violating public nuisance codes at the city's 1,280-acre farm near Wasco. The city had transported sludge — a wastewater byproduct also known as biosolids — to the farm for 10 years. The sludge was mixed with an ash compound at the farm to reduce pathogens, then used as fertilizer."

Ok, what is the "ash compound" from the brillient reporter? Sodium Hydroxide? This has been extracted from ash to make soap from fats for a very very long time. This is strongly alkaline and would be used to treat acidity and bring it down to acceptable levels. Notice the words "at the farm". Incedentially, sodium hydroxide (Caustic Soda) has been used in the past for curing olives. Please correct me about the "ash compound". I know nothing about the exact compound to which the reporter refers. Do you? Did he/her? Incidentially, when you use Draino, look at the label.

Apparently someone at the farm screwed up. During the process of composting, any sugars get converted by wild yeast into alcohol which then becomes vinegar. Vinegar is acidic. At the same time the biosolids may have had an excessive fat content. Sodium hydroxide would have the effect of curing the acidity and the fat content. Obviously the reporter did not have the expertise about chemical compounds to figure this out. ( Or thought it best to twist a story. ) But be it as it may. But you bought it. "Ash compound".

If they were including illegal industrial sludge, Oxnard shoud be shamed for lack of awareness. Do you know that in many sewer districts it is illegal to recharge and backwash a water softener using sodium chloride (table salt) into a sewer system? The salt kills bacteria. Ever hear of Kosher chicken, doused with salt to kill the coliform bacteria? Really old stuff. Salt explodes almost all harmful and benevelent bacteria.

If you want shit, talk to the septic tank pumpers, they deal in shit. And it just came to mind that they are the ones who have the most to lose if a sewer system comes in, and I do NOT like this loss.
I do NOT like the fact that they are going to be in a bad position with loss of business from this area. They have families and employees. We are going to have to make sure that they get a substantial hunk of the excavation contracts for any sewer system and the money does not go out of town. I would also hope that they would do the inspection of gravity sewer pipes and cleaning of lift stations. I would also hope that they would have the contracts to haul any biosolids, and do maintenance on any sewer plant. Regardless, these are the people to crush old septic tanks, fill them with gravel, and have the backhoes and expertise to do connection lines to the street. Yes, if a STEP system goes in, the profits will be greater, because there will be more work in the beginning, but it will be short lived. But they all may be retired and fishing in Panama before this happens.

"You know Jon, it seems to me that everytime you post something on here you get a bloody nose... now I've heard bloody noses may be something you're accustomed to, but please try and get your shit together a little better before bloviating here."

Thank you for listening to O'Reiley, "bloviating" is his favorite word. There is lots to learn from him, he cares about the "little folks". I care about those who will be forced to sell their homes because they have been duped for so many years by those who it was not in their interests to ever have a sewer here. I am talking mostly about the "anti-growth" and "can't afford" crowd. I cannot believe that the septic pumpers would conspire against this community for profit. I hope everyone else feels this way.

Anyone is free to correct me, I readily accept their opinion. Let reason prevail. I am ignorant and can use all the help I can get. But before you criticize me, read first, and document yourself. But please do not use the NY Times. There was good documentation in the post, but it was not read thoroughly.

"Bloody noses", never. When I see I am wrong, I admit it. I can easily change my opinion, after all I am ignorant and lack a "belief system". I just call it as I see it, but think about it first.
And anyone is welcome to disagree by presenting facts and reason. But "getting my shit together". I wish I could, sometimes I have trouble getting to the bath room, and as you get older you will understand the problem.

Thanks for the discussion. You have led me into interesting thoughts.

Jon Arcuni

Churadogs said...

Sewertoons sez:"Sewertoons said...
Just a silly question, but even if poop is contained in closed tanks under the Ripley plan -- when our septics are pumped every XX# of years -- where will all of that go?? "

According to Ripley, 90% is "digested" in the tank. That leave only 10% to be pumped every 10 - 12 years. The sheer amount is so reduced, that, let's say, it's concentrated "toxic," that smaller amount could be dealt with far easier than the full 90%.


Also sez:" Other than amount of water content, how is THIS poop, with its concentration of used medicine, rinsing agents, oven cleaners, and whatever strange new chemicals (or strange hybrid pathogens) these ingredients could spawn, is it different or somehow "better" because it is concentrated?? Al's Septic will drop this off - where??"

That smaller amount would be taken to the treatment plant by Al, and treated there. AGain, it's the volume that's the point. If your tank will "digest this stuff" for free, why pay big bucks to artificially and mechanically digest it.

Also," I'm not so sure with the latest report (University of Iowa) of the upper aquifer being contaminated with anti-seizure drugs, etc., while not considered dangerous now (although neither the USEPA or USFDA have any guidelines regarding safe levels for these emerging contaminants), that in 20 years as this stuff percolates down off the farms using the "nitrogen, etc." rich water into the lower aquifer or the bay that this was such a great idea. I thnk I'd rather have it in one place, like the Yucca Mountain that is Santa Maria, or its next incarnation. So call me a NIMBY."

Emerging contaminents are a world-wide problem. One thing that was missing in the Tribune Scare Headlines was a comparison between the emerging contaminents to be found in Morro Bay's imported State Water and/or SLO-Towns drinking water & etc.

As for using ag exchange, according to Fr. Schmidt, by applying the water to ag land, it wllows a much longer time for various soil "bugs" to digest and uptake the various molecules, hence destroy them. Plus, irrigation spreads the water out on a larger basis and allowes more soil treatment versus trying to dump/pump it down quickly via "recharge,": i.e. Broderson. He noted that Fresno used to take it's treated water and "recharge" their aquifers. They found too many times that there wasn't sufficient depth to groundwater or time to allow the soil to properly clean it. So they're no recommending ag/exchange as a first step and getting much better results (for the farmer and the water aquifers.)

One note too: Dr. Wickham in an informal gathering that I blogged about some time ago, noted that industries are Waaaaaayyyyy ahead of the curve as far as innovative ways of disposing of their various wastes. Municipal sewer plants, by contrast, are still stuck in the 19th century, gather the muck, mix it and hope "something" will occur to help digest it, rather than actually creating "bugs" that would help the process and etc.

His Pirana system is an example of that kind of deliberate "tinkering" of the sort that industries need to do but apparently municipalities aren't. I guess regulators just figure they can just keep allowing municipal sewage plants to just keep doing business the old fashioned way and the taxpayers will get stuck with the messes (sewer pipe siplls, beach clean ups, contaminated groundwater, fines, which go to fund the regulartors -- doncha live the closed loop? -- & etc.

The exciting thing here is that Los Osos is in a perfect position to stop, think, do some long term planning, some smart planning and take advantage of the technology that's coming along and will continue to come along as we all, nationwide and worldwide, have to change the way we do business -- IF the regulators whose title has the words "water quality" in it -- will get themselves up to speed as well.

The true tragedy is if this community allows itself to be destroyed by an antedeluvian "regulatory agency" whose staff knowlege of "onsite science" is cringe-makingly inadequate (and at the state level, take a gander at the SWB's Technology and Science report's list of recommended practices if you want your hair to stand on end) , and allows itself to be forced to install a 19th century sewer plant that's simply unable to deal with 21st century demands and problems.

Anonymous said...

Churadog says:

"The true tragedy is if this community allows itself to be destroyed by an antedeluvian "regulatory agency" whose staff knowlege of "onsite science" is cringe-makingly inadequate (and at the state level, take a gander at the SWB's Technology and Science report's list of recommended practices if you want your hair to stand on end) , and allows itself to be forced to install a 19th century sewer plant that's simply unable to deal with 21st century demands and problems."

Her credentials for saying this are well established in the science and engineering fields world wide. Aren't they?

After all, she is a well known columnist in LO in all things sewerish and needs no 'stinkin' credentials to judge the validity of professionals in science and engineering domains.

Anonymous said...

Let's see what dose it take to get an engeneering degree? 6 years or so, Ann has been studying and commenting on this for, how many? years, I would say that quite a few people in Los Osos would suprise the heck out of many "credentialed" engeneers. and I'll lay bets that there are lots of people in Los Osos that could blow the doors off the members of the state water board too.
Nothing teaches as well as immersion.

Anonymous said...

Anonmouse says: "Ann has been studying and commenting on this for, how many? years, I would say that quite a few people in Los Osos would suprise the heck out of many "credentialed" engeneers."

You are saying that reading blogs and listening to CSD type meetings is a better learning ground than formal education and years of honing skills in engineering and science?

How many more decades will it take to build a WWTF with all of this acquired knowledge?

Mike Green said...

Hmmm, the last two posts are interesting,
Reminds me of an old saying that used to go around here, Friends don't let friends design sewer plants.
That aside, I know from direct observation that a college degree is no substitute for common sense and experience. The worst designs in history were built by engineers that used degrees instead of brains.
Heck, I fix the cars of mechanical, avionic, electrical, you name it engineers. (all nice people, but sharp as a stick of butter when it comes to a piece of equipment they use everyday)

Getting back to whether Ann should expound on the relative merits of sewer design.
Yes, if you have a salient point to contradict her, post it up.
(Lots of those afore mentioned Los Osoans will let you know quite quickly if your argument holds water or not, probably with documentation too.)

Anonymous said...

Mike Green says:

"Getting back to whether Ann should expound on the relative merits of sewer design.
Yes, if you have a salient point to contradict her, post it up."

Well Mike, as an example of your generic statement

"The worst designs in history were built by engineers that used degrees instead of brains."

Can you cite an example for this conclusion?

Another example; where is the evidence for Churadog's statement
"....whose staff knowlege of "onsite science" is cringe-makingly inadequate".

If she was a noted WWTF expert I would sit up and take notice. But as a columnist, it is an opinion and common sense dictates to take it be taken with a grain of salt.


This is your SALIENT POINT, present opinions with no evidence or no verifiable credentials or professional experience in the field, an expect readers or listeners to be skeptical (IMHO).

Churadog's take on Ripley is fine, as she likes the picture he paints but to cast dispersions on other professionals in the multitude of disciplines required to end up with a functioning sewer system, none of which she claims educationally or professionally seems lacking in common sense or good taste!

Finally, I ask you if you are ill, do you seek a doctor or would rather seek out an auto mechanic (or even a columnist)?

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"Another example; where is the evidence for Churadog's statement
"....whose staff knowlege of "onsite science" is cringe-makingly inadequate".

I would urge anonymous to watch the tapes of the RWQCB's CDO hearing. Staff personage Matt Thompson stated that nitrates go straight down into the ground water. The county's own three test sites showed denitrification taking place in the soil under the leach fields. If memory serves, those were the first such tests done ever and everyone was surprised at the results. If memory also serves, those studies are, I think, refered to as the Black & Veach studies and are in the RWQCB's "prosecution" file under numbers 87, 88. (They weren't posted and with the CDO case being reshuffled, don't know where they'll reappear.) I'd also suggest Anonymous watch the testimony of a Paso Robles septic tank pumper, presented by the staff as an "expert" on septic tanks, leach fields, the effects of pumping tanks every other month, and then watch the testimony from Dr. Wickham concerning the same topic(and the q & a exchange between Dr. Wickham and Board member Press)and then you might see why I believe that the RWQCB staff are cringle-makingly indadequate. Toss in the fact that I asked a member of the staff, at the original CDO informatonal hearing, before this amazing "prosecution" was going to get under way, if they had discharge numbers that matched those supposedly achieved by their mad pumping scheme, could post those so people wishing, for example, to install an onsite system that could meet or better those numbers, could make sure whatever they were buying met those numbers, and was told, Uh, No, we don't have those numbers, but Gee, that WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA,we'll see about maybe working up those numbers. In other words, on the eve of a unprescedented "prosecution, involving thousands of people, the staff of the regional board was plainly unprepared, had not considered any better alternatives, hadn't done the basic research any competent staff should have done. Wait, it gets better. When Wickham was testifying, the Staff attorney asked him whether he knew any alternatives that were better than pumping and he wittily said, yes, Not Pumping, but then was asked if there were any onsite systems that could accomplish the same thing, for the same price, (mitigation and reduction of dishcarge pollutants) he replied, Yes, MANY. It was clear from that exchange that the staff of the RWQCB hadn't done their homework. Wait it gets better, so far as I know, they had no idea they'd be smacked down in their mad scheme by the Air Quality Control Board because of all the air pollution put out by thousands of deisel trucks mandly pumping 5,000 tanks 24/7.

Now, color me weird, but all of that adds up to "cringle-makingly" indeadquate on the part of the staff. They look stupid and they made the Board look stupid.

and a final note concerning RWQCB's in general, please get ahold of the SWRB's own task force study on Science & Technoloty and its list of recommendations for all the State water regulators. Those "recommendations" will make your hair stand on end, like, the task force reccommends having PEER REVIEW both available and standard on complex cases. Huh? Like it's isn't standard now???? That report even recommended that regulator staffs have access to peer-reviewed, industry standard-type professional publications (i.e. don't have to pay for same out of their own pocket, should be part of each offices research library & etc.) This needs to be recommended to a state-wide regulatory agency that has the power to destroy whole communities on the back of . . . bad science? (Exhibit #1 the Briggs' Mad Pumping Scheme for Los Osos.)

I said Cringe-making and I meant cringe-making. To anonymous, I hope you'll get those tapes and watch them for yourself.

Mike Green said...

Anon wrote:

"The worst designs in history were built by engineers that used degrees instead of brains."

Can you cite an example for this conclusion?

Google engineering mistakes, I found this one in about ten seconds


http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/start.html?pg=9

Enjoy.

Spectator said...

Ann:
Isn't there something from the water board that says "No discharge"? Are you still trying to make an arguement that all the waterboard's research is wrong?

Do some of you actually think you can argue with a regulationg body?

Good luck!

Shark Inlet said...

About "hide the salami" ... Ann uses the phrase like Howard Dean does ... as if they don't know about the sexual inuendo. However, because Ann assures us that she knows what it means I'll go back and re-read her comments.

I also stand behind my earlier comment that the only way the Ripley plan would make sense if if:

1 - we actually do use 50g/day per person
2 - energy costs skyrocket
3 - the RWQCB signs off on AG-exchange with nitrates.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mike,

I guess my post was not clear enough! My question was in reference to your statement : "The worst designs in history were built by engineers that used degrees instead of brains."

How exactly does one prove that an engineer "used their degree instead of brains"? It seems to me that it is an impossibility to prove. By the way, in your very first example I had to chuckle to myself as it tells the story of a "self taught engineer". I wondered if you even realized this when you referenced it in your post? (self-taught as in no degree)

Of course, there are incompetent engineers as well as mechanics and doctors, and lawyers and regulators and even columnists. We are all human and prone to errors.

My point is that probabilities and common sense dictate that a trained and experienced practitioner of whatever is more likely to know what they are talking about than neophytes with no experience at all.

In all things sewerish, we are all neophytes. In my humble opinion, our collective knowledge is the classic example of being dangerous. Until the regulators have ruled, and or litigation has been adjudicated, all the blogging in the world is just that, a blob...eh blog.

To assert that engineers use degrees instead of brains or that the water board staff is incompetent is sheer folly, when save a few, none of us have the training or experience to pass judgment on the technical issues in this sewer science war (in-spite of ron's assertion that it isn't rocket science).

Let Wickham and Ripley battle it out with the regulators and their experts to determine the validity of the science. After all, there has been no rulings or decisions made to date by anyone other than bloggers!

P.S. To churadog, I've read and viewed all the material and documents and have been "self taught" in all things sewerish. Your "doth protesting too much" is very telling, as your comment is about as long as the original blog. If one takes out all the derogatory adjectives and phrases there is little left, IMHO.

Peace

Mike Green said...

Anon, Your completed point is well taken, I chuckled myself at the first one and I'm glad you caught it,
Good post.

Anonymous said...

I've asked this question before and got no response. Can water,taken out of the ground be treated to the standards the Water Board seems to be requiring? I ask myself, if you can treat raw sewage into drinkable water, why can't you you treat raw water alot easier? Is it more expensive to treat water or sewage?

Spectator said...

To anon 5:42PM 8/19/06:

Of course you can treat raw water easier and cheaper than sewerage, and especially our upper aguafer water. However, we have laws in this country to make sure we do not crap into our own well. If we stop crapping (sewer system) into our own well (upper aquifer) then we can put in a potable water treatment plant to insure a water supply from the upper aquifer. So first comes wastewater treatment and then comes potable water treatment or state water.

This whole dispute has been about crapping in one's own well, and money to stop the crapping with a wastewater treatment plant.
In 2010 the CCRWQCB can shut down septic systems in Los Osos.

Anonymous said...

So why don't we take water out of the upper aquifier, treat it, and let the septic tanks take care of the solids?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon above,

Because the law says no.

In California, the source of the pollution (in this case the septic tanks) must be removed first. After the source of pollution has been permanently removed, the polluted water may be treated for use. The idea here is by removing the pollution source that over time the aquifer will be cleansed and not need treatment. If the source was not removed, treatment would always be needed.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Anonymous said...

Jon Arcuni said... "So first comes wastewater treatment and then comes potable water treatment or state water."

Attention Richard LeGros... please estimate the cost of the above and add it to your Tri-W costs.

Since we're talking about watershed wide solutions it is unfair to compare the Tri-W plant with what Ripley proposes since Ripley's plan accomplishes so much more.

The above plan would be unique to the Tri-W plan since using ag water for drinking would make that unnecessary for the Ripley Plan...

So Richard, sharpen that pencil and add that into your Tri-W costs... we want to make sure we are comparing the same kind of fruit.

Churadogs said...

Spectator sez:"Ann:
Isn't there something from the water board that says "No discharge"? Are you still trying to make an arguement that all the waterboard's research is wrong?"

Here's what's funny. The prohibition zone is prohibited from "discharging," BUT the RWQCB issued a "discharge" permit to Tri W. So, clearly, there's "discharges" and then there's "discharges." If the RWQCB sets the level for nitrates at 7 mgl as they did for Tri W and an onsite system delivers 2, then, of course, the onsite system won't be allowed. Go figure.

Mike Green said...

In a Perfect world, we would be able to keep the septic systems and simply hook the leech lines to a TriW gravity system, everyone would have sludge busters, and the OMBR costs at Triw would sink to insegnificance, due to not having the sludge problem and needing Way less treatment to attain its goal, There would be purple water lines going out to the farmers that want nitrogen laden water, the State would fund the whole thing and charge the residents an affordible amount.


HA HA HA HA I just crack me up sometimes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 1:38 above,

The Ripley plan does not use Ag water for drinking. Nor does it cleanse or recharge the upper aquifer.

Also, you are refer to costs not normally associated with Waste Water Projects.

The addition of these costs are not neccessary; but if I did, they would be added identically to both projects.


Regards, Richard LeGros

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing "no discharges". How come 1000 properties were developed with discharging after this order was given? And don't give me the line that they "expected a sewer to be built". Were those property owners advised that one day soon, they would have to pay to have their septic tank abandoned?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon above,

That is a good question to ask the County and the RWQCB. Good luck.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Mike Green said...

Mr Legros wrote:
"The Ripley plan does not use Ag water for drinking. Nor does it cleanse or recharge the upper aquifer."

I was at the Ripley meeting when the upper aquifer was discussed, They stated that by using Ag exchange that would help the upper aquifer quite a bit. The storey I heard was that by not pumping water for irrigation, which the farmers do, and removing the source of contaminants (the leech fields) a natural clensing would occure do to the flow of that aquifer.
I looked at the water maps that were there and they all showed that the upper aquifer moves towards the bay.

To say that the Ripley plan dose not address the polution in the upper aquifer, well, I wonder where you came to that conclusion.
Also, what was presented will be going under peer review.
I for one would be interested in that report.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

Exactly. There is no recharge of the upper aquifer from the Ripley Plan. No water is returned to the basin. Period. The Ripley plan is a defacto drain of water from the aquifer. To reply upon an usubstanciated idea that water returned to ag lands East of Los Osos will recharge the lower aquifer is questionable. I am sure peer review will acknowledge this.

As for nature cleaning the aquifer, that will occur; but at a much slower rate than if treated waste water is returned to the aquifer. A more correct term would be that it "inadequately" addresses the cleansing of the upper aquifer due to time.

Additionally, the Riply plan does not meet the requirement from the CCC that the upper aquifer water table (level) be maintained and controlled to NOT drop. A dropping water table would result in the emerging wetlands all around Los Osos drying up and being destroyed. In order to control these water table, the Ripley plan will HAVE to discharge into the upper aquifer. Because of this one requirement alone, the idea of zero discharge into the Los Osos upper aquifer and basin will not be accepted by the regulators.

In order to meet this reqirement, the Tri-W plan incorporated a number of treated waste water discharge sites thoughout Los Osos. Coupled with harvesting wells, the LOCSD would have been able to monitor and control the water table of the upper aquifer; and maintain the emerging wetlands at the same time. It was an ingenious system.

I might point out that the issue of proecting emerging wetlands was promoted by the Technical Task Force in its hearings with the CCC. Why the new CSD Board forgot to include this requirement in the RFP for a new waste water project is a mystery to me.

Regards, Richard LeGros

PS: Feel free to call me Richard.

Mike Green said...

Richard (thank you)
Maybe I'm confused here, (wouldn't be the first time) When you say "returned to the basin", what water are you refering too? as I understand it, no drinking water is taken from the upper aquifer, am I wrong?
I thought the only people utilizing the polluted upper aquifer were the farmers, although its not polluted where they pump (yet)
If you are not taking something how can you return it?
Perhaps you ment that we are required to manage a resource beyond its natural capacity?
I wouldn't be suprised.

Mike Green said...

Richard, your comment about the CCC requirements was what I was refering to,
What are we, the solution to global warming here? how the heck can they REQUIRE a resource that they have incomplete information about to be preserved on all accounts by a small community?
Ann was 100% right, sold down the river by EVERY government entity that had anything to do with it.
Sheesh!

And to Satisfy the Shark!

Yes! Me Too! I Was a stupid Voter!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

The water returned to the basin is the reclaimed water acquired from the waste water treatment plant.

The requirement regarding maintaining emerging wetlands is part of the Coastal Development Permit issue by the CCC; and such a requirement on this issue would have to be part of the Ripley-Pacific Plan too. The Ripley Pacific idea that they can discharge reclaimed high nitrate-laden water outside the basin is flawed as the Ripley-Pacific plan fails to address the CCC requirement.

On an aside, the issue of who owns the reclaimed water from the waste water treatment plant is HUGE. As the CSD reclaimed the water via the waste water treatment plant, it contents that that water has a dollar value to users other than the CSD water customers (read Cal Cities, etc.). The whole purpose of the long-running CSD lawsuit against Cal Cities is over this very issue; and as a means to have water customers outside the LOCSD water area pay a portion of that reclaimed water.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Anonymous said...

Richard said... "The water returned to the basin is the reclaimed water acquired from the waste water treatment plant."

This statement is very misleading and makes me wonder if you saw the Ripley presentation...

Treated wastewater from the Ripley Treatment Plant is not being returned to the water basin. That water is being applied to crops. I highly doubt much of that water will ever reach the water table. The reason I say that is that farmers are not in the habit of discharging water... they use just enough water to irrigate their crops. Any more application of water would be a waste of energy (electricity to run the pumps).

What Ripley is proposing is never taking water out of the basin in the first place. If we provide treated water to the farmers they can stop pumping water from our drinking supply.

Why would you treat water and put it in the ground so farmers can pump it out and apply it to crops?

Why would a farmer pump water out of the ground (cost to run electric pumps) and add nitrogen to it (add the cost of nitrogen), when they can get it piped to them by the CSD with nitrogen already included?

Additionally, you keep describing the treated water under the Ripley plan as being "discharged". Im not positive but I dont think it meets the definition of discharge or disposal.

It is being "sold to farmers for irrigation"... what is the legal definition of that?

Mike Green said...

Anon shouted out:
"It is being "sold to farmers for irrigation"... what is the legal definition of that?"

Outlaw, criminal, scofflaw,
Ask the "Water Gods"
They own the Law.

As for me, I say PIRATE!
And I'm damn happy to be one! ARGHH!

Just means we will need to steal the booty to pay fer it!

Mike Green said...

Richard, by your term "the basin" are you refering to the upper AND lower aquifer, or just one? it makes a difference.
Thanks for your patience and replys.

Mike Green said...

Water can not be "made"
It's elemental dear watson!