Saturday, March 03, 2007

Don't Drink the Water. No, Really. Don't Drink It. There Isn't Any More.

The following is a DRAFT from the planning commission for Los Osos. So, if you haven't already done so, do change out your toilets and showerheads to Lo-Flow, xerescape your yard, and . . . don't' drink the water.


1. Recommend to the Board of Supervisors that Level of Severity III be certified for water supply in the Los Osos groundwater basin

2. The County of San Luis Obispo become the lead agency to implement the following recommendations.

3. That water purveyors continue to immediately implement the measures recommended in the Sea Water Intrusion Assessment.

4. S&T Mutual Water Co. should install meters and adopt an ascending water rate structure as described above.

5. All water purveyors should immediately adopt an ascending water rate structure as described in the RCS.

6. All water purveyors should adopt mandatory retrofit measures that will reduce water demand by 15% 30% by the year 2010 compared to 2001 usage.

7. Best management practices for agricultural water use shall be encouraged.

8. Secure supplemental water supplies in sufficient quantity, when combined with conservation measures, to meet demand at projected buildout.

7. The County adopt an ordinance that prohibits new subdivisions that result in the net increase in water usage from the basin.

8. Adopt an ordinance to institute water conservation requirements for parcels outside of water purveyor service areas that mirror the efforts undertaken by purveyors within their service areas.

9. Adopt an ordinance requiring all water purveyors with 5 or more connections to meter individual connection water use.

10. Reduce the build out figure for Los Osos in the Estero Area plan from 28,000 to 19,713.

11. A temporary moratorium be instituted for all new development that results in a net increase in water use from the basin until overall basin water use is reduced by at least 600 AFY over 2001 data.


Anonymous said...


It looks more and more like the county will import water. Have you heard about the Justice Dept. VS a polluter represted by Ms. Sullivan -- since this is the water which the county will import?? Ms. Sullivan knows all about the polluted water but since the case was settled I don't know if she can give us any information.

It is serious if true. The chemical will not break down for hundreds of years. If 40% of the town isn't paying attention (I believe many more) will this ever be examined? Or will we just be satisfied to drink it and become ill?

Just asking...

Anonymous said...

Here's what bothers me:

Under AB 2701, the county should conduct public hearings to determine the most APPROPRIATE project and offer a plan of assessments for homeowner/landowner approval to pay for the project. The possibility exists the county will downsize the project and expand the assessment roll enough to create an acceptable project.

The sky is falling! said...

To anon 10:39

I do not understand why you put up speculation which you do not understand to be true upon this site. You do not even state the chemical.

The state and localities are required by law to provide drinking water to accepted standards. Some of the standards are stricter than European standards.

The water from the wells in Los Osos goes through treatment. We do not drink raw water. State water is raw. It will have to be treated to accepted standards.

Los Osos is surrounded by water. There is plenty of water. The question is of the expense to make it potable. Salt water can be made into standards of mountain spring water through RO. Morro Bay has an RO plant for salt water conversion.

The existing nitrates in our upper aquifer water can be removed through resin exchange and the water used. The brine resulting can be evaporated or solar (etc.) distilled and the product will be the dissolved solids (the remaining salts) and pure water. The pure water can be used in our drinking water.

Wells can be drilled in areas outside our basin and water used to stop or recede salt water intrusion into our lower aquifer. There are plenty of options. It is simply a question of money.

Getting ill from bad water is not an option. We have good water in Los Osos, but we are running short of it and overdrawing the lower aquifer from which most of it comes.

Water in Los Osos is expensive and will be even more so. Most have diminished their water use to save money.

However, it is very important to increase our supply of potable water, allow people who own property to build on their homesites, and recharge the aquifers, especially the lower, and stop salt water intrusion.

If it's yellow, let it mellow.

In our sandy soil, most of our irregation water goes to waste.

Best to sprinkle or drip for no more than seven minutes every other day.

Mike Green said...

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
W. C. Fields

sage advice!

Anonymous said...

This water I mentioned is from Lake Nascimento! That's where the imported water would come from. I do not know the chemical because I haven't reviewed court documents. This was a big deal with the Justice Dept. and happened five or six years ago. The landowner who Ms. Sullivan reprented was a mine landowner. It's been hushed up and has to be investigated. Don't quite understand why you're giving a lesson on L.O. water...

Anonymous said...

The ascending water rate for the CSD needs a lower step. There is no incentive for moving below 9 CCF.

the sky is falling said...

The chemical in Naciemento water is Mercury leaching from mines and mine trailings. There were lots of mercury mines in the area. It is not difficult to remove from water to make it potable. But if you eat the fish that comes from this water to excess it is a problem. The lecture is to increase the information to the ignorant bomb throwers like you who would make us believe that state water will poison us.

Anonymous said...

I for one, paid my assessment in full, invested in low flow toilets & low flow shower heads...Now you tell me that my landscaping MUST look like something out of "Lawrence of Arabia"....Just what the hell did I get for pre-paying my assessment, only to be stuck with more bills for a project, thanks to the folly of Buel & the re-called 3??

Anonymous said...

To 10:08PM,

You just don't get it, do you? The chemical I'm speaking about is not the mercury. We all know about the mercury in the water (recently reported on KCOY!)

There is ANOTHER chemical agent in the water that can't be treated. It was printed in the newspaper some years back. Come on, why would the Justice Dept. come here on this case? This was a BIG case that was settled and now hush hush. A very big case I hear.

You obviously are not very smart. You just don't get it, or don't want to. This should be in court records. No bomb throwing needed. This is a bomb shell that ALL should be concerned about.

Anonymous said...

I too, recall reading that article, but for the life of me, I cannot remember the "offenders'" name. As I recall, it was a "long time, old family" of San Luis Obispo County. Does anyone else remember this case? It was about an old abandoned mine on the guys property, but I don't recall the substance in question was "mercury". Help us here!

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"It looks more and more like the county will import water. "

There are several problems with "importing state water." 1. the quality and 2, when you buy into a state water project, you're buying a PIPE. It's a nice pipe, but it's still just a pipe. The water may or may not be there, depending on the availability -- can't get blood from a stone, can't get water from no water.

Anonymous sez:"
There is ANOTHER chemical agent in the water that can't be treated. It was printed in the newspaper some years back. Come on, why would the Justice Dept. come here on this case? This was a BIG case that was settled and now hush hush. A very big case I hear."

Maybe you're conflating two cases. There was/is the mercury problem with the old mercury mines in the Cambria area. But, as we now know, there are other trace chemicals that are now showing up in our drinking water (pass through drugs, chemicals from our shampoos, laundry soaps, etc.) that the EPA is concerned about because nobody yet knows what level is too low. As of the last L.O. water report, there were two, I believe, of these chemicals showing up, both in minute amounts, but all bear watching. One was a type of drug used in medications to control epilepsy, which prompted me to wonder if we have a high number of epileptics here in Los Osos or if the drug was being used off-label as a tranquilizer, which might make sense since L.O. has a lot of stressed out people here.

In either case, the Feds are and will keep increasing Title 22 limits as more info comes in on just what these chemicals can do at even very low levels. Increased Title 22 requirements mean: Mo Money.

As for the poster who didn't want his/her yard to look like Lawrence of Arabia, there are a whole lot of really, really beautiful CA. natives and other drought-tolerant plants available. I would suggest a trip to the SLO botanical gardens at El Chorro to talk with the wonderful volunteers there and a walk-round to look at the plants there. They're all "Mediterranean-type" plants designed for a "coastal desert," which is what we are. Add in a water scrooging drip system, piles of mulch, and it's possible to be a water scrooge AND have a beautiful garden.

Anonymous said...

To: Anon 11:05

There are no chemicals in the Nacimiento water that can't be filtered naturally. Ask Paso Robles, Atascadero, and Templeton, who are in the process of working with the City of SLO and the County (for Cayucos) to build the Nacimiento Pipeline. SLO would also take it untreated, but for logistics reasons is having it delivered to their treatment plant.

Other agencies in the South County would love to get some Nacimiento water, but have no pipeline to SLO to acces it. Why is it that, once again, something is good enough for everyone else in the County, but not us?

Anonymous said...

Good morning. Lots of people out walking beautiful Los Osos this morning. Always a pleasure on these days to be a part of this community.

I'm putting 110% behind Ann in regards to her statement regarding the purchase of "pipe". She is absolutely correct that water sales is a futures and ventures type of gamble. "People" are selling imaginary water to each other. They "calculate" development potential and ability based on this imaginary supply of water. I didn't mind Tri-W because of this fact. Drawing the boundry line, dropping the cap on build-out and becoming water farmers was o.k. It wasn't great but looking around, how else were we going to be able to keep the urban reserve line and help determine the level of encroachment?

There are follys and flaws all around and I wasn't as concerned with the park as I was with the big eyes that I know are focused on "if we could get water to Los Osos and change that line....." and it's not the county. It's futures and options developers from outside the community that are represented by large law firms looking for places to develop in the next 20-30 years. I was and am far more concerned that as long as the main arguement of Los Osos is in regards to which "technology god" to follow, we will have blinked and lost the chance to participate in the discussion. I don't worship technology, its a tool to serve us and be used as a benefit.

Just like television. Its a technology to be used carefully and when overused and worshipped, has a profound impact on the developing attitudes of the human race and creates observable cultural shifts. So much so, that there are actual "battles" to keep the "American" television out of certain countries because they recognize the impact of over westernization.
We have to stop worshipping the technology and pay attention to the decisions we are making.

Of course our computers are an entrirely different beast.....maybe we should turn them off and stare out an open window at the beautful day and take a few deep breaths.
Maria M. Kelly

Anonymous said...

To 9:llAM,

I'm not saying that the water is not good just for Los Osos. It's not good for anyone. The chemical will not break down and this has to be investigated and will be. Is it yet ANOTHER county "cover-up" -- it's starting to look like it.

ANN - This particular water problem is from LAKE NACIMIENTO which the county plans to import. We all know about the mercury problems. THIS IS DIFFERENT. You talk about people paying attention -- don't you think you, and the rest of us should -- and not just Los Osos!

Anonymous said...

"Another County coverup" or a strategy by nay-sayers for minimizing future growth?

Heritage Ranch and scores of other private propeties around the lake have been using Nacimiento water for many years with no problems. No problems in the EIR for the new pipeline project, either.

Anonymous said...

I agree with where I think anon 10:42 in going. Now is not the time for the no growthers to start looking for ways to limit growth out here. We will need the full planned build-out based on current zoning to have as many as possible share in the cost of the sewer, and possibly additional water to stop the seawater intrusion. The cost will be high enough without shrinking the denominator.

Anonymous said...

I don't want any growth. I want my property value to recover to what it was. It will only recover if growth is restricted. I have been hurt enough by the sewer stoppers.

Watch Out for "Wise" people with all the answers said...

To those who oppose the buying of State Water (and, of course, the nice pipies to bring it), it would be very nice if you start to conserve now so we can avoid the unnecessary purchase that will also make it very likely that the County will rezone properties to allow Los Osos to grow a lot once the sewer is in.

Also you would want to consider encouraging the county to go with TriW because any other project will cause a considerable delay and thus make state water even more likely.


Anonymous said...

To above:

It's more pressure politics to enforce what's not true so people are too scared to think otherwise.

It's ridiculous to believe that gravity could possibly be finished before step/steg and you could certainly have a chance to avoid state water completely! Not to mention it will allow us to build a project we can afford while gravity is something no one can afford. Let's not encourage the county and make them accountable to the homeowners of Los Osos.


Anonymous said...

Pushing step/steg seems to be just another delay tactic. If you want accountablity, explain the CSD's plan to get out of bankruptcy.

Watch Out for "Wise" people with all the answers said...

Nice attitude ... if the bids really were some 30-40% too high, the County could just go and re-bid the project and (aside from inflation) they'll be able to get lower bids than the CSD did.

If "no one can afford" the gravity/Tri-W project, wait until you see the bill for the system you are arguing for.

If you really want state water and an increased build-out population for our town ... if you want growth and state water, push the County towards whatever will stall and delay things as long as possible.

And if you think that an already designed and permitted system can't be finished before an as-of-yet not even conceptually sketched out system ... you're the fool on the hill the Beatles sang about.

Anonymous said...

To 8:19 above,

Step/Steg is hardly a delay tactic. It's the only project that can deliver with the 2011 deadline.

You've said everything to push the gravity system -- all paper airplanes!

Get the facts.

Anonymous said...

Oh, did the RWQCB say that 2011 date was written in stone? I thought as long as a project was moving along without obstructionist lawsuits, they might lighten up on that date.

Anonymous said...

Anything could slow the project down to what the RWQCB judges by its own secret standards to be an unacceptable level of progress toward a treatment facility by 1/1/11. Loss of the 218 is a definite step in the direction of unacceptable. In that sense the deadline is "problematic."

CDO defendants defending themselves or appealing their CDO would have no impact on the progress of any project. It is simply a fallacy that to defend against a CDO is to be an obstructionist. Such a characterization is terribly misleading to future CDO recipients and unfair to those who are defending themselves at this moment. When one is being prosecuted, one is best advised to defend oneself. When the only alternative in this prosecution is to sign a confession/settlement agreement/CAO it is best to defend onself.

Anonymous said...

To ANN & All CDO's:

You might find this of interest, it is in response to Tom Salmon from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. regarding CDO's -- this email is from last July. To me it still looks like the CDO's were just a way to pass the 218....

"I don't know the answer to your latest question about CDO's. Regarding my "assurances," HJTA originally asked Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee to amend his bill to include a provision requiring the RWQCB to waive its fines if the voters approve a sewer system. Mr. Blakeslee said he had already floated this idea to the RWQCB (which is very territorial about its authority to impose fines). The RWQCB apparently said it would oppose such an amendment, but assured Mr. Blakeslee that, if he would leave that language out, and if the voters approve a sewer system, then the RWQCB will waive all or most of the past fines."

Timothy Bittle
Director of Legal Affairs
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc

Anonymous said...

To All:

Has everyone read the Roger Briggs memo dated 12/14/84 where Roger stated:

"Three minor editorial comments were noted, and there was a lengthy discussion about interpreting water quality data. Although county staff agrees there is evidence of human fecal bacteria in the SURFACE WATERS, they feel we've overstated the significance of this. IF there are problems, the county contends that the proposed project WILL DO NOTHING TO CURTAIL THEM!"

Can I ask you: what does the RWQCB know about anything -- aren't they all mostly attorneys? Step/steg is a better solution for Los Osos and all the experts have agreed on this. Some "gravity" experts say step/steg is FINE for L.O.

Anonymous said...

Just pulled this from the Tribune blog, it's interesting:

Paying for Sustainable Water Infrastructure Conference
This will be the first national conference to address the challenge of integrating the diverse tools and strategies to pay for sustainable water infrastructure. Conference will be held on March 21-23, 2007 at the Hilton Atlanta in Atlanta Georgia. (from the State Water Board site.)


Anonymous said...

I just copied and pasted one of the abstracts regarding one of the presentations. I am happy to see that sustainable is being used properly and doesn't imply one type of system or another. No where does it mention step/steg as being the superior system, it just says you have to do something and sustainability implies longevity of the water supply, integrity of the water supply and overall management of the water supply. No where does it say that building your water treatment facilites out of town give you a better shot at sustainability. Lets be honest and clear about what is at stake for the future of Los Osos and stop the technological debate, let the TAC do it's job and weigh in with our advisory vote. Until then, talk to your neighbors about conservaiton.

"Water is Life and Infrastructure Makes it Happen"

Author: Kim Holland
Presenter: Kim Holland
Georgia Association of Water Professionals & Georgia Water Environment Association, Marietta, GA

Abstract: The "Water is Life and Infrastructure Makes it Happen" program is dedicated to informing the public on the importance of life-sustaining water and wastewater infrastructure and the investments needed to maintain it. Much of our water infrastructure -- the systems that treat, distribute, collect and clean water -- was built nearly a century ago for a smaller population. It is aging and overburdened. Even with newer facilities and innovative alternatives, upgrades are required to keep pace with growing needs and environmental challenges. The level of investment by governments in maintaining water infrastructure has declined dramatically. In addition, sewer and water rates are not always reflective of the true cost of service. We are at a critical point for sustainable water infrastructure across the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that by 2016 water pollution levels may deteriorate to those observed in the 1970s if we do not reinvest in our water and wastewater infrastructure. If we don't take steps to reinvest in our water infrastructure, we risk reversing decades of progress in public health, environmental protection, economic development and quality of life.

Anonymous said...

The RWQCB knew they were over stating any pollution in the ground water and couldn't prove septics were polluting or polluting the bay. L.O. polluted only one tenth of 1% of the bay. Now they want only 5,000 homes to clean everything and pay for it all? What country are we living in?

The RWQCB could have put a septic management in place and identified any problem areas and could have corrected immediately with cluster plants (and still could do that!!) but they did nothing for years. A megasewer will do nothing and they know it -- so does the county. It's only taxing people out of their homes and many know it.

Does Roger Briggs own property in Cabrillo Estates?

Anonymous said...

Mega-sewer? Just what Mega-sewer was ever designed for Los Osos?

There NEVER was a Mega-sewer!

You just like to use that term as part of your campaign to distort facts! You have been lying to the community in your effort to move the sewer at all costs.

Get it through your head, there NEVER was a Mega-sewer!

Anonymous said...

The propaganda surrounding mega-sewer is being used as a marketing tool so as to try to discredit. Since there really was nothing "evil" about TriW, it's important to imply that it was so as to create a support base. You'll notice how suceptible people are to marketing.

The age of the housing in the PZ and the density of the housing forces the issue that we are the larger contributor to ground water contamination. So much so, that as we have sole sourced our lower aquifer, we have cornered ourselves into a level 3 severity.

The schematics of TriW very clearly show that it wasn't "mega" by any means. What it is, is a highly automated, tehcnologically advanced system that requires very little man power. The drawback is that MBR treatment is expensive but it would appear that some of the trade off could be decreased wages. It's unlikely that that accounts for enough of the energy costs and there would have had to have been other efforts made to utilize alternative energy sources as they became available.

The advantage of more technologically advanced systems is that they often lend themselves a more simple transition to retrofit and repair-every infrastructure requires repair over time.

Expense to the rate payer is of the utmost concern. How do we equitably clean our water supply and keep our community largly intact?

Georges-Antoine Kurtz said...


Let's tackle this most recent batch of off the wall misinformation.

Point 1. To argue that STEP could be done in time but gravity could not ignores one key thing ... no STEP plan has been designed or approved and to get those two preliminary things done requires a lot of time. Even if the actual piping could be done more quickly, STEP will take longer.

Point 2. The RWQCB doesn't need to re-prove anything about pollution of our groundwater. Just because you've not been convinced (and you probably have zero bias in your opinions) doesn't mean that they have the right to tell us to stop discharging. Furthermore, Cleath's most recent water quality report verifies the pollution of our groundwater.

Point 3. Your suggestion that LO is polluting only 1% of the bay is unfounded. The only study that would suggest this would be the Kitts shellfish study and that study doesn't allow us to assess the general pollution levels in the bay, only e-coli in shellfish.

Point 4. Why not ask the 5000 polluting households to pay for the cost of their pollution? When someone wrongs you, you would expect them to make amends. If a corporation were to pollute the water you would want them to both pay a fine (which no individual family has been asked to do yet) and to take the steps necessary to prevent further pollution. What's different here? The fact that it's you and not Exxon doing the pollution? [As a technical note, the Monarch Grove neighborhood has been asked to pay a fine for excess nitrates and turbidity in the water output from their treatment plant ... but that's not a fine on the folks in the PZ who have been polluting far more with their septic systems for many years.]

Point 5. It is not the RWQCB who determines whether we have septic management. The County or the CSD could do this and both should have long ago.

Point 6. The County and the CSD could have proposed cluster plants for the entirety of the PZ (starting perhaps in the most necessary areas), but the RWQCB cannot do this either. The RWQCB has a limited role ... to identify pollution and to fine the polluters for the pollution they cause.

Point 7. If you view an expensive plant as taxing people out of their homes, why aren't you supporting the idea that the County should pick up the Tri-W plans and re-bid them do get a lower total. It would save us a lot of money over re-designing yet again. Simply, if you really care about the financial well-being of your friends and neighbors, you will support the cheapest reasonable plant which is Tri-W. [Note: there may be many better plans, but not without the cost of higher bills.]

Anonymous said...

Everyone is up early this morning defending the megasewer, and yes, it IS a megasewer -- it's a huge project that we don't need and can't afford.

When I see the little "shacks" down on Mitchell, it reminds me of what this whole thing is all about.
Riff-raff out -- wealthy in --

You, who blogged this morning in favor of the Tri-W -- remember too many top experts in the field have said to move the thing out of town and step/steg is FINE for L.O.

If you all are such the experts, tell us who you are and where you work -- so we can all understand why you know more than the top people in this field.

Georges-Antoine Kurtz said...

Those very same experts who said that out of town is better were quite explicit in the portion of their analysis about the costs. They said that they didn't care about the costs of each system. They also didn't really address the Ripley versus Tri-W or gravity versus STEP questions very directly. They gave general thoughts on the matter.

Furthermore, when the Ripley team addressed costs, their unrealistic assumptions are what caused them to conclude the Ripley plant had a lower cost. When directly questioned on the matter they fessed up.

As to your last point ... I believe that you've made the claim that STEP is quicker and that out of town is cheaper. Your suggestion that the experts agree with you appears to be false. What are your credentials that would convince us that you know the truth which not even the Ripley people know?

I also find it disconcerting that you're saying that I am a supporter of a megasewer. The term is ill-defined and designed to promote an emotional rather than thoughtful reaction. (Did you take lessons from Pandora on how to bias your audience?) Just because someone thinks that Tri-W is the best choice we have today (when one fully considers the multitude of factors) doesn't mean that one loves the Tri-W plan. Sure, a Mercedes is a far nicer car than the one I drive ... but that doesn't make it the right choice for me. I can't afford it.

Much the same way, I cannot afford the undefined out of town plant (or the packet plants scattered throughout town) you are trying to tell us is far better than TriW. Don't tell us you are concerned about the poorer folks in our community while you take actions to stall and delay the only viable option we have to date, raising all our bills. You tears for the poor are either crocodile tears or based on a thorough misunderstanding of the facts. In either case, it is you who are advocating the destruction of our town by asking us to develop an even more expensive system than Tri-W. No thank you!

Anonymous said...

Al, climb back in your hole!

Tri-W is not a Megasewer. Your wet dream IS!

You are one of the largest obstructionists in Los Osos and you don't even own property!

You simply will not get your way, no matter how grandious a fit you throw! Go right ahead and threaten us all again, it's not going to do you a bit of good.

Anonymous said...

The question here before us is just how much progaganda can be flung against this blogger's wall and stick.

Point 1. Anyone who says gravity takes longer than STEP/STEG to build is wrong from a technical standpoint and immediately sacrifices their credibility.

Point 2. The RWQCB has neither than the science nor the Cleath Report to prove that Tri-W is the best site, nor can either or the County tell us what kind of sewer system to build or how much to spend on it. No amount of fear-mongering should stampede you into doing something very stupid, like voting to tax yourself out of your home.

Point 3. There are dozens of contibutors to pollution of all kinds in Morro Bay, so don't start laying a phoney guilt trip on the PZ and force the PZ to pay for it all. That's more government turning against the people. Vote "No" on the government stealing your home from under you. Do you think the only people who rob you are wearing masks and carrying guns? By the time you wake up you'll have no place left to sleep. What will you do then?

Point 4. Your diatribe on pollution in the PZ is too ignorant to validate with kindergarten answers for adults who should know better. No one single homeowner in the PZ is responsible for any alleged pollution by their still-to-this-day County-permitted septics. When government fails then we the taxpayer foot the bill, because neither the County nor the State are willing (yet) to step up and take responsibility for what they want 5000 homeowners to pay for. Their plan just won't work. No spin can change the reality: You will be asked to vote "yes" on taxing yourself out of your house. Only the braindead need apply.

Point 5. The lack of septic management is yet another shared failure, but the state and county enjoy the most blame. Our CSD boards have failed us. Why? The political lobby for gravity has been the 800-lb. gorilla in the room. The lobby for affordability has been, well, let's say a few chimps and a lawyer. So who's going to win this unfair "fight" in the end?

Point 6: If it's the RWQCB's job to fine polluters for the pollution they've caused, then they should fine themselves for violating their own codes and statutes. It is not "their" pollution, the homeowners', as you state, it is "our" pollution, in the PZ and out -- and that means you, if you live anywhere in Los Osos. The State and County created this situation by permitting it and each should pay their share to clean it up, if they can find "it." They are the Exxon Valdez in search of a spill that hasn't even been proven to exist. Not the homeowners.

Point 7. The "cheapest, most reasonable" plant isn't Tri-W, never was, never will be. People who spread this kind of lard have an ulterior motive that should always be confronted right away without fail. These folks want to spend hundreds of million dollars more for a sewer than any town our size would ever need to spend, and all so unnecessarily. But they have their "reasons" i.e. motives.

No, it only makes sense to state bureaucracies, governmnent-fed corporate contractors, builders, developers and resellers who will profit at the expense of the thousands of us who have already seen a precipitous drop in the value of our homes and will be forced to sell at below market value and leave.

It only make sense to the people who want to take our homes.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you a renter and have no say in our sewer?

Anonymous said...

Excellent post @ 5:44, that about says it all!

Anonymous said...

anon 5:44,
suppose all that you say is true. What do you think will happen if a 218 does not pass?

1. The CDO's will go away with an apology from the RWQCB.

2. The state will say, "Oh, that little bit of pollution? - no problem! - we can wait another 30 or so years if that's what you want to do -"

3. Composting toilets all around! Sign up here!

In other words, just what entity is going to magically step up and say - "Hey - this isn't fair! We have a few million dollars to give you to fight these bad governmental agencies - no wait! Better still - we have some great civil liberties lawyers who will go to bat for you - no charge at all!!

Below market value is where we are right now with our home values. If we had a sewer, I'll bet I could get as much for my house as I actually paid for it - and in a couple of years, it would be worth what it would be worth if this exact same house sat over in Morro Bay.

So tell me what you think will happen if the 218 does not pass?

Anonymous said...

Ask Mr.Duggin if he now thinks he can continue to castigate the Board of Supervisors. He had an escort out of the meeting this morning. It is beginning to look like the County and State have about had enough of the obstructionists. All of you who like to stand in the spotlight might want to consider your words a little more carefully.

Anonymous said...

To the above poster at 8:21,

Don't hold your breath for your house value to rise. No matter what sewer Los Osos ends up with, it will take over 10 years to see property rise at all. The pure inventory of houses that will come on the market (especially if they select Tri-W) when people can't pay the big bill, and have to sell, will make your home lose more value. By then, the housing market may very well be lower as the market all over the country has peaked. We'll see what happens to your house.

Anonymous said...

The state can not come in and take over the project.

Georges-Antoine Kurtz said...

Anonymous of 5:44pm.

You appear to responding to my earlier posting on a point-by-point basis.

It is unfortunate that you had to type your reply quickly and didn't have a chance to edit your thoughts because what made it into the comments section made no sense.

I would appreciate it if you would kindly rewrite your thoughts but take a bit more time so that we can understand your point of view which can currently be described as "rambling at best".


Anonymous said...

To: 9:58

All it would take for the State to have the power to "take over the projet" and be able to fine the property owners enough to pay for a new sewer system of the State's choosing is one special bill, just like AB 2701. Don't think that it wasn't discussed before the softer 2701 was decided upon. The next time, it won't be initiated as a compromise like Blakeslee's was. It will come straight from the Water Board. The State has had it with our community.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"Anonymous said...
Aren't you a renter and have no say in our sewer?

6:36 PM, March 06, 2007 "

I wonder why people think that "renters" won't be paying for any sewer? I can't imagine anyt landlord paying $200 a month, let's say, FOR the tenent. Don't renters pay for water, trash, electricity, etc. so why wouldn't they also pay for "sewer" fees, since they're flushing. (Some landlords may pay for and write off the hook-up fees -- house to street -- as a house/capital improvement, but I can't imagine the "service" portion won't be paid by renters.)

I'm curious why so many posters seem to think that somehow renters won't be affected by the cost of any wastewater treatment system?

As for property values, consider, Los Osos is surrounded on three sides by unbuildable mitigation/greenbelt/state parks/ bay/ocean. With water scarcity and a cap on buildout, whatever housing stock here will be about it. (Extreme high density i.e. condos or apartments, will depend on water availability) That still leave only a certain number of single-family homes. What do we know about the realtionship of price to scarcity of product? What do we know about the price difference between homes on septics and homes on "sewers?"

Just asking.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"I'm curious why so many posters seem to think that somehow renters won't be affected by the cost of any wastewater treatment system? "

The argument that renters don't have a say in the sewer matter is filled with so many holes, it's a non-argument.

The "does the landlord pick up the sewer tab or the tenant" argument is just one hole, and that's a great one.
Another one is, who's to say that some of those renters aren't waiting too see a sewer solution BEFORE they buy property in Los Osos? That seems to make a lot of sense to me. And if that's the case, and I'm sure it is, then they have as much say in the matter as current property owners.

And, since the Tri-W site was selected because of "community acceptance" (the ultimate irony, by the way) aren't renters part of the community?

"Renters shouldn't have a say" sounds like it should be some type of argument, but trust me, as someone that paid attention to all my critical thinking professors, it's not.

Shark Inlet said...

However Ron,

Your critical thinking professors would also not accept the premise that renters will be affected the same way as property owners.

Face it ... renters can just up-n-move if their rents become too high or if they don't like the plant location. Property owners can as well, but the buy or stay decision for them has a far greater financial impact.

Should renters have a say? With the CSD in control of the the project, they did through the election of boardmembers. With the County the renters may have considerably less ability to influence the decision makers, the Board of Supervisors.

Should renters have a say? Yes. However, it would seem reasonable if the renters had one point of view and property owners another, the viewpoint of the property owners, the individuals who have their names on the sewer bills should be given some sort of extra weight in the decision making process.

If someone doesn't like that fact, I guess they are also opposed to Prop 218.

Anonymous said...

Using your "critical thinking", who do you think is responsible to pay the Property Tax? Renter or Property Owner?

The 218 vote would be only for the Property Owners to vote to allow an assessment, meaning an increase in Property Tax to pay for the sewer.

Yes, rents would increase as a direct response to increased Property Tax! But, the renter could always leave, the Property Owner will still have to pay the tax.

Anonymous said...

In my neighborhood there are several houses occupied by students. They are here only temporarily and probably don't care or have the time to be involved in the critical thinking that needs to be done before they should vote on an issue as serious as an assessment.

It's not that renters won't have to pay, it is just that there is no shortage of them. If the batch living here now can't or won't pay the higher costs to a WWTF, there are many others waiting in the wings to take their place. Apartment owners are running businesses, they are not obligated to run charities.

I suppose we could find out WHICH renters are waiting to buy and let them vote? Which agency will spearhead that endeavor? (Might be a problem tho with the legal definition of who votes on a 218.)

Renters will be asked their opinion on which type of plant should be built when the 218 passes.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Apartment owners are running businesses, they are not obligated to run charities."

The same is true for the single family dwelling. The legal owner of the house is not usually a charity, it is a business, not an emotional attachment. No one in their right mind would set out to lose money on a rental house. The object is to make a profit. Believe it or not, profit is NOT a dirty word!

Anonymous said...

The whole problem here is state law forbids those not owning property having a voice on the assessment question.

The fact that people want to know what they're buying before the agree to pay means that the location of the plant is tied to the 218 vote.

The CSD system was nice (when it worked) because everyone could participate in the decision of who would represent us on the location decision but the property owners were asked the question of whether they would be willing to fund the project.

The problem with people named Al, Julie and Lisa is that they didn't like the decision made by their elected leaders and they felt that they should have the right to roll back time and get a new board and new project. By lying to us about the costs of turning back time, they got a majority to vote for a recall.

Had they told us the real costs (fines, CDOs, lawyers, bankruptcy and the County taking over the project) we would have voted against the recall by 70%.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who votes yes on the 218 the way it is set up now is foolish.

It reminds me of how the recalled CSD ask for the highest amount on the SRF and that's what we got with the contractors over-bidding.

Does anyone really believe that the county (BOS) won't pick the "big" project? Afterall, that's what counties do -- BIG PROJECTS --
Noel King and Shirley both promised Tri-W. Shirley's husband will most likely be picked to be on the TAC committee. Afterall, the State Water Board calls Shirley "Jim's wife" -- says a lot.

All over the world there are fabulous wastewater projects, but so far the county has chosen NOT TO LOOK AT ANYTHING WE CAN AFFORD.

Letting the county have a blank check, and that's what it is, is very foolish!

Anonymous said...

Please explain how the 218 is set up.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ann,

Do you know who will pay to repave the streets after a project? PZ homeowners or the county? Anyone know??

The county will import water for Los Osos and then the building can start. What is the build out number now? 19,000?

Of course the homes in Los Osos will have a higher value with a sewer system, but what will it cost the homeowner when all is said and done?

I heard an interesting story: VanBurden hired the welcome wagon woman and she told all new home buyers that their homes would go up so much in value with the big sewer. What a scam, instant dreamers. How much will VanBurden make off of a super sewer??

In reality, when the big bill comes in for the big sewer and people can't afford it, they'll have to list their homes and they'll all come on the market at the same time, add the construction mess onto that. Home values won't increase for many years and we'll have huge liens on our homes -- for how much? $60,000? $70,000? maybe more?

Shark Inlet said...

To those of you who claim that there is a project that is more affordable than Tri-W ... would you kindly give us cost estimates (and references) as well as a reasonable timeline just to convince us that there is such a project.

The way I see things, the Ripley report (once you read between the lines) low-balled the real costs by about 30-40% ... and once you factor in inflation it is pretty clear that Ripley was selling us a system that is even more expensive than TriW.

Again, let us know what you propose that will save us money ... and be specific ... because otherwise we'll quite reasonably have to conclude that any delay will only raise our costs just like every other delay and every other project change.

I'm open to hearing logic from those of you who are so sure money can be saved but as of yet I've heard only hopeful optimism ... optimism of the sort that got the Solutions Group in trouble and of the sort that got the recall board into trouble too.

Face it kids, there ain't no free lunch, there ain't no no tooth fairy and there ain't no way we're going to save money by continually changing and delaying the project.

Anonymous said...

To 4:14 who asks how the 218 is set up:

So far Paavo has stated that he'll pick the highest dollar amount for the assessment/218 vote.

After the vote he says then they'll decide on which project. The BOS decides at the end. I guess Paavo believes that if a less expensive project is picked (ha ha) we'll pay less. I don't believe they've decided on whether vacant lot owners can vote (this time.)

All other costs including hook-up charges, O & M, etc. will be added later as fees and charges. Many fees and charges -- and this WILL NOT appear on the 218 ballot.

Anonymous said...

4:17 PM, March 07, 2007
Anonymous said...

"In reality, when the big bill comes in for the big sewer and people can't afford it, they'll have to list their homes and they'll all come on the market at the same time, add the construction mess onto that. Home values won't increase for many years and we'll have huge liens on our homes -- for how much? $60,000? $70,000? maybe more?"

I like the questions posed by Sharkinlet and would like that same logic and facts applied to what the anonymous said. Would you please explain and back up your statements about a big sewer project or are you just making up the "$60,000? $70,000? maybe more?" statement/question? You appear to be crying wolf, but maybe you do have some actual cost comparison. Please explain.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the 218 really an Advisory Vote?

If so, it would seem Paavo stating that the highest dollar amount for the assessment/218 vote would be correct to avoid understating the as yet unknown costs. It just sounds like the prudent approach.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:58
"…so far the county has chosen NOT TO LOOK AT ANYTHING WE CAN AFFORD."

Duh! Sewers of ANY type are not cheap. Just what mythical type were you referring to?

anon 4:23,
"All other costs including hook-up charges, O & M, etc. will be added later as fees and charges. Many fees and charges -- and this WILL NOT appear on the 218 ballot."

Then we had better really think seriously about gravity, as the O & M costs are lower than with step/steg. Pay the big stuff up front where we know what the costs will be.

Anonymous said...


You use classic Dreamer deadender logic that has proven to Tri-W. What a surprise to all of us!

"The way I see things, the Ripley report (once you read between the lines) low-balled the real costs by about 30-40% ... and once you factor in inflation it is pretty clear that Ripley was selling us a system that is even more expensive than TriW.

Problem is, the way "you" see things is skewed and inaccurate... What "you" read between the lines is what "you" WANT to read between the lines, which is your shallow propaganda... and it's only pretty clear to "you" that Ripley's system is more expensive than Tri-W. Any half-intelligent, objective person knows you are a cheerleader, not an expert. Obviously.

Even the County realizes it made a mistake and is revising its figures on STEP/STEG vs. gravity, as biased as they are.

Every credible expert in the field acknowledges the lower costs of STEP/STEG.

You are not an expert. You are a cheerleader with pom-poms on your sneakers and a short skirt. There's a big difference, Sharky.

Anonymous said...

Correction: In an earlier post, I said that the State Water Board refers to Shirley as "Jim's Wife" I MEANT BILL'S WIFE.

Anonymous said...

So if Paavo lists the highest amount on the 218, property owners are really signing a blank check. Remember that the property owners in the PZ vote on the 218, but renters and property owners outside join them to vote on the advisory. Property owners outside the PZ should not be deciding how much property owners inside the PZ should pay.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 4:39,

The 218 IS NOT AN ADVISORY VOTE. The 218 is the right to vote on taxes. It gives you the dollar amount of a project (or is supposed to, Paavo isn't doing it right) that asks if you want to be taxed or not for that amount.

The adivsory vote was supposed to be by the voters on a project AFTER the 218 (Paavo doesn't have that right either), but very well may be just a vote of the TAC and/or BOS. In Biggs legal opinion of AB2701, they do not have to hold an advisory vote (by the people) at all. We'll see...that's why it's foolish to vote yes on a 218 before a project is selected!!!!!

A yes vote is a clear free ride for Noel King to keep his promises to the old board, Pandora, Real Estate Brokers, and developers.

Anonymous said...

A blank check indeed. Get ready people. The fees & charges could add hundreds onto the monthly bill and it won't show up on the 218. The 218 amount is JUST THE BEGINNING.

Anonymous said...

Dear 5:27,

You say no sewer is cheap. Well, some are much less expensive than out-dated gravity and the super expensive Tri-W.

Check out:
ReCip technology ...

Anonymous said...

To Anon. at 5:51, I checked into that technology & it really is exciting & affordable. Hope the county is OPEN MINDED enough to look into it for themselves. It could be a win-win for everyone.

Anonymous said...

ReCip must be the new Orenco, which was the old Ripley which manifested after there was already supposedly a designed plant waiting in the recall.

At least from an outside observation, the "dreamers", or whatever, are consistant and the other, whatevers, seem to change on a daily basis.

I noticed that the "new" PZLDF is the old recall which was the combination of the CCLO and LOTTF, which was the old CiVViC, which was...

Yup, there is something to be said for consistancy. The reinvention of oneself is the snake in the garden of Eden, the wolf in sheep's clothing, the boy who cried wolf, the Emperor who wore no clothes....etc.,etc.,etc. Bottom line, not very trust worthy.
Is the Cargo coming?

Sad, sad day to see Linde Owen instructing the BOS on the technology of step/steg. How embarrassing and disrespectful because she is a licensed engineer with a degree from where?? And they should listen to her because her liability insurance to give advice either wrong or right is what?? So, if they do what she says and the whole thing fails she can stand out and protest who??
Enough, thank you very much.

Watching is way better than reality tv and the outcome is going to be a doozy and no million dollar winner.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't find out much on the ReCip stuff on people, but did find this on its application with hogs:

"Specifically, the combined solids separation and ReCip technology at Corbett Farm #2 was not
found to be environmentally superior to the conventional technology because:
(a) it did not produce significantly greater log10 microbial reductions compared to the
conventional technology based on remaining microbe levels in the residual waste solids or
(b) it did not result in significantly improved microbial quality of the residual solids and liquids
compared to the conventional technology,
(c) it did not result in appreciably lower total airborne bacteria and fungi compared to the
conventional technology farms and it contributed airborne bacteria from technology-
associated processes, and
(d) it resulted in elevated levels fecal bacterial concentrations on flies as vectors compared
to flies on a farm with the conventional technology.
For these reasons, the combined solids separation and ReCip technology is considered similar to
and not superior to the conventional technology in addressing pathogens (microbes) associated
with swine wastes."

Maybe you want to post something more positive here that you know about and that involves about 5,000 households, not hog pens.

Shark Inlet said...

To our 5:28pm friend who claims that I am biased and just a cheerleader.

If you would be so kind as to point out errors in my past comments on Ripley's estimated project costs you may have made a good point. To anonymously suggest I am biased without identifying a single bias is just plain weak.

If you really believe in what you say you should be able to go and demonstrate your claim that I am biased. If any half-intelligent person can figure it out it shouldn't be too difficult for you, someone of at least 3/4 intelligence.

Oh yeah ... I note with great interest that when I ask for someone to explain how STEP will save us money or how out of town will save us money ... there is yet again no explanation, but only a claim of bias.

Boy it would be nice if the people who are telling us they'll save us money would actually have their hopes founded in something other than their wishes.

Anonymous said...

To 7:25,

You just don't want to admit that there are many choices for Los Osos. The new systems that are affordable just doesn't suit your mission and agenda. Either you work for the county, are a realtor, developer, are Julie Tacker or just stand to profit off of everyone else's lose. Too bad for you.

Anonymous said...

to 9:05 above,

It's been explained about step/steg, you just can't comprehend. The county NOW (finally) has the correct LOWER cost of the step system. You don't want to believe that, so call them and ask about the new numbers, not MWH numbers from long ago. Geeesh...

Why are you asking for regular people to explain to you, when you can wait to see what the county says. We're paying $2 million to have this done -- let them look at all options and tell us what's best.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...


Others have picked up the torch and explained what you need to do to get yourself right with the facts. But nothing can change the mind set in concrete, such as yours. Good for bricks, bad for brains.

To sit there and expect us to accept YOUR grossly mistaken assertions as fact, when they are obviously flawed and biased according to all expert analysis, and then respect your demand for facts when challenged -- would be stupid and foolish. You know better.

You want gravity.

You want Tri-W.

That's all you care about. You wouldn't acknowledge a fact if you tripped over one. You couldn't make an objective analysis if your life depended on it. You're so bought off it isn't funny. Talk about WEAK!

You are a cheerleader from Tri-W High and your team is nicknamed The Gravity. So get out there on the field and do your big-pipe dance, Sharky, pom-poms bouncing, short skirt flying.

Lookin' good, baby!

Shark Inlet said...

So what you all seem to be saying is that you can't articulate why STEP will save money or why out of town will be cheaper.

To simply assert I am biased isn't doing anyone any favors.

Even if STEP is "cheaper", the costs to design the system aren't zero. Furthermore, once inflation and time delays are factored in, the Ripley estimates on the collection system end up costing us more than the gravity system associated with TriW.

The same logic works for putting a plant out of town. Any cost savings at all are more than wiped out by inflation.

Heck, I like the Ripley ponding idea (other than the fact that it is an undersized plant which won't do the denitrification we are required to do). I like STEP (although don't see it as much better than gravity). The problem here isn't a question of which collection method or treatment technology we end up with, the problem is one of design costs, time and inflation.

The County numbers which suggest STEP is less expensive than gravity don't correctly compare TriW's gravity system with the new STEP proposal ... the extra design and permitting time for STEP isn't included.

So ... how again will we save money by additional design work and additional delay?

Anonymous said...

anon of 11:02 PM, March 07, 2007,

Quit raggin' on shark and stop being such a BORE. Your ramblings get more and more elaborate as you try frantically to obscure the fact that you have NO DATA about what you think is "better."

It doesn't matter what shark thinks. PROVE to US that what he thinks is wrong. Show us something or shut up. So far outta you - NOTHING. ZIP. So I can only conclude that you can't back up what you say.

Anonymous said...

The last info I got from a meeting held at LOCAC was that step/steg was more costly on the O & M. Want to address that, anon 11:02pm?

Shark Inlet said...

To our 11:02pm anonymous poster ...

I am not asking you or anyone to accept any of my assertions as fact ... only that you explain why you're rejecting them outright without apparently even bothering to read and understand what I've written before about the costs. If I've been in error, please explain specifically what that error is.

As to your claim that I want gravity and TriW ... yes. However, I don't like TriW for the reason you are suggesting. Frankly I would rather the plant be out of town. However, because of the cost calculations I've done, I am convinced that TriW will save us money compared to all alternatives I've seen floated.

I would be quite happy to be shown wrong because I would prefer out of town. Even so, no one has even bothered to take this challenge seriously. Until someone does, I will remain convinced of my earlier calculations.

So ... let me ask you a question.

I am supporting TriW because I am convinced it is the cheapest remaining option for my friends and neighbors and because it will cause the least damage to our community. I am convinced because of the research I've done and because I've actually tried to figure out the real costs of moving to another site. Presumably you're also arguing because you feel that out of town and STEP is best.

My question? Have you bothered doing any cost calculations on this matter? If so, would you please share with us your assumptions and approach that allow you to feel so comfortable asserting that out of town is cheaper and that STEP will save money?

Shark Inlet said...

One more thought (after some sleep)...

It is always a good idea to be able to accurately and adequately explain your opponent's position in a discussion. Then at least people know you know what you are talking about and that it is likely you are playing fair.

With that in mind, I believe I can fairly articulate the position of some of those who are opposed to the gravity/TriW/MBR system of the Solutions Group CSD. Even though I don't agree with it, I can explain why some of you feel it is a bad plan for our community.

Could some of you (mister 11:02pm, I am looking at you directly) present my opinion accurately? Can you convince us that you've even bothered to read and understand what I've presented here before (numerous times in the last year and a half)?

I would appreciate it if one of you out there who disagrees with me could take up this challenge. If you do, I'll be quite willing to return the favor. Perhaps we can both learn something here.

Note: Mike and PG ... you two are off the hook because what you've both written in the past has convinced me that you have both a sense of fairness and a desire to understand the points of view of people on both sides.

Anonymous said...

To: Shark Inlet, 11:20:

Which "County numbers" are you referring to that suggest that Step is cheaper than gravity?

My understanding is that the consultants have just completed their rough screening and won't have a draft of the cost information that you are talking about for another few months.

Shark Inlet said...

Fair 'nuff. I just re-read what I wrote and it was unclear (or at least now in the light of day doesn't match up very well to what I was trying to convey at the time).

Perhaps our friends of 9:11pm and 9:14pm on March 7 would care to answer this question. I was keying off the information they provided.

I made a mistake when I suggested that STEP would be less expensive than gravity. I meant that if the County numbers suggest that STEP is cheaper than gravity it would likely be because of not factoring in design costs and inflation. Apologies for any confusion.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:27 here.
To fill out what was said before on step/steg. Source: Paavo Ogren on 2/22/07 at the SBCC - filling in as moderator, Bruce Gibson being out of town.

Twice Paavo mentioned step/steg was more expensive on the O & M costs. Once he mentioned that it was less expensive on the capital costs. Nowhere was the cost of design mentioned, but that would have to be one of the costs which gravity would not have to foot, there being an engineered plan already.

His team is interviewing 5 communities in depth on step/steg. The only community of our size that is a retrofit is in Charlotte Co. Florida, (one other place only - meaning we would be second if this was picked) and it has been in operation 7 years.

He gave us verbally the rough screening, and step did pass to the next round. He said the problems with step would be listed on the rough screening. I think he might mean when that goes to hard copy? Or onto the website? Don't know.

Paavo also mentioned having a separate power drop made to each property regarding the use of step. The meeting was ending and we had to leave the room, so there was no chance to ask what that meant. A 220 power supply perhaps? Anyone out there know?

Mike Green said...

As I recall at the Ripley meeting the septic tank pumps were pretty small, a quick Google search finds lots of suitable pumps rated at 1/3 hp 115 volt single phase, so no, 220 is not required.
That being said, I can imagine that what he was refering to was the necessity of wireing the system to your existing electrical panel, perhaps an elecrtical contractor would like to chip in?

Anonymous said...

Do the M&O costs include projected energy costs? If biological processes within the septic tank are completing a large portion of the decomposition of solids in STEP/STEG, will that not save on energy costs?

Conventional plants tend to have spills accompanied by fines. Are these costs factored in?

Any information would be appreciated.

Can anyone convince me that Tri W is environmentally superior? That is the way to win my vote.

Mike Green said...

Enviromentaly superior? you got to be kidding!
Tri W is probably the worst possible solution as far as that goes.
Hugely dependant on electrical power and transportation needs with the sludge removal.
The one and ONLY thing TriW has going for it is cost.
If money is your god the TriW is your altar.

Anonymous said...

Cost is a pretty big argument.

Aren't you overstating the sludge hauling for the dramatic effect?

As for power costs, even ponds need electrically driven pumps, large pumps for aeration and there would also be some sludge hauling.

One thing not ever brought up with an "out of town" system would be the probable need for large lift pumps in the collection ststem. Unless they are solar or wind powered, it would seem some hugely expensive electric bill would land on the District.

Cost is still the big hurdle. Tri-W is owned, anywhere else would entail a very major purchase. Tri-W would of course be sold to a nice developer to build a park and donate it back to the County.

Sounds perfect, or could we expect either high density condos or another ugly commercial developement. None of which will promote lower sewer construction costs or monthly homeowner bills.

Shark Inlet said...

Having looked into the issue a bit Mike, I would like to suggest one way that TriW could be considered environmentally superior to whatever alternative option still is out there.

During the time until a plant comes online our community will be putting one million gallons of partially treated sewage (read: nitrates) into our ground every single day.

Even if the "new, improved!" plant is better than TriW in terms of nitrate removal (leaving only half as much in the treated water) it would take some 80 years at least before the extra nitrates could be "made up" by the "better" plant.

If one considers two to five years of additional and unnecessary pollution of our environment, environmentally superior to doing something (but not the theoretically best thing) right away ... go ahead. But be prepared to explain to the rest of us who want to stop pollution why your delayed solution is so much better that it's worth the additional delay.

Anonymous said...

2 years x 365 days = 730 days
730 days x 1,000,000 gals/day =
730,000,000 gals pollutants

5 years would yield
1,825,000,000 gals

So far, we've halted and delayed the started waste water treatment 16 months and have contributed approximately 480,000,000 gals of waste water laden with nitrate.

Mike Green said...

Well, Sharkey, that makes a pretty big assumption, an assumption that you have to wonder about because I have never read anywhere that the aquifer will be devoid of nitrates by any amount of time. In other words the " Oh No! we are polluting the water! Panic!"
realy boils down to , it's quite possible that nobody alive today will actualy see a reduction of nitrates in the upper aquifer even if we sewer tomorrow.
So that leaves the "hurry" factor out of the enviromental picture, besides the big enviromental picture is MORE than just the water here, It's energy use and infrastructure impact, someting that will only increase as the plant comes on line.

Mike Green said...

I have to remind you that Air pollution has already been proven to cause deaths in California and there has not been one single case of sickness from pollution recorded due to Los Osos groundwater. If you would care to offer a different opinion I would like to see the data supporting your assumption.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, let's leave the "hurry" factor out.

We can wait until the next perfect solution arrives, although there will be some other group who will take exception and nitpik even that solution. If we do nothing while waiting, will the aquifiers purge themselves? Will our subsoil reach a nitrate saturation level and create and accelerated increase in nitrates carried in the waste stream into the bay?

How long do we wait?

Anonymous said...

One million more tomorrow.

Mike Green said...

Anon above, you misunderstand.
I simply want to point out to the questioner that TriW is not an environmentally superior choice.
Steve Sides ALREADY has a working system that exceeds the TriW specifications. The Ripley plan would be far more environmentally friendly than TriW.
Emminent Domain of every other property to create conforming density would do the trick.
TriW will more than likely be the least expensive.
If your God is money, TriW is your altar

Anonymous said...

With the plant out of town, can you explain how the water will get back into our basin to recharge the aquifer that is under town? It's a very gray area that the aquifer out of town and this one connect. How do we stop saltwater intrusion if we don't start recharging? Even if we cut way back on water use, that is not enough. Everybody says purple pipe. It won't go to each of our houses and it costs a ton of money. That last bit of info was from Mr. Caruso, I believe, commenting on the cost of it on his own water bill as they do that in San Luis.

Anonymous said...

Quite dramatic, nothing to do with reality however!

I'm only pointing out that waiting for some perfect solution is only a delaying tactic and is environmentally damaging. How and why I worship God has nothing to do with the approachs to solving the human pollution problem. Bodily waste is a natural by-product of being a human. There are just too many of us living too close together to continue fouling our main source of water. We all know there are too many septic tanks leaching into the aquifier, but we don't seem to be able to create a solution. Actually we have a solution, but the human emotion factor has risen above logic.

An Emminent Domain action would really warm up the emotional thermometer of LO. That is so far from being practical that you must chuckle every time that thought crosses your mind.

Take the emotion out and Tri-W is the only economical solution. The longer any sewer project is delayed, the longer the 1,000,000 gal per day pollution continues.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone on here is better with math, please check mine.

Here is the set up and the question:

Tri-W had one truck trip a day to remove the solids. (This is what I recall, I could be wrong.) That would be 365 trips per year. Diesel exhaust - or if the trucks convert, some other type of exhaust - would be put in the air.

If we go step/steg, each house will need to pump about every 10 years. Assume we have 5,000 houses to make the math easy. To make a comparison to one year, we need to figure out how many houses need to be pumped in one year. That is 500 houses out of the 5,000.

If that truck pumped one house per day, that is 500 trips, two per day, 250 trips. three per day, 166.7 trips. Four per day, 125 trips. But that truck is spewing something into the air if he is driving from house to house. What percentage of a trip do we assign to that? The houses wouldn't necessarily be next door to each other. Also, trucks spew more exhaust on starting and stopping, don't they?

Is there some huge air quality savings to be had doing each individual house? One truck, one trip seems a lot less damaging than all the cross town driving and idling at stop signs and signals.

I'm not even going to go on the smell factor wafting through the air per house as opposed to one location where the conditions would be able to be controlled.

Shark Inlet said...


I've heard people tell me and I've read (maybe even here in Ann's blog) that the TriW plant wouldn't do a very good job of removing nitrates and that other plants would do a far better job removing those nitrates and so we should choose another plant type.

Not to belabor the obvious question of what these other plants are and how these other treatment plants do their denitrification, I wanted to toss out there the idea that if we want lower nitrate loadings later (by choosing a better plant) we must pay for it up front with some additional years of no treatment at all. The break-even point is so far down the road that the suggestion that we go with the other plant because it is "better for the environment" is simply laughable.

Essentially I am saying that the argument against TriW by saying it doesn't do a good enough job at removing nitrates isn't sound at all.

By the way, the Ripley design doesn't achieve nitrate removal at all, but if enough of the treated wastewater is used for watering plants above our aquifer, we could get "in-lieu recharge". In other words, they plan on not adding any clean water directly to the aquifer at all.

However, even if the RWQCB were to buy in to the "in-lieu recharge" idea, they would most certainly require the size of the Ripley-inspired plant to be considerably larger that what Ripley proposes. Simply put, their plant can handle about 1/2 the volume TriW could handle. If we scale up the plant by 100% (which will raise the cost considerably) to accommodate the real water usage patterns of our community it becomes clear that we would need about 100% more agricultural use of water than Ripley proposes when he proposes that every farmer who uses water from our aquifer get their water only from treated effluent.

In-lieu won't work unless we all get treated wastewater delivered to our homes for irrigation purposes. While I would love this, we've got to admit that it drives the costs up yet again.

I am glad you're thinking along the right lines ... that it is a trade-off between cost and time/location/technology. I am happy that you are happy to pay more for out of town. I would suggest, however, that if we're taking a lifecycle costing approach, the considerably higher fixed costs up front for the fancier Ripley plant, more than outweigh the higher electricity and sludge hauling bills down the road.

While you're willing to pay more (perhaps a lot more) for a plant you like, what about those on fixed incomes who will be pushed out of our community because of those higher costs? Carmelization would appear to be an outcome you are comfortable with but not me. I would also note that a great majority of those who want to move the plant seem to think that they'll save money, perhaps because of campaigning by two of our boardmembers. Unfortunate that such lies needed be told for any reason.

Anonymous said...

Mike - who is steve Sides? All I can find googling is this one:
Steve Sides, Vice President, Environmental Health and International Affairs, National Paint & Coatings Association

Shark Inlet said...

Based on assuming a cylindrical truck tank that is 7 feet in diameter and 18 feet long (seems like that's about the size of Al's trucks), you could get about 4 or 5 septic tanks into a truck.

From an air-quality point of view, the truck running while pumping a tank isn't much different from the truck running and going 65mph toward Santa Maria. Pumping out five septics plus the hauling, dumping and a return would take about 8 hours of running the truck (assuming 1 hour for each pump-out and 1 hour for dumping). As you point out, we would need 500 pump-outs per year, so this would mean 100 days of a truck running 8 hours per day, or 800 truck-hours.

Loading a truck daily at TriW would take about an hour, dumping an hour and two hours of driving would mean about 350 days at 4 hours per day or 1400 truck-hours. About double.

You have a great point ... the required pump-outs will be about as bad (from a diesel pollution and smell and hassle point of view) as the dreaded daily sludge hauling which is decried by our good friends who find every reason to criticize Tri-W. But then they didn't think through these issues as clearly as you did.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting to hear about the maintenace costs on step - additional trips to make repairs will add more exhaust into the air, too. Eleven lift stations for Tri-W vs. 5,000 little pumps - pushing pee. I really don't see one guy in a pick-up, as Ripley suggests, as all that we will need.

Mike Green said...

Sorry, That was Steven Paige, not Sides.
Simply click on my name and go to LOViews.
There are a few questionable matematicians running loose here, First one is the diesel truck emmission calculator that assumes that 500 houses will get pumped from the first day- no the pumping (after the initial installation of the new septic tank) wont happen untill ten years later, TriW will be going full bore from day one.
Also the million gallon effluent loading crisis calculator needs to explain why the test wells show such a LOW level of nitrates right now. Seems the horrid discharge that has been going on for the last thirty or so years should have by now rendered that aquifer as polluted as the black water in the tanks, could it be that some denitrification is indeed happening already?
And Sharkey, To assume that I would "happy" to cause poor people to give up their homes is simply not true, not any more than I realy ment that people worship money as their diety. I'm sure you were using that as a "figure of speech".
I simply was trying to illuminate that there are better plans than Triw enviromentaly speaking.
But I do believe that they would be more expensive up front.
TriW will most likely be the least expensive option on the advisory vote- how much less? we will see.

Shark Inlet said...


If you think that moving the plant away from TriW is worth the extra costs it will impose on our community it would seem that you are quite willing to say to some of us "good bye ... I would rather the plant be 'green' than have you as a neighbor ... so sorry."

Please don't take offense. There are many many tough choices here and your position is very reasonable. However, one must readily admit that your position ... that the more expensive option is a better choice for our community ... will cause some to have to move away.

Like you, I would be interested in the plant being out of town. I would even be willing to pay $20-30/month extra to get it out there. However, extra delays will cause any project to have higher costs.

I predict that whatever project we end up with, there will be a day (probably the day that the County comes to us with estimated costs for any of their proposed projects) that we will regret the recall vote which put us in this mess.

About the million gallons per day... 200 gallons per day for each of 5000 homes is a million per day. Some of the nitrates break down and are taken up by plants (good) but we've overloaded the system so much with excess septics/acre (let alone the septics that are too close to groundwater or in the groundwater) that the nitrate levels are too high in our upper aquifer. So high that we cannot use the aquifer anymore.

The nitrate levels are not low. They are too high and they are climbing. If we don't get something done very very quickly we will have destroyed enough of our lower aquifer that we'll need state water.

On the pumping. Our friend was discussing the long-run pumping rate that a STEP system would be required to have. Yes that makes the pump-outs tend to all be about 10 and 20 years down the road, but across some 20 years, the math works out right.

Mike Green said...

No, the math fails due to the fact that TriW will need trucks that pollute at todays levels, with the new ARB requirements for low sulfer fuel and lower particulate emmissions the trucks ten years from now wont pollute nearly as much.
As far as my position, I think we are nearly the same.
20-30 more a month for out of town, enviromentaly better seems fine to me.
The sad fact is, even with TriW some people will be displaced, it's too expensive plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 9:31, March 8,

Just for clarity......

The Tri-W project would have produced THREE (3) truck loads of sludge per week (not 5) be hauled to a composting facility in Santa Maria.

Regarding pumping of septic tanks. The SSMP developed by the CSD in 2003-2004 required pumping of tanks outside the PZ every TWO (2) years. This was the pumping frequency endorsed by RWQCB staff. In the case of STEP-STAG, a pumpng frequency of every 2 years should be used, not every 10 years.

So redoing the calculations would result in the following:

5000 homes pumped once every 2 years = 2500 tanks pumped per year.
2500 pumpings/years / 365 days/year = 6.8 pumpings/day.

Each 10,000 gallon tanker out of LO carries the sepage of (6) 1500 gallon tanks.

(2500 tank pumped/year) / 6 tank loads/tanker truck = 416 truck loads/year trucked to the sepage handling facility of the LO watewater treatment plant.

416 trips / 365 days/year = 1.14 tanker truck trips per day.

Pumpings/day = 6.8 = 2500 pumpings/year
Tanker truck loads/day = 1.14 = 8 truck loads/week = 416 truck loads/year.

Hope this is helpful.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Shark Inlet said...


Good point on the pollutants. But should we let a tiny difference in the total amount of PM10 (by comparison to the total PM10 produced by Los Osos residents' cars) sway the day? It is probably a minor issue at best.

On the question of displacing residents ... yes, TriW would force some out of town ... many, in fact. The problem I have is that I don't want even more pushed out ... I don't want 20% to have to leave instead of just 10%.

Richard ... thanks for the clarification on truck trips to SM ... sounds like it would be about the same or favoring TriW from the air pollution point of view.

Mike Green said...

Richard, you assume that the pumping schedule for septics with leech field and septics with STEP are the same. This contradicts the Ripley report, I would tend to wieght the Ripley report more heavily than the Water board (engeneering giants that they have proven to be) or The CSD board (past).
So I'll stick with pumping after ten years.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

The reality of the situation is that it is the RWQCB that determines the frequency of pumping, not you or Ripley. 2 years...10 years...their choice.

Also, looking at pumping frequency rates of communities with Step-Stag, no where do I see 10 years pumping intetrvals. The usual range is 2 to 5 years.

Sludge will be produced by ANY treatment plant regardless of the collection type. Even with Step-Stag there will have to be sludge handling solutions. Those solutions need to be worked in to address the resulting hauling/treatment of said sludge.

Hope all is well with you.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Mike Green said...

I simply convey what I heard at the Ripley meeting. From Dana Ripley himself.
As far as what the RWQCB would require, don't you think its possible that the criteria put forth by the designer would sway that decision?
(boy, I almost bit my tounge on that one, a reasonable decision by the water board?)
Best wishes to you too Richard.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

It is the RWQCB that sets the discharge requirements / pumping frequency. No doubt they would listen to the Ptroject Engineer's suggestions.

However, the RWQCB will be more concerned with achieving timely compliance to water law and using known historical data about septic tank pumping frequency from other communitites rather than relying upon the suggestion of a single engineer.

Have a great weekend.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Ron said...

Sharkee said:

"I am supporting TriW because I am convinced it is the cheapest remaining option for my friends and neighbors and because it will cause the least damage to our community. "

Shark, have you ordered your "advanced" (according to the staff of the RWQCB) composting toilet system yet? The staff of the RWQCB all but raves about them on page 6 of Item 19. They cost about $2,000 and will cut your household water use in half. AND they "will" clean Los Osos's water, according to the staff of the RWQCB.

"I believe I can fairly articulate the position of some of those who are opposed to the gravity/TriW/MBR system of the Solutions Group CSD."

I believe that you are incapable of articulating much. Get your facts straight, Sherlock. It's waaaay too late in the game for that kind of loose posting, unless you're doing it on purpose, of course.

The Solution Group's plan, and the initial CSD's first project was a ponding system, as you know, Shark. The LOCSD's second project was MBR.

The ponding system required about "50 - 70" acres, and the MBR required about "5 -7" acres, yet they both had to go in Tri-W. Huh? What an amazing coincidence.

Here's my question: If the Tri-W site is such a perfect place for a treatment facility that the early CSD Board decided to build TWO entirely different projects there, then why does EVERY wastewater engineer these days say it's about the worst place to build a treatment facility?

Something doesn't add up.

Want to hear something funny? The definition of "community acceptance" in the Ripley Report is the exact opposite of the 2001 Facilities Report's definition of "community acceptance."

Ripley defines "community acceptance" as wanting the sewer plant away from residences. The early CSD defines "community acceptance" as wanting a centrally located sewer plant so that community can get to the park in the sewer plant.

The problem for the early CSD, is that all of the evidence, like election results and public opinion studies, is on Ripley's side.

Now, if "community acceptance" in Los Osos really means desiring a centrally located sewer plant so the community can get to the park in the sewer plant, well, I'm going to need to see some documentation on that, if that's not asking too much. (Too bad the Coastal Commission didn't say that in 2001. None of this would have happened.)


"Can anyone convince me that Tri W is environmentally superior?"

The project's EIR pointed to out-of-town sites as "environmentally preferable" because they are already environmentally degraded due to heavy agricultural use over the years, unlike Tri-W. It took something called a Statement of Overriding Considerations from the 2001 LOCSD Board to override the environmental review process. Yep, folks, you heard me right -- they overrode the entire environmental review process to keep their second project at Tri-W (eye-yai-yai... what a mess).

I wrote about that here.

Mike wrote:

"The one and ONLY thing TriW has going for it is cost."

That's not accurate. No one knows the answer to that question, yet. Any cost-comparison guestimates, like Shark's, are just speculative at this point.


"One thing not ever brought up with an "out of town" system would be the probable need for large lift pumps in the collection ststem. Unless they are solar or wind powered..."

I've mentioned that a number of times. You don't even really need to do much research on that. Think about it, of course they will be solar powered, eventually. What? Within five years?

PG? You have some experience with this subject, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Mike Green, after reading this series of responses, it is apparent you are not interested in anything other than justifying the STEP/STEG system.

Ripley has yet to sway the RWQCB with his design from everything I've learned over the past couple of years.

It really appears no answer will ever satisfy you nor do you want any one to question moving the WWTF at any cost.

You seem to gloss over Shark's and Richards analysis/questions as to cost. Driving up Cost seems to be the tool you would use to delay any sewer.

You appear have a serious problem with government authority and the RWQCB in particular. Are you a expert in the administration/enforcement of California's Water Policies and Laws?

Should we surmise that you will be leading the exodus from California if the County puts the WWTF on Tri-W?

Anonymous said...


You're being a dick.

Shark has a far better understanding than you ever had or ever will.

Mike Green said...

Hoo boy, I'll take this one one at a time
"it is apparent you are not interested in anything other than justifying the STEP/STEG system. "
Why would discussing the options completely make me against TriW? As I have stated many times ,if TriW is more than 30/ mo. cheaper then it's OK with me.
"It really appears no answer will ever satisfy you nor do you want any one to question moving the WWTF at any cost. "
I simply bring out what I have learned from other sources, If I make an opinion I say so, nor do I denegrate the opinions of others, In fact I usualy thank them.
"You seem to gloss over Shark's and Richards analysis/questions as to cost. Driving up Cost seems to be the tool you would use to delay any sewer"
On the contrary, unlike Ron, I generaly accept Richard and Sharks figures, go back and look, I have also bemoaned the delay which has driven costs up due to inflation, I simply do not accept that there is a huge enviromental catastrophy imminent whithin the next two or three years. Yes, faster is better and cheaper, but also acknowledge that best ,if possible, may be worth a small wait.
"You appear have a serious problem with government authority and the RWQCB in particular. Are you a expert in the administration/enforcement of California's Water Policies and Laws? "
Well you got me there, maybe you can give me some example of government processes in this mess that may change my thinking, as Sharkey will tell you, I am open to ideas and I can change my mind.
"Should we surmise that you will be leading the exodus from California if the County puts the WWTF on Tri-W?"
No ,Arcuni beat me to it, of course I prefer La Paz over Panama.
But thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

11:53 AM
You MUST be a Water Boarder. Well, you're either a Water Boarder or you're someone who would apologize to the Water Board for the rest of us riff-raff who you think don't know how to behave when faced with making "the exodus..." on 1/1/11, to which you so detachedly refer. Who else but the Water Board or someone who worships the Water Board would be so concerned about anyone's problems with "government authority" and the authority of "the RWQCB in particular?" The government is the people. We elect our government. The RWQCB wasn't even elected, and we're supposed to cringe under their authority? They've already demonstrated that they'll exercise their "government authority," but if they want respect for their "authority," let them earn it the old-fashioned way.

Anonymous said...

Now there you go again, you've blown another gasket and have no idea what you are talking about.

Maybe you should back up about 16 months and should have talked strongly to your elected local government about continueing the construction of a very legal and well designed Waste Water Treatment Facility. Instead you put on your silly hat and danced around like some spoiled child and plunged the District into red ink for a bunch of lawyers. You did not listen to the past Board members, you did not listen to the State Water Board, you just acted like a fool and brought every bit of this on yourself (you and the Lisa Board).

You are not in control of the sewer project any longer, you are even being listened to or taken seriously, you are joke, a clown and you have created financial nightmares that the rest of us property owners are going to have to pay for and you don't even give a damn! Well, this community has had it with your temper tantrums and stupid presentations before the BOS and the RWQCB!

I wish you luck destroying what ever community you move to next!

Anonymous said...

You've got the wrong dancer. I have never made a presentation before the BOS, in fact I have never attended a meeting of the BOS - I'm a working person who's been targeted by the RWQCB, and now I'm being targeted by you for defending my right to live in my home on 1/1/11.

Anonymous said...

Then get to the County and support their project. As soon as a sewer is begun and not halted by some other group of "move-the-sewer-some-where-else-I don't-like-it" then we won't have to sweat out the CDO process. It's really simple, put in the damn sewer!

Anonymous said...

What makes you think I don't support a project simply because I think I should have the right to live in my home even IF the RWQCB decides that reasonable progress isn't being made on the County's project by 1/1/11?

It's truly weird that you find it imperative to insult me and to speculate about my identity, and insult THAT, then speculate about my motives and insult THEM, just because you think I shouldn't be defending my legal right to live on my land, and that I shouldn't point out to a higher agency of political appointees that a lower agency of political appointees is violating my civil liberties left and right.

I still think you must be a Water Boarder, or a Water Board groupie, since you are so married to the idea of bowing to the authority of a bunch of political appointees with an agenda. Just because your beloved government agency threatens me doesn't mean your beloved government agency has a right to threaten me. The Constitution says that a citizen always has the right to redress of grievances - unless, of course, the government fiddles with the Constitution and removes those rights. Trickle down totalitarianism.

Our ace in the hole? Government agents like you, or those you admire so, are personally liable for any violations of civil rights that happen in procedings in which they participate. Gotta love it!

They don't care about you. No matter what you say to defend them, if you live in the PZ, they will enforce against you, too. And if you are a Water Boarder, they will throw you to the wolves to save their own bacon, if they need to. But you already know this if you work for them.

Anonymous said...

Geez, You are a real piece of work. You have no idea how government works, you only have some idealized thought that LO somehow became an independant country and not bound to the legal system of the USA. Contact a real constitutional law attorney for a lesson in civics. You've listened to McPherson to long.

But, maybe you are correct. How will you or the PZLDF or the CSD go about sueing (and winning) against the "Government"? I'll bet you watch Schicker go to prison long before anyone on the RWQCB dons the orange suit.

*PG-13 said...

Sorry to be so late checking in. I've been reading the other blogs & threads. My head hurts. And I do have a life. Sort of.

Still, you asked so I feel I should answer......especially since it is something very near to my heart.

Not sure who said > "One thing not ever brought up with an "out of town" system would be the probable need for large lift pumps in the collection ststem. Unless they are solar or wind powered..."

Ron > I've mentioned that a number of times. You don't even really need to do much research on that. Think about it, of course they will be solar powered, eventually. What? Within five years? PG? You have some experience with this subject, don't you?

Yes, I do. And I'm too much a realist to think that whether pumping stations use regenerative power is gonna make any difference what-so-ever. There are many opportunities for regenerative power to be used in any number of places in any of the proposed sewer operations. And I have fantasies that some of them might actually be used. But such considerations are so far removed from the critical decision making in this process that they pale in significance. Ongoing O&M costs should be considered in this process. But who seriously thinks they will be? If the county does their job correctly they will add such considerations to their analysis. But again, who seriously thinks efficiency of operations or elegance of design is going to have any influence at all on whatever WWTF we end up with? I've chased this dog too many years to start believing its gonna respond to rational thought now. There are always other political/economic/etc. special interests which supercede and override the 'best engineering solution". Sorry, we're gonna get a seriously compromised WWTF. That's just the simple truth.

Still, in fairness, I gotta say this. Powering pumping stations can (and should) be supplemented by solar power. The economics are there as is the incident solar insolation to support this kind of design. But it is only supplemental power. The sun doesn't always shine when you need it most. And storing the power is not cost-effective. Hence, ya build the system with supplemental solar power. Use the regenerative power when it is available to meet load. And sell it back to the grid when the power and the load are out of phase. You're never going to be able completely run the system or even the lifting pumps with solar. Or wind. Which is a completely different scenario. But integrating solar (or wind derived power from elsewhere) can seriously decrease the operating costs for pumping as well as many other operations.

Simply put, anywhere you can save or economically off-set a btu or a KWH you're ahead of the game - economically AND environmentally. The system is set up such that we don't pay the REAL costs of btu's or KWH's. But the larger system - our economy AND the environment - does. When the real and total costs of energy used, off-set or conserved are fairly & properly quantified - and that day is coming - there's gonna be some serious shake out. So pay a little more now or PAY A LOT MORE later.

BTW, If anybody still thinks our national interests in the middle east are based on anything other than the cost of (and access to) energy - all of GW's words and posturing not-withstanding (and to be fair, all the other politicians on both sides of the aisle) - then we all need to wake up. And yes, all the angst and caterwauling about the Los Osos sewer is part of this bigger picture. That's why it is so important we do it right rather than settle for the simplest, cheapest or most expedient solution. Yes, I'm willing to pay more to do it right. And I'm sorry if that means anybody has to move away. I'm even more sorry if that means I must eventually move away too. Sooner or later people have to start realizing the REAL costs of clean water, waste-water treatment and sane living in a limited eco-system. We've already run this out far beyond what any system can absorb and maintain. Its not my life I'm concerned about - regardless where I happen to live - but our kids and their kid's lives. A corner has to be turned. Somewhere. Why not here?

OK, you can call this a lot of liberal leftwing environmental jabberwalling. You can label me a commie. Do whatever feels good for you right now. That's cool. We can either hope you're right and I'm all wrong. Or we can choose to change how things are done. Good luck to us all.

Anonymous said...

3/10 2:16
No, really. The RWQCB doesn't care a whit about you, whether you work for them or apologize to them for us.

But I'll let you have the last word. Go ahead.

Anonymous said...

To 11:53AM:

You are SO right on. The RWQCB was not elected, have abused their power, and aren't too intelligent in water anyway.

Roger, Harvey, and Matt don't lie well. They haven't considered that the peer review has the very top expert there, George, who wrote the book on wastewater. In fact, he wrote many, many books. Books that are studied by engineering students. The RWQCB has refused to accept any of the experts advise all these years (since 83-13) which is absolutely amazing. In fact, these experts have always been chased out of town.

Anonymous said...

To 4:54:

Very legal project? Are you kidding? If the loan wasn't legal (no secure funding) -- remember, you can not charge fees for a plant that doesn't exist -- which means the project was illegal too. The recalled CSD would have liked to tax us without our consent -- that's just not legal. We have a right to vote -- but that vote was denied. The county knew it, Blakeslee knew it, the old board knew it, the RWQCB knew it. Everyone knew the 218 wasn't given, yet it was kept quiet.

When will you get it? The law is the law. Just because the people here don't have the money to hire an attorney to make sure the law is followed doesn't make what the old board did legal.

Power corrupts. That's life, and so many officials here have gotten away with breaking the law for so long that they keep getting worse.

The lies can't go on forever. These agencies will be exposed sooner or later.

Shark Inlet said...


Sorry to get back to you so late.

Even though you don't believe I can state your position correctly, I am pretty sure I can do so.

Here's my question. Can you or Ann state my position fairly ... in such a way that I feel you've not added your own biases? I'm not convinced you can.

If you're willing to give it a go, I would be quite willing to give you my version of what you're saying. Perhaps we can both learn from each other?

Are you willing to try something that may help Los Osos heal?