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Sunday, November 18, 2007

There Ought To Be A Law.

Did you get the little post card from Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee inviting citizens to participate in the “There Ought To Be A Law” Contest? He wants to know what type of bills you, dear and gentle citizen, might like to see written into law. You can submit your ideas online to http://www.assembly.ca.gov/33 or can request a paper form by calling his District Office at (805) 549-3381.

Well, here’s my suggestion:

Dear Sam,

As you – of all people – should know, the State Water Board and the various Regional Water Quality Boards they’re supposed to be overseeing, could best be described as “The Wolf Guards The Back Of The Fox While He Eats The Chickens In The Coop.”

In short, the present system of regulators administering the Porter Cologne Act, for example, has no real system of checks and balances in place. This allows a lead agency and a subordinate agency to screw up big time, for example, and instead of an outside system of neutral checks that would allow the screw up to be fixed (or, better yet, caught in a timely manner before too much damage can be done), we have both agencies covering up and guarding each other’s backs. And they conduct the cover up at the expense and to the peril of regular citizens who have no real recourse or relief, since few of them can afford the gazillions of dollars needed to get protection from this abuse of power from the “real” courts. (Not to mention that too often “real” courts too readily bow to the might and power of corrupted state agencies, leaving individuals with no protections whatsoever.)

I know my proposed “Ought to be a law” will cause you to blow coffee out of your nose with laughter, because you – of all people – know that when it comes to “water” and “Sacramento” the controlling phrase is this: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

And that he who forgets those words will mysteriously (no fingerprints) find his political career and ambitions ruined totally. But then you – of all people – know that already, don’t you?

But, hey, you asked, so, there’s my Ought to be a Law suggestion.

44 comments:

Mike said...

While your personal "opinion" that the State Water Board is corrupt and without some undefined "neutral" oversight, you lean heavily on the legal crusade lead by Gail McPherson and the LOCSD...

The State Water Resources Control Board (the State Water Board) was created by the Legislature in 1967...

Are you and McPherson then saying that the State Legistlature is not providing any oversight...???

That just because you disagree with the handling of the Los Osos Water pollution by the RWQCB, does not mean that neutral, legal oversight is not taking place... You just don't feel you have any influence in how the RWQCB is run...

Let's cut to the chase, you don't want to see a community sewer in Los Osos and failing that, that you absolutely don't want a waste water treatment plant on the Tri-W site... That's what all these words are about, it's not about the RWQCB, it's about your personal feelings, no matter how you arrived at them...

If by some stroke of magic, the State Water Board could disappear, and the County never take over the project, you would continue to back the bankrupt recall CSD in never providing any system of halting the million gallons per day of contaminated waste water or at best providing some holistic partial treatment in hopes that someday the aquifiers would heal themselves and the sea water intrusion would seal itself along the mudflat edge of Baywood Park...

Would you also recognize the CSD has no neutral oversight...??? They have seemingly operated as if no laws pertained to them, yet now find themselves mired in a bankruptcy... The individuals themselves are now about to find themselves facing a judge to explain how spending public funds to pay off their own personal debts was their right... They feel they did nothing wrong... That the courts are all wrong and afterall, have no neutral oversight...

I suggest you take a course in societal government and learn why we have a system of laws which do have oversight... Granted not all laws and levels of government are perfect, but isn't our system better than having none...??? Our water is cleaner than most countries I've travelled, I don't have to worry about getting water in my mouth when I shower, I don't have to worry about eating rinsed raw vegetables, at least not in any state in the US... I don't want to worry about the water in Los Osos, but if we continue to delay a sewer and the complexities of cleansing the aquifiers and halting salt intrusion, everyone of us will need to be concerned...

You don't seem to have any solution save condeming the actions of the RWQCB... If you and the others fighting this crusade were to work WITH, instead of AGAINST the State, we wouldn't see the never ending litigation and would have a working solution to assuring clean drinking water in Los Osos... Quit the nitpicking, you just might find this isn't such a terrible place to live.....

Conspiracy Boy said...

Mike/CrapKiller/Richard LeGros:

Whoever you are...

You're out of your mind too!

Stop picking on Ann, and doing your spin on her. She voted "yes" so what do you want from her?

The water boards have abused their power. They have NO oversight (which is never a good thing, no matter what you say.)

The County, the SWRCB, and the CCRWQCB have broken laws, not the homeowners in Los Osos.

You say: "any system of halting the million gallons per day of contaminated waste water or at best providing some holistic..."

Why don't YOU show documention of what you write on this?

We'll wait to see what you come up with....

Mike said...

Sorry CB... I don't have the documentation you seek... there is no study which will ever be enough for you... there never will be an inch by inch by 1000 foot deep core sampling over the entire Los Osos Valley...

But, if you find that necessary, I propose you take your unlimited resources and begin... Until then, the rest of the community is bound by the findings, flawed or otherwise, and the subsequent requirements to mitigate the contamination being leached into the soil... The RWQCB is the legal entity to enforce compliance with the mandate... Unless you can change the mandate and overthrow the RWQCB, the County and 80% of the PZ community, then the burden of "proof" lays fully on your shoulders... So have at it, you apparently can prove without a shadow of a doubt that the septic systems throughout LO are not the source of contamination...

Have a nice day..... :-)

Jane said...

If the county and the RWQCB had not used lies and deceit to manipulate the outcome 25 years ago, we would have solved the immediate problem at that time. Their joint shenanigans have instead resulted in 25 years cover-up and controversy.

Demanding accountability for all past actions and building a sustainable waste water treatment system should be goals of all citizens. The 45 are demanding accountability from the RWQCB. How is that interfering with progress toward a WWTF?

Seems to me like a lot of folks that post on this site have a CYA agenda.

Mike said...

...or are just plain stuck in the past and just want to post blame rather than work with today...

...like CB, maybe you can work to overthrow the RWQCB and continue creating as much delay as possible...

The rest of the community sees progress in working WITH the RWQCB and the County...

Conspiracy Boy said...

Mike,

Your 80% isn't 80% at all. It was 80% of the 70% that voted. The County has been deceptive about these figures. Although Paavo did cop to the "right" figures recently.

30% of the homeowners were afraid to vote and didn't. Some voted yes because they were afraid. Now you and the County run with inaccurate numbers to use in your favor. That figures.

I KNEW you couldn't come up with documentation for your millions of gallons per day of contaminated waste water...

It's a lie. You're a phoney and a liar and corrupt. You will get what you deserve.

Have a nice day!

Mike said...

...you're a real sweet guy, you truly deserve the best recovery after the mental treatment coming your way...

Ron said...

What ought to be a law?

What do I win?

Conspiracy Boy said...

Mike,

or Richard? What lame answers. You have no truth, you have no answers, you have no documention, you've got nothing but bullshit.

Again, you will get what you deserve.

Shark Inlet said...

Conspiracy Boy,

If you're a gonna play the discount game, 80% of the 70% who voted is ... um ... 56% of the total, still a clear majority.

On the other hand, during the recall, the recall candidates got 52% of the vote and only 60% voted, so we know that they got about 31% of the total.

Why, then, did the recall board act as if they had a mandate? Why didn't you complain then that they were really in the minority?

Mike Green said...

How about a State law that requires ALL State laws to undergo a review and legislative vote every ten years, thereby enabling corrections when things don't work out the way they were planned.
Since review would be required it would remove the "third rail" syndrome of political blindness.
I would like to see some common sense corrections in a few clunker laws that had unintended results.

Shark Inlet said...

Here's my favorite law ... on matters where a recall may change the costs o a public works project, folks could opt in to paying the pre-recall amount. That way, those who want to lock their sewer costs at August 2005 levels could do so and those who promote a new plan could pay the actual costs of that new plan.

Makes sense to me.

Conspiracy Boy said...

SharkInlet:

I've got one.

How about the County collecting fees for infrastucture?

If the County would have done that (especially for the 1,140 homes built after '83) that money could have been sitting in the bank collecting interest. That would have helped pay for a sewer!

But, no, the County protects the developer and still does (i.e. Morro Bay last week.)

The County is still allowing the developers build with septics (i.e. building around the airport.)

Hmmmmm

P.S. you said, "If you're a gonna play the discount game, 80% of the 70% who voted is ... um ... 56% of the total, still a clear majority."

I say, then stop using 80% when it's not. And maybe it's a clear majority since the vacant lot owners got to vote on a zero assessment. Now who wouldn't vote for zero assessment?

Shark Inlet said...

CB,

Whether looking at the votes (by ballot) or by assessment, about 80% were in favor. So, the vacant lot owners didn't sway the day.

So, we'll stop saying 80%. We'll say 56% voted for the assessment.

Are you going to also tell folks that the recall got far under 50% of the votes? 31% is certainly not all that good.

On the question of whether the County has some culpability and whether they've shortchanged Los Osos in the past, I agree with you.

Conspiracy Boy said...

SharkInlet:

When elections happen, some people stay home and don't vote, but when it comes to their pocketbook with their home, they vote.

The ballots came in the mail. With that said, 30% not voting is unusual. The 30% were scared of the water board.

The FCA required for SRF loans says that if there's wide community acceptance the sewer would appear to be affordable. I'm quite sure that's why the County is touting the 80% (when it's not really 80%.)

Besides, with the RWQCB stating basically vote yes or be shot in the head, well, that helped them get their yes vote. Wouldn't you say?!?

P.S. The County has a lot of culpability -- not some!

Sewertoons said...

cb,

What culpability does Los Osos have for turning down two sewers offered by the County?

You said:
"The 30% were scared of the water board."

Where can I verify this assumption of yours?

Mike said...

It was more like the 16 who trooped before the BOS to insult them...and most didn't live in the PZ or own property anywhere...

Cut it anyway you like, but the property owners spoke loudly and now the County has the project...

Conspiracy Boy said...

Sewertoons:

Lynette,
Why don't you ask Pandora about that?

And you want me to verify why 30% of the people were scared? Give me a break.

Why don't you verify your statements about millions of gallons of pollution each day?



To Mike,
The 218 was done illegally and was fixed. The property owners didn't speak loudly -- they were blackmailed -- vote yes or be fined out of your home (except of course for the stupid ones who willingly voted for a blank check and gravity.)

Mike said...

...make that a HUGE GIAGANTIC gravity sewer, 50 ft in the ground...!!!! ...with a hedious leaky lift station right in your drivewat...!!!!!

...keep typing and proving what a mental midget you really are...!!!

...you should have listened to Pandora and the sewer complete with park would have been complete... Yup CB, there really is a conspiracy to take your home, better put on the tin-foil, pyramid hat to protect yourself from the alien sewer dogs....

Conspiracy Boy said...

Mike or is it LeGros,

What a mind you have -- and great answers - ha ha - this is all you got? ... making fun of the truth ... defending corruption.

There is a conspiracy to take as many homes as possible, only nobody figured the whole real estate market would plunge..

Are you still telling people their homes will be worth so much more with the big sewer? FYI, some homes have dropped HALF the value from a couple years ago. Some are selling for $300,000.

You call me a mental midget when I have more facts than you do.

Why not call Gordon and Stan mental midgets since they've stated the same as I as far as your big fat out-dated gravity sewer...hmmmmm...

Shark Inlet said...

CB,

About the millions of gallons of pollution per day ... it's about one million gallons that enter the ground each day.

How do we get this? 5000 homes at 200 gallons per home per day equals one million gallons.

Churadogs said...

Mike sez:"Let's cut to the chase, you don't want to see a community sewer in Los Osos and failing that, that you absolutely don't want a waste water treatment plant on the Tri-W site... That's what all these words are about, it's not about the RWQCB, it's about your personal feelings, no matter how you arrived at them..."

Nope. Sorry. Wrong. You're making stuff up, Mike. It IS about a system without adequate oversight. That's why there ought to be a law. A state board that sends an additional $40 million dollars of SRF monies into a community a few months away from a recall on a controversial project (of which they were well aware) is a board/agency that needs to ask itself: Are we managing the people's money wisely?

In this case, the answer would be, Absolutely not! That's what I mean when I say there needs to be some checks and balances here.

Jane sez:"If the county and the RWQCB had not used lies and deceit to manipulate the outcome 25 years ago, we would have solved the immediate problem at that time. Their joint shenanigans have instead resulted in 25 years cover-up and controversy.

Demanding accountability for all past actions and building a sustainable waste water treatment system should be goals of all citizens. The 45 are demanding accountability from the RWQCB. How is that interfering with progress toward a WWTF?

Seems to me like a lot of folks that post on this site have a CYA agenda."

Hmmm, Demanding accountability, eh? Which is why I proposed that there needs to be a law to ensure some system of checks and balances to prevent such abuses and coverups.

It's interesting to me how a call for checks and balances and oversight -- something you'd think is a good thing, what our government was built on -- is somehow morphed into being an anti-sewer obstructionist and America hater & etc.

Mike Green sez:"How about a State law that requires ALL State laws to undergo a review and legislative vote every ten years, thereby enabling corrections when things don't work out the way they were planned.
Since review would be required it would remove the "third rail" syndrome of political blindness.
I would like to see some common sense corrections in a few clunker laws that had unintended results."

Now, that's the ticket. Hope you logged onto Sam's site and posted that. Great idea!

Mike said...

Nope. Sorry. Wrong. You're making stuff up, Mike. It IS about a system without adequate oversight. That's why there ought to be a law. A state board that sends an additional $40 million dollars of SRF monies into a community a few months away from a recall on a controversial project (of which they were well aware) is a board/agency that needs to ask itself: Are we managing the people's money wisely?

In this case, the answer would be, Absolutely not! That's what I mean when I say there needs to be some checks and balances here.

I assume you are talking about the LOCSD.... "Are we managing the people's money wisely?" Bankruptcy? Paying private debts with public funds? Paying lawyers to challenge the State and County instead of actually planning a sustainable sewer? ....guess you must think the LOCSD has done a really great job of manageing the people's money wisely.... didn't build any sewer, but they sure managed the people's money wisely...

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

I understand the need for more accountability. Besides County and RWQCB mistakes and missteps, one could also argue that the LOCSD has had some doozies as well ... and who is left paying the tab for these mistakes? Us.

The problem I have is that I don't want to pay lots extra for my sewer just to correct past mistakes. If there is some way of getting the County to pick up their share of the bill, great, but please only ask for wrongs to be righted if the cost of doing so justifies the change. Paying $300/month to get an out of town sewer is not as good a deal as $200/month in town from my point of view. I would also hazard a guess that few in Los Osos would prefer out of town at an extra $100/month.

Presumably one could argue that we don't really know exactly what TriW was going to cost (Richard says the costs were fixed, Ann says not), but the figures being tossed out there before the recall (only $100/month) are clearly bogus and it is also clear that aside from Federal grants, our real monthly costs will be considerably higher now than before.

Conspiracy Boy said...

SharkInlet:

You say: "About the millions of gallons of pollution per day ... it's about one million gallons that enter the ground each day."

WHERE ARE THE REPORTS AND DOCUMENTATION OF THIS?

Shark Inlet said...

CB,

I shouldn't need to dig up reports for you if you are unwilling or unable to offer up any documentation to back up your earlier claims that Orenco would save us money.


But, if you are wondering, just go to the LOCSD office and ask them for their Ripley report ... in that report they mention gallons per person per day and then scale that up to the amount of effluent that will need to be processed. That amount is the same as the amount of polluted wastewater that is now directly entering the ground underneath our homes.

Mike said...

CB...you have got to be kidding... it's time you get your head out of the sand and do a little research... call you septic tank pumper (you have maintained YOUR septic system over the past 5 years...???) and ask what the flow through is... also, do a little comparison by calling the water company to figure out how much water per day you take into the house... maybe you are a better conservationist than most, but an average 200 to 250 gals per day is a pretty univerally accepted value.... But maybe you can obtain better documentation, maybe all flow rate/use rate calculations are all wrong... have fun, time for you to actually try learning something....

Mike Green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Green said...

Mike, Arguing about the amount of pollution that is occurring needs close study, what you will find out is that there are no good figures, just really good questions.
Why is the upper aquifer as clean as it is?
If a million gals. a day is getting there wouldn't it test as polluted as the water in the septic tank?
How much of that 200/day is for landscape, how much for laundry, how much for the toilet?
Why are the test wells south of the PZ as polluted as the ones near the bay? (the aquifer is not static, it flows downhill)
I am not arguing against the need to treat our wastewater, but to justify all the costs we are going to incur due to some looming environmental catastrophe, well, is fear mongering itself.
Where ARE all those blue babies?
I think CB has a valid point about the vote passing due to the fear of RWQCB actions, It worked for me.

Mike said...

...the biggest "fear" my family had, was that this financial disaster of a CSD and the band of extremists would somehow continue with their "will of the people" mantra and no sewer would ever be built...

I for one believe we need to be building an infrastructure to provide for our water needs now and the future... I see nothing wrong with development although until a sewer and clean drinking water is more assured, there shouldn't be any development...

I am concerned that unless we begin (and we already had begun) a sewer project relatively soon, the pollution problem is a ticking time bomb and we will see an increase in medical conditions directly attributable to the drinking water supply... There have been enough studies to arrive at a reasonable conclusion (unless you disagree with my definition of reasonable) to strongly recommend getting a community wide waste water treatment system in the gound and to quit trying to reinvent the wheel... You can line up an equal number of sewer design experts on either side the which technology is best issue and never make a decision... The "process" now, (finally?)being followed by the County appears to be the best track toward getting this extensive and complex infrastrature into our community... We in Los Osos have been our own worst enemies in preventing anything positive toward protecting our drinking water...since we can't or didn't or wouldn't come together, then placing the project in the County's hands is the best solution in the long run... Sure they should have done it 30 years ago, but it did't happen, do we need wait another 30 years for some perfect solution....?????

Sewertoons said...

Ann,

The State released $6.4 to the CSD. That's it and that is what they want back. Maybe you found the $40 million figure from this:

Stopping the process fines $6.5M
$6.4M SRF loan
$3M in unpaid contractor invoices for work done $1M to MWH as the CSD defaulted on their contract $1.5M for contractor mobilization
$5M for contractor binding costs to order materials and equipment for the project, and contractor lost profits
-----------------------------------------------------------
cb,

While I was opening some docs I have on my computer I ran across this - you might find it interesting:

From: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Keller, et al v. Los Osos Community Services District, April 30, 2002. P. 4.

“Appellants have not shown that the government has infringed any of their fundamental rights or their protected property or liberty rights. There is no recognized fundamental right to live free of governmental regulation, to use septic tanks, or to have access to cheap sewers. Assessing the costs of sewer construction onto those properties that will receive sewer hook ups is not arbitrary government action; addition of sewer systems is a commonplace governmental function. It does not shock the conscience for government to make a decision that certain areas and not others require new sewage facilities. It does not shock the conscience that a local government might rely on a regional water quality control board to draw a
Prohibition Zone that does not affect everyone within the local government boundary, based on the governing body's perceptions of needs. This is so even if those within the Prohibition Zone assert that they cannot afford the assessments and will be forced to sell their property and move elsewhere, See County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833, 846-50 (1998) (describing the "shocks the conscience test”)."

Churadogs said...

Mike quotes:"I assume you are talking about the LOCSD.... "Are we managing the people's money wisely?"

actually, no, I was talking about a comment made at the State Water Board about that additonal $40 mil being sent to a CSD about to be recalled. And I'd have to agree. No prudent State Water Board would have sent that unsecured amount anywhere, least of all a community involved in a recall over a controversial project.

Sewertoons sez:"The State released $6.4 to the CSD. That's it and that is what they want back. Maybe you found the $40 million figure from this:"

the additional $40 was added onto the guestimated price of Tri W. The CSD had to go to Sac. to ask for mo money. Two of the CSD members (Tacker & Schicker) let the Board know at that meeting that they should NOT to add that amount on to the loan since there was a 218 lawsuit in the works, the additiional $40 mil was not secured and possibly could be challenged, a recall was heading down the pike & etc.. The Board refused to listen and the additional $40 was attached. When the whole thing went kerblooey, that's when the comment from the Sac. boys was, gee, people will think we're poor money managers & etc. Uh, yeah. People might get that impression.

Mike Green sez:"If a million gals. a day is getting there wouldn't it test as polluted as the water in the septic tank?
How much of that 200/day is for landscape, how much for laundry, how much for the toilet?
Why are the test wells south of the PZ as polluted as the ones near the bay? (the aquifer is not static, it flows downhill)
I am not arguing against the need to treat our wastewater, but to justify all the costs we are going to incur due to some looming environmental catastrophe, well, is fear mongering itself."

Now, there's where it gets interesting. The drinking water standards for nitrates are, I believe, 10 ppm. The average yearly upper aquifer well tests (average, yearly) show a little over the 10 with only trace amounts of anti-seizure medicaiton showing up. Hardly a catasrophe that will have all of us dying in the streets and indicative to me that the vados zone does indeed "clean up wastewater," but that the density is overloading the basin and needs to be un-loaded. (If the vados zone didn't work, you'd have high amounts of all kinds of, uh, crap, in the upper aquifer.) That said, I agree with the various water experts, being that close to the maximum allowed for nitrates is too close for comfort. Need to drop that number down, maybe by half, which gives you some wiggle room. (Not to mention the Title 22 will keep increasing every year as more and more emerging contaminents come up, but most treatment plants don't deal well with those, either.) But saying we're dumping millions of gallons of wastwater into our drinking water is a misleading image, at the least.

Sewertoons sez:" This is so even if those within the Prohibition Zone assert that they cannot afford the assessments and will be forced to sell their property and move elsewhere, See County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833, 846-50 (1998) (describing the "shocks the conscience test”)."

The more interesting question is this: There are many ways to skin a cat. Clearly, the 9th circuit doesn't care if one method ends up bankrupting a whole community, since that does not shock their conscience. BUT, if there are other, cheaper ways of skinning that cat, then the community -- which will be shocked -- has a responsibility to persue cheaper methods. And above all MAKE SURE THAT THE CAT actually NEEDS SKINNING IN THE FIRST PLACE, THAT PERHAPS A CLOSE SHAVE WOULDN'T DO THE TRICK INSTEAD.

Shark Inlet said...

Ummm...

Ann,

The question of whether a sewer is needed or not has already been settled. We do.

The question of whether we are polluting or not has been settled. We are.

To suggest that there is a cheaper solution without offering up details seems a bit reckless to me. We're tied to the County now. We've seen that stopping TriW is going to raise our costs. Let's not pretend that lawsuits will solve the problem. Lawsuits only seem to delay the solution and raise our costs.

The only folks who benefit from lawsuits are the lawyers and those who want Los Osos gentrified. Myself, I would rather both of these groups be stymied.

Sewertoons said...

I feel empathy for the well-meaning people who have been going down the wrong path of delay which has resulted in higher costs for those least able to afford it. It is clear that they didn't understand the whole picture. That some people might have to move is distressing, but which one of us has not had to move at some point in our lives because the rent went up? I don't recall having a movement behind me to stop the rent increase when it happened to me. Nor did I mount a protest that the landlord could not raise the rent, feeling that I was entitled to continue living there! (No, I did not know the reason for the increased cost in rent - it wasn't a sewer though.)

This nasty thing we face here is reality. This is not a popular idea here in paradise. We should all do what we can to help - the County will be doing the most - to make this affordable for those in need, but to solve all problems around this is unrealistic. Had the sewer been in place 30 years ago, the increased cost in rents or properties THEN might have kept some people away to begin with.

It is time to be responsible to stop fowling our own nest. What happened to the idea of saving the environment we all so espoused in the 60's? Was that some OTHER environment that we were talking about? Did that mean just NOT the environment that we were living in because it might actually COST us something??

Conspiracy Boy said...

Sewertoons:

You talk about saving the enviornment?! HA!

The Tri-W that you (and SharkInlet) have supported was and is the worst thing for the enviornment.

Most engineers agree. Of course the few who have a financial interest say it's fine, but Tri-W and the gravity collection is and always has been a very bad idea for the enviornment and our health.

The money it would take just to secure pipes for earthquakes alone makes that project more expensive than any others. Didn't you see the Morro Bay problem a few weeks ago? You want that here? Talk about "fowling" our own nest!

Gravity stinks -- all ways round. We just don't need it. It will do nothing for nitrates. Didn't you read Gordon and Stan's memo about that? Aren't they some of your heros?

Why do you not support alternative methods that fit in line with 2007?
Why do you insist on out-dated technology?

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

Do you remember the episode of "I Love Lucy" where Lucy and Ethel are wrapping chocolates?

The vadose zone works somewhat like that. The nitrates are removed (bacteria converts them into fertilizer which is taken up by plants) if there aren't too many heading into the vadose zone for the system to handle. The ability of a particular acre to handle septics depends on the type of soil (even magic sand has limitations) and the distance to groundwater.

Los Osos has too many people on septics. Our aquifer is suffering because of that.

The only way to get that corrected is with a sewer and WWTF.

It will take years to clean up the aquifer once we get the system online? Why the rush then? Money. As the bumper sticker in town says "we delay, we pay". A second (and in my mind, far more compelling) reason is this. The longer we wait, the more we'll be in an overdraft situation with our lower aquifer. Once we get the sewer completed, we can harvest more aggressively from the upper aquifer and blend water or denitrify at the wellhead. Continuing to harvest too much water from the lower aquifer means that saltwater intrusion will reduce the usable size of this aquifer.

Simply put, if we don't get the WWTF online soon, we'll need to find another water source to meet our community needs.

Yes, xeriscaping and conservation of water are huge. Please don't think I am downplaying these two measures. I'm not. I'm addressing only the issue of whether our water supply is sustainable.

Sewertoons said...

cb,

What is your continued panic about Tri-W being chosen? Are you so UNSURE of step NOT being cheaper that you are trying hard to sell it because you KNOW that it will be more expensive and you think that it is environmentally superior?

I hope shark's response above clears up your thinking on nitrates. If not, please explain what you meant. (MBR technology cleans up nitrates. New gravity pipes that are properly monitored will not add nitrates.)

If we go step, all tanks will have to be replaced. On the smaller lots, the used septics will need to be removed as there will be no other space for the new tanks. I don't know how you think digging up a bunch of used and toxic septics are going be an enhancement for the environment - maybe you can explain just that part of your obsession with step? Or at the very least see the light and admit that going step has a downside too.

Sewertoons said...

Hah! I was just reading Scientific American - December 2007, Pg. 28, and found an interesting article on chemical signatures in sewage! "Scientists have developed methods for isolating the by-products of drug use that are excreted in urine." AND - "Sewage sampling techniques, which can be applied to almost any drug, prescription or illicit…"

Those who say we are not polluting and that are screaming that the water from our leach field lines must be actually tested for nitrates - or are clamoring for lysimeter readings below the fields might just want to think again, since many are caught up in silly conspiracy theories. Just imagine what one could find beneath the sands of Sewerville!

Mike said...

...sure you don't hint of rsidues of "recreational" medicines...

...certainly not in paradise....

Sewertoons said...

Mike, I certainly do!

Mike Green said...

Well so much for the zero tolerance drug testing!
" Hey I live in Los Osos, I just drink the water there!"

Regardless, I just want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving,
All the best to everyone....

Shark Inlet said...

Hear hear!

Three cheers for Ann Calhoun our gracious and thought-provoking hostess.

I am thankful for Los Osos, Ann Calhoun and the 218 result.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"The vadose zone works somewhat like that. The nitrates are removed (bacteria converts them into fertilizer which is taken up by plants) if there aren't too many heading into the vadose zone for the system to handle. The ability of a particular acre to handle septics depends on the type of soil (even magic sand has limitations) and the distance to groundwater.

Los Osos has too many people on septics. Our aquifer is suffering because of that.

The only way to get that corrected is with a sewer and WWTF."



Actually, not completely correct. Had this been looked at long ago as a BASIN LOADING plan, then a variety of systems and strategies could have been considered -- especially since technology for onsites and cluster systems are getting better and better. Instead, the focus went totally to a humongous traditional sewer -- that allows for higher density but that ran into problems because folks were overlooking the limited water resources & etc. In short, wrong project for the wrong place for the wrong reasons all based on a badly configured PZ basin plan that should have been updated YEARS ago. Soooo sad.

Well, happy thanksgiving for all. We have so much to be so thankful for, that's for sure. Hug your family, your dogs, your cats and say hi to your neighbors tomorrow.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

You have a really good point ... that a variety of solutions do exist.

The problem here would seem to be the rock and the hard place. The Rock is the RWQCB. They're not budging at all on their insistence that we have a sewer and WWTF rather than onsite systems or even package plants. The hard place? Costs. The costs of any system we adopt will be ginormous. These costs keep growing the more time passes.