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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh, Looooocy, Jooo Gotta Lotta 'Splainin' tooooo Doooooo

Ron Crawford, over at www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com has been reading the county Los Osos Wastewater Tech Memos and is coming to some unsurprising conclusions. Read it and weep, los Osos.

17 comments:

Shark Inlet said...

Yep ... Ron's conclusions are unsurprising, all right. He essentially says that the solutions group and pre-recall board made a whole bunch of mistakes but he neglects other key questions like whether the new board's actions were wise and whether we'll all be paying more because we, as a community, followed his sugggestions.

Sewertoons said...

How about it Ann - can you explain why Ron has amnesia past 2005?

Ron said...

Let's have a little fun... let's put the Tribune on "Trib Watch".

The latest tech memo came out on the 9th, and contained this mind-blowing quote:

"... wastewater treatment facility anticipated to be east of town."

Let's see how long it takes for the Trib to report on it.

Today's the 11th, and I just read their web site. Nothing.

Maybe they don't find it newsworthy that Tri-W is officially NOT going to be the location for the treatment facility.

(Memo to the Trib: Just so you know, I saved a pdf version of that editorial you wrote just before the recall (one of three), where you told the voters of Los Osos that they should stick with the environmentally sensitive, downtown sewer plant location -- a location that real engineers don't even put on the short-list for potential locations. And I anticipate that I'll be linking that pdf file up soon on my blog.)

What I don't understand, is why people like Inlet and 'toons aren't outraged today over the Tri-W embarrassment. It cost them a lot of money. If I was them, I'd be pissed.

I know Richard LeGros reads these comments. Perhaps he could tell us why, when he was a CSD Director, the Tri-W site was the only place to build a sewer plant, yet, these days, the Tri-W site isn't even mentioned as a possible location now that REAL engineers have the project? (By the way, I have to admit, the documents that have been coming out of the county lately, sure do make Montgomery, Watson, Harza look flat-out incompetent.)

Richard?

'toons wrote:

"How about it Ann - can you explain why Ron has amnesia past 2005?"

I don't know if Ann can, but I sure can... like I've written a million times, the post recall board's story is borrrrrinnnng, and the pre-recall board's story is intensely amazing. And everything they did wrong is just now starting to come out under the light of the county's analysis. (Remember, right after the recall, how hard Tri-W proponents tried to get their project in the county's hands in a desperate effort to get it built? Yea, well, maybe that wasn't such a good idea.)

To this day, I still have no idea what the post recall board did wrong. They said, if they were elected, they would stop an embarrassing, "bait and switchy" public works project. They got elected and stopped an embarrassing, "bait and switchy" public works project.

How is that a story?

But, I sure do know what the pre-recall board did wrong. Ohhhhh, Loooooocyyyyyy....

Ron said...

I wrote:

"And everything they did wrong is just now starting to come out under the light of the county's analysis."

Oh, does that need clarifying.

That SHOULD read:

"And everything they did wrong is just now starting to OFFICIALLY come out under the light of the county's analysis. (I say "officially," because, of course, I've been reporting on it since September 2004, when Steve Moss and King Harris at New Times published my Three Blocks Upwind of Downtown as their cover story."

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

The fact that you find the post-recall board boring doesn't mean that their actions aren't newsworthy. In one posting you both castigate the Trib for not covering details of technical reports and also justify your own refusal for covering and your refusal for discussing major actions which are at least as newsworthy and have at least as large a financial impact on Los Osos residents and the whole sewer situation.

You are writing out of both sides of your mouth and it simply makes your bias more clear. Perhaps you should label yourself as a columnist as Ann does and not as a journalist. After all, journalists like to present both sides in a fair fashion and they definitely like to think thru the issues carefully from all points of view before reaching any conclusions.

Again, you present the TAC report's choice ... in 2008 ... of an out of town plant ... and only a plant ... as evidence that TriW wasn't the cheapest then. Apples and oranges, my friend. Maria has already explained to you that the TriW project contained elements of aquifer recharge and dealing with saltwater intrusion but that the County project doesn't. To make this clear, ask yourself where the TAC reports suggest the treated wastewater will be dishcarged.

No offense, but while you complain about my comments as if I am a TriW supporter (which I am not, I am a supporter of the likely cheapest and likely soonest possible solution to our problems), you seem to forget that the board you supported and the actions you've supported have cost Los Osos a whole lot of money ... probably on the order of $75M above and beyond the costs of TriW between fines and inflation ... yet I've not seen you write one peep about the matter.

If you find such matters boring you should feel embarassed to call yourself a journalist.

Sewertoons said...

Gee Ron, Shark has your non-defense nailed!

I might also add, since you, a "journalist," find the recall board boring, maybe you should consider that the Trib finds some stuff boring too. That should be OK with you, right?

Consider that the County said "anticipated." Define that word and you will see it is not the same as saying "will be." Don't get too excited about this, as it may not go quite the way you want.

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"I know Richard LeGros reads these comments. Perhaps he could tell us why, when he was a CSD Director, the Tri-W site was the only place to build a sewer plant, yet, these days, the Tri-W site isn't even mentioned as a possible location now that REAL engineers have the project? (By the way, I have to admit, the documents that have been coming out of the county lately, sure do make Montgomery, Watson, Harza look flat-out incompetent.)"

That raises some interesting quesitons. Was this a case of Fox & Chicken Coop, i.e. WMH leading the Board down the garden path, or a case of the Board and their "Park In A Sewer" agenda leading WMH, who, as a "hired hand," kept saying, Well, O.K. if that's what you want to do (ka-ching$$ ka-ching$$) whatever you say, while secretly snickering behind their engineering hands, keeping their mouths shut and pocketing the nice money?

I mean, when you hire a contractor to design and build your home and you give him carte blanch and keep him to an impossible, pre-decided site that has enormous restrictions on it (ka-ching$$ ka-ching$$) how many contractors would walk away from all the nice money and job saying, No, This is nuts, we're not going to do that because it makes no engineering sense or environmental, there's a better way to do this. ? ??

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

It appears that you have the same sort of reading comprehension problem that Ron does.

The County now is charged with putting a sewer in and building a wastewater treatment plant. Nothing else.

The LOCSD was trying to deal with wastewater, groundwater and saltwater intrusion. The LOCSD project was designed to deal with all three problems.

Simply put, the best project to handle all three problems may not be the same what one would decide is best if one only considers one of the three problems.

One key difference between the TriW plan and the conceptual plans the County is suggesting with these East of town sites is the method and location of effluent disposal. TriW had disposal at Broderson where there would be a greater (beneficial) impact on saltwater intrusion. The newer plans suggest treated wastewater will be sprayed on fields at the far eastern end of the aquifer (or outside the aquifer entirely) where we get little to no benefit on the saltwater intrusion front.

Had there been no benefit to recharge the aquifer at Broderson, there would have been less of a cost advantage to the TriW site and it likely would not have been chosen.


Hey, one more question ... where is that "out of town, ready to go" site that we were told about by the recall candidates? You know, the one that would only cost us $100/month. They should be sure to tell the County about their plans because it would clearly save us a whole lot of money. After all, the County plan will run us far more than $100/month.

Shark Inlet said...

Oh ... a warning for those of you who intend to make comments at sewerwatch.

Mr. Thin-skinned-journalist has a new set of rules for the deletion of comments. He says that anonymous comments that insult him will be removed. (Interestingly enough, he doesn't appear to have such a rule for those insulting ... um ... say ... me or Richard. He might later ammend his "no insulting while anonymous" rule to protect others, but that doesn't appear to be the case now.) As Ron appears to be the one who gets to determine whether Ron was insulted, this rule seems pretty much guaranteed to cause charges of bias on the part of Ron ... but he makes the rules in his sandbox and if he's willing to take the risk of appearing childish, that is his right.

Churadogs said...

Inlet, you missed my question: With WMH was it the fox leading the chicken down the garden path or vice versa. At any point, did WMH ever say, WOA! this is nuts? You're going all bait and switchy here.

As for the ready to go out of town site, actually there were plans that went into the room with Blakeslee & Polhemus that they were looking at while negotiating the negotiation that turned out no to be a negotiation, heh-heh. They were looking at real plans and real numbers, which is why the compromise came out of that room looking like it would fly.

The County has on the table lots of plans (the Ripley system, for example, is, near as I can tell, ready to roll. The various plans like the system in Pismo's update, & etc. are all "off the shelf" and ready to roll) But the County wanted to start the Process clean so went back to ground zero to reexamine all the wheels

As to Ron's Rules on Ron's Site, hey same thing here. When some of you guys get all Junior High School on me, I gotta spank. Presume he gets to do the same.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"That raises some interesting quesitons. Was this a case of Fox & Chicken Coop, i.e. WMH leading the Board down the garden path, or a case of the Board and their "Park In A Sewer" agenda leading WMH, who, as a "hired hand," kept saying, Well, O.K. if that's what you want to do (ka-ching$$ ka-ching$$) whatever you say, while secretly snickering behind their engineering hands, keeping their mouths shut and pocketing the nice money? "

That IS interesting, huh?

Can'tcha just imagine how those internal MWH meetings must have went...

"Well, sure, we're putting our professional reputations on the line by listening to the LOCSD and designing their embarrassing downtown, park-with-a-sewer-system project, but, hey, look at all of this good money they're throwing at us. How are we expected to tell them, 'No. Here's the project you should REALLY be pursuing.'?"

What do you think the odds are that someone from that company would answer some of my questions?

Thanks for the link, Ann!

danbleskey said...

Shark,

You are twisting the analysis. Of course the use of recycled water for crops reduces ag pumping, and viola, reduced demand on the aquifer. The pre recall design had many SIGNIFICANT errors in it and there has never, I repeat never been an explanation of the adsorbtion rate calculations that, had they complied with STATE LAW and long and hard standards of practice, would indicate that Broderson would never have worked, NEVER! this is all coming out and no matter how you twist it, and it seems even your fervor indicates you may be seeing the light of the truth on these issues that are now being given support. These are the very issues that the post recall Board promised they would deal with and they have.

CHURADOGS has it right about MWH. If folks take what the TAC is pointing out now, all of the residents of Los Osos should be getting their pitch forks out and going after those guys for the very reasons CHURADOGS states. That is the exact reason the post recall board sued those turds. Look at the data being generated by the TAC and what MWH presented and have a bake sale to finance a suit that would hold them accountable. MWH was negligent and Los Osos has suffered from it as has the entire engineering community.

Maria M. Kelly said...

If I could submit here, 2 TAC meetings ago, Rob Miller did show how the calculations were done and there wasn't an error.

Please explain how the ag land outside of the basin impacts our lower aquifer where the sea water intrusion is. Also, my understanding is that the ag wells outside our basin are shallow wells but I would need to research that further.

In addition, Broderson has been part of waste water projects for LO since the 80's. How is that MWH's or the CSD's fault? From reading these comments, it's a pick and chose of facts which is why there is no complete picture.

Again, my observation and an honest question.
Thanks,
Maria M. Kelly

Shark Inlet said...

Dan Blesky,

I am not twisting anything and you know it.

If the water is simply disposed of instead of using it for irrigation (note: the TAC report doesn't say that there will be irrigation at all), there will not be the reduction in pumping as you suggest.

Even so, one would do well to remember that there are two aquifers. The upper aquifer (the one with high nitrate levels below town) can be used for irrigation but not for drinking. Are farmers pumping from the upper or lower aquifer? I would imagine they wouldn't pay extra just to pump water from the lower aquifer when both would serve their needs just as well.

While you tell us that Broderson would never have worked, I am not convinced because you have only hinted at your reasons and you have not explained yourself thoroughly. I would like to see what a real geologist and a real hydrologist would say about this matter. Which professionals have reviewed the TriW disposal plan and found it to be deficient?

Sewertoons said...

Aside from whether it is upper or lower aquifer pumping going on out on the farms that are over the basin (forget the ones that are not), if the farmers don't want or can't use that type of water, what good does it do?

danblaskey seems to think that the farmers are clamoring for this stuff. They're not. Go look at the Ripley Report. The County has said it make take 10 years for the farmers to buy in. We are losing the lower aquifer at 100 feet a year, how is this going to help?

The only help we have at this moment is water conservation! As to how to solve this later, the purveyors are going to have to make some tough decisions. Meanwhile, keep in mind the "imported water" idea.

Sewertoons said...

PS - If that doesn't scare you into conserving water nothing will!

lisa schicker said...

Hi Dan Bleskey, if this is the "real you", i need to speak with you - Ann told me that you were writing - can you please drop me a note? thanks very much from Lisa