Woooo, Nitrates, Morro Mysterioso Syle and Other Stuff
Recent huge headlines in the Tribune, “Morro Bay tap water called unsafe for some,” then a day later, “Tap water in Morro called safe to drink.” Apparently, although Morro Bay’s been sewered for years (with the treated wastewater dumped out to sea) the nitrate levels in their wells located in the Morro Valley and Chorro Valley have nitrate levels above the state allowed standards.
When the city had to shut down the imported state watersupply for the annual pipe maintenance, the city had to rely on the well water. So, the warning went out that pregnant women, small children and the ill or immuno-compromised shouldn’t drink the water because the nitrate levels would be 4 parts per million over the state allowed amount. (It wasn’t noted how many gallons of water you’d have to drink at 4 parts per million over the limit to cause a problem.)
At any rate, here’s what I found amazing: “The source of the nitrates is not known; however, fertilizers are the most common source.”
The source is not known? Hmmm, since the Morro Valley and the Chorro Valley’s watershed comes under the pervue of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, apparently the staff there has never heard of isotope testing. Like, maybe years ago, they could have dropped some isotopes downstream from a farmer’s fields, then trace where they go. If they show up in the groundwater, then there’s a good bet that the “source” would be fertilizer run off from the field. At which point, the farmer could be issued a CDO and dragged into a “trial” and required to do whatever it took to cease and desist polluting the ground waters of the state of California, like maybe working with the city of Morro Bay to update their wastewater plant to include a beneficial use Ag Exchange so the nitrate-rich water could be applied in better amounts so the plants would uptake all of it, thereby eliminating the “extra” that ends up in the drinking water? And so forth.
Oh, wait, clearly the RWQCB doesn’t have the staff to do something like that since their staff’s all tied up with the CDO “trials” of 4,500 Los Ososians. They couldn’t possibly be expected to find out “the source of the nitrates” that have permanently polluted the waters of the state of California, which forced Morro Bay to import and mix their waters so they’d have a safe product. No, perish the thought.
Sign of the Times
Election’s over. Dissolution’s over. Time to get rid of some of the ginormous signs still dotting the town? Well, consider this. There’s folks busy trying to cut down stands of eucalyptus trees all over town, trees which serve as shelter for monarch butterflies and raptors.
Yesterday, driving down South Bay Blvd, I stared at the ginormous DISSOLVETHECSDGETTHEFACTS black sign there on private property at Pismo and SBB and perched on the sign was a gorgeous red-tailed hawk.
So, I say, maybe we should keep all our huge political signs up. Maybe put up even bigger, taller one. With so many trees cut down, we should at least offer some alternative perches for our feathered friends.
Hand Me That Cheese, It’s Rat Time
Patrick Klemz over at New Times (Nov 19 edition) has a story in News of the Week, called “Unraveling Tri-W.” It’s about the recent Planning Commission meeting wherein the Commission declared that building anything on Tri-W “might violate the General Plan.”
What makes this all so weird is that at the final LAFCO hearing, while Alan Settle was coming unglued over the possibility that Tri-W might be sold, Paavo Ogren, who’s in charge of the Sewer project, sauntered up to the podium and announced with absolute sanguinity that, Nope, he wasn’t concerned, it presented no problem to the county in their consideration of plants and plans and sewer alternatives, not a worry, no problema.
Now, --NOW?-- we have “staff” and their totally weird notation that suddenly there’s some kind of hideous “danger” here, that the general plan MIGHT be violated if somebody MIGHT want to build, oh, let’s say, a mixed-use business and apartment complex there instead of a SEWER PLANT, and such a change in plans MIGHT require up to TWO YEARS to complete all the permits for such a project, and I commented in a previous blog that in the Coastal Zone, two years isn’t a “concern,” it’s a FAST TRACK.
What’s creepy is the spin on all this. When sanguinity starts shifting to vague unglue-ness and words like “condemn the property,” and “certain dangers,” start mixing in with Oh, well, this is all just “informational,” (heh-heh) that we’re just keeping “all options open,” and the famous weasel-words, “could” and “might” show up, then people need to start looking carefully. There’s the distinct possibility that little ratsies are scuttling in the underbrush and it’s time to grab the cheese and check the traps.
Then go home and count the silverware.