Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pssst, Lossss Osssoossss. Ssssttts, Yoo hoo WAKE UP! HELLO!

Well, nice to know some things never change. The county sent out what most presumed would be a much anticipated Sewer Survey, the long promised “not-a-vote-but-a-voice” questionnaire and, to date, only 27% of the things have been returned. At Tuesday’s regular " Aw Gawd It’s Los Osos Time Again” at the BOS meeting, it was noted that surveys of these kinds usually get a 10 – 15% response. So far, this one’s gotten 27% with hope of getting over 30%. Which, compared to usual, typical survey type thingees will be ok, but this survey is about one of the most community-destroying, longest-running all out Wars, ever. In short, it was the most important thing going on in this community and about 70% of the community can’t be bothered to even mail the darned thing back? Woa.

Well, those numbers are about what happened to the last survey. If memory serves, a whole bunch of people didn’t mail that one back in either. Guess most of the bears out here are still sound asleep. Well, shhhhh, don’t wake them. When they get the bill, they may wake up then, but it’ll be too late. This train is leaving the station, chugga-chugga.

The numbers given at the BOS meeting were PRELIMINARY and only represented 13% of those surveys (1,097 processed, 8,100 sent out; 2,237 received to date; closing date extended to March 6ish or so). The final and detailed results will be made public sometime in the future. But so far, the preliminary numbers processed indicate:

Top concerns and choices: 1.Complete the project ASAP
2. Lowest cost.
3 & 4. Site & collection system

On site and collection: 60% selected out of town (Tonini)
22% Edge of town (Giacometti, Cemetery)
10% Tri W (mid town)
8% no opinion.

Those percentages could change when the rest of the survey’s are finished, but the odds are zip that it won’t, for example, end up with Tri-W being the #1 choice. The above number will give Ron Crawford ( a good chortle and puts the kibosh on any Save The Dream/Taxpayer Watchers claiming that “The Community Loved Tri-W,” or “The Recall and Moving The Sewer Out of Town Was Only Favored By A Handful of Anti-Sewer Obstructionists!” and so forth. Hard to argue with that “Out Of Town” 82% percent at this point.

The collection system turned up: 72% gravity
9% (if I heard that right) STEP
Interestingly, 49% wanted gravity no matter what it cost (even though prices for any of this weren’t on the survey) and 5% wanted STEP at any cost. But those numbers could change, if the community is surveyed again, once the final numbers are in.Because, 66% said they’d need a $50 a month savings before they’d consider STEP. (It was guestimated at this point that the difference between gravity and STEP is now about $20-30 a month, a number that doesn’t include the cost difference if it turns out that the gravity pipes have to be welded. At that point, the cost may go above the $50 a month preferred threshold, and folks may have to rethink their choices.) (Also not known, since there were no real numbers in the survey, is what components and technologies will be chosen by the design/build/companies who are going to bid on this project. They may come up with components and combinations that won’t meet some community selections choices, but will meet the top two – speed and lower cost. So, we’ll see.)

And, there was strong support for returning water and, as Mark Hutchinson noted to the BOS during the follow up Q&A, he felt that the project as it’s shaping up, with the plant out of town, tertiary capability on the horizon (if not earlier) and the disposal pipe heading back to the Broderson site, the plan is set for increased water reuse if the community votes (Mo’ $$, Mo’ $$) to go all Purple Pipish. (Build-out and growth depends on water, so for now, any growth may end up pretty heavily on the backs of the water rate payers, most especially folks living outside the CSD Water zone. But that could also change if Ag Exchange kicks in & of course, a serious, mandatory effort at retrofit and conservation.)

Also discussed by John Diodati, was the county’s trip to Washington for lobby/schmooze time. Efforts are focusing on the possibility of a 30 year fixed zero-interest loan from the Feds via the SRF Loans, and possible monies coming at some point, maybe years from now, from the Corps of Engineers, with the nexus being a clean-water-benefit (WRDA) to Morro Bay, a national estuary, and maybe some bucks from USDA, but that didn’t look as likely.

Interestingly, since President Obama has decreed “no earmarks,” since “earmarks” have been politicized as Baaaadddd, but “shovel ready stimulus projects” are goooooddd, and to date nobody has defined the difference between a “shovel ready stimulus EARMARK” and a “shovel ready stimulus PROJECT,” the WRDA/ Army Corps “project” is considered a new project and hence an “earmark,” so some finessing needs to be done to qualify. Clearly, the nexus between the sewer project and the waters of Morro Bay have already been established, so the “project” isn’t really a “new” project/earmark. So it remains to be seen if the “oldness” of the sewer project will become clear and hence enable it to be considered not an “earmark” but an old project finally “shovel-ready” and able to get under way, Please send nice money.

During public comment, the Usual Suspects arrived. And, of course, questions asked that at this point don’t have any answers, like, What “conditions” will be put on the project by the Planning Commission? What “conditions” will be put on by the RWQCB? One that comes to mind is the weirdness of the RWQCB decreeing ZERO DISCHARGE in the PZ, while, apparently (at this point) allowing ring/seal gravity pipes that have built in, known “leakage” of contents, i.e. raw sewage, not to mention inflow from high-groundwater and salt water, which end up in the treatment plant, possibly compromising water clean up/reuse efforts. Will they actually care enough about “water” to require welded pipes if gravity is chosen?

But two key comments were made by several folks: It is absolutely critical that this Process be kept “fair” and is seen to be “fair.” When that happens, the community is willing to compromise and will accept the results. But let the community think it’s being conned – again – or thumbs are being slapped on that scale, or if the Process is rushed or skipped, something which can allow “hooks” to which a lawsuit can he hitched, thereby causing delay – all of that is to be avoided like the plague, since that’s the last thing community wants. Contrary to the false information incessantly given out that Los Osos is nothing but a bunch of “Anti-Sewer Obstructionists,” what this community wanted all along is right there in the preliminary survey: A “process” to fairly evaluate options, ending up with a sewer plant out of town, the cost lower than Tri-W, a “voice” in the choice of technologies.

The tragedy of Los Osos is that those three completely rational requests were there all along, which means that the Sewer Wars and the train wreck created by lies, bad decisions, a failed system of governance and a failure of existing checks and balances and proper regulatory oversight was entirely unnecessary.


Rick said...

"Nobody could have predicted."

People are never going to be "awake" like this, especially about something that most people in most places completely take for granted.

And it's my personal opinion that the Sewer Wars were more a result of too much involvement by people than too little. Though it may have just been too much involvement by a select few.

Either way, a bunch of people micromanaging this kind of thing by playing Sewer Engineer didn't help.

And, besides. Honestly, why should anyone feel like they have a voice, survey or not? You know the nut down the street who doesn't work and seems to make it to every damn meeting will screech enough to cancel out a dozen people who don't have enough time to get involved in this cock battle.

Watershed Mark said...

Another annonymouse squeaks from his or her closet. Thank you Ricky...

Ann astutely wrote: (Also not known, since there were no real numbers in the survey, is what components and technologies will be chosen by the design/build/companies who are going to bid on this project. They may come up with components and combinations that won’t meet some community selections choices, but will meet the top two – speed and lower cost. So, we’ll see.)

This is important because water tight pipe needs to be vetted for politically preferred gravity in order that the county process remains co-equal.
Anything other than sealed pipe in a PZ loaded with CDOs is legally untenable, morally unsustainable and does not make any common sense.

Anyone can understand it would cost more for sealed verses bell and spigot connected leaky pipe.
I wonder why this concept slipped off the plate while studying the alternative to conventional gravity.

TCG said...

Watershed Mark----How long have you been a homeowner in Los Osos, and how long has this sewer cloud been hanging over your family's head?

How much time has passed when you have had to work, raise a family, and otherwise live your life while dealing with this constant community stress hanging over your town?

Many of us want this OVER. To us, over means getting the system built asap, and not having to be concerned about a step system in our yards for the next 30 years.

I am damn tired of your carpetbagger commercial interest comments that run in a never-ending manner in this blog.

It is certainly your right to post them, but I have not read them for months. I give you no credit (except for apparently parting ways with the Wrecklimator idiot), as you are not one of us and can't understand.

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

I support the county getting this done, but as a researcher, the survey layout was flawed, and order biased. I believe a advisory vote is still called for as part of the AB 2701 requirements and should be afforded once the top proposals are priced.

As for Rick's statement -too much involvement by too few, I'd say that is usually they way of public projects, and many have claimed sucess because of a few dedicated citizens.
It appears Rick has certainly been at the forefront of the sewer wars, and others that worked to keep the project from being build by the County in 1990's.

His work on fighting B-05 as the CSD, and then taking the lawsuit funded by tax dollars for his own in order to crash the board that replaced him was morally indefensible.

Had he resisted the foolish move by his board to break ground, a project solution would have resulted. But this ego driven action dug in both sides, and the best chance to keep the project moving was Sam's compromise in 2005(keep building the collection system, and move the plant out of town)

This has been perhaps the greatest lost opportunity for both sides. We now have essentially the same sites, project options and systems from the County.

Richard Legros and the solutions group list, including Gordon Hensley have 10-15 years in key leadership roles. Millions (at least $35mil) is due to a few vocal folks who took the reins and fought with a few other vocal folks. Please just stop.

Rick, you hold a large portion of the responsibility for role in the communities mess. Yet, sadly you fuss and bicker, name call and behave badly with the few and fail to lead.

I want good factual information without hype, spin, character attacks, or your personal opinion.
I am a grown-up and can decide on my own. The question is can you live with the decision of more than a few? Can either side?

Mike Green said...

Although I didn't get to "vote" I still own property in the PZ and I can say with certainty that the results reflect what I would have chosen had I "voted".
Well, at least two out of three, so far.
I kind of liked the vacuum system.
Some questions I have for Mark:

You seem to be under some kind of impression that the RWQCB has to follow some kind of rigid set of rules, where on Earth did you get that conclusion? What is your evidence that they adhere to strict regulations?

Time and time again this and other Regional Water boards have ignored strict regulation, sometimes requiring lawsuits to reverse especially egregious abuse of regulatory power, that said, who do you think is gonna force them to require welded pipe?
I'll give you a hint... nobody, unless they have a big pot o cash and the willingness to fight the State of California,
Of course, maybe that shining example of ecological watchdog, "The Coastkeeper" will step up and hold their feet to the fire.... HAHAHAHAHA.

All said and done, it's still in the hands of the five County Board of Supervisors an august panel of leaders that have a known history of ignoring staff recommendations.
The fatlady aint even warmed up yet.
10:51 AM, March 04, 2009

Watershed Mark said...

TCG wrote: I am damn tired of your carpetbagger commercial interest comments that run in a never-ending manner in this blog.

It is certainly your right to post them, but I have not read them for months.

You don't like it while you don't read it...Smart!

MG wrote: You seem to be under some kind of impression that the RWQCB has to follow some kind of rigid set of rules, where on Earth did you get that conclusion? What is you evidence that they adhere to strict regulations?
Time and time again this and other Regional Water boards have ignored strict regulation, sometimes requiring lawsuits to reverse especially egregious abuse of regulatory power, that said, who do you think is gonna force them to require welded pipe?

MG: Show me “evidence” they don’t. Using leaky polluting collection technology when sealed technology is available is not smart. As you say “The fatlady aint even warmed up yet.”

Mike Green said...

What the heck does "smart" have to do with it?
Mad hatter pumping scheme anyone?
Lottery style kangaroo court enforcement actions?
The list goes on and on
The Water board can make it up as it goes along, it has had to, Los Osos is a unique problem.

They can approve pipes with holes in them like a spaghetti sieve, who can stop them?

Maybe you and "Coastkeeper" should team up.

Truly a match made in heaven!

Watershed Mark said...

My, my MG...Where is the "evidence"?

The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e.g., oral or written statements, such as an affidavit) and exhibits (e.g., physical objects) or other documentary material which is admissible (i.e., allowed to be considered by the trier of fact, such as jury) in a judicial or administrative proceeding (e.g., a court of law).

BTW, TCG what CDO number are you?
That is what is hanging...

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...


Your snotty response to Mike that insisted on a rather narrow definition of evidence when he clearly used the word in a broader way makes you appear to be more of an ass than someone who desires to be helpful.

Do you really want to leave people with that impression?

Richard LeGros said...

Good Morning!

As I watched the BOS meeting yesterday, the famous Yogism ‘it’s deja vu all over again’ came to mind. We have the same characters playing the same process; but playing before a different legislative board.

Understand that I fully support the County’s process to build a WW project for Los Osos. To be honest, the County is ‘the only game in town’.

Regardless of the County’s progress towards a WW Plan and the Community Survey results, I am disheartened. I am equally disheartened by both the process-players AND the County. Stuck in the middle are the Los Osos PZ property owners who, while waiting for an outcome, will be very lucky to see a waste water project resulting from the current process be operational before 2015; and that costs less than $400 per month.

Why, you ask, am I disheartened?

As the County and process-players wrestle through the current process, they ALL fail to understand that the current process is just plain wasteful of money, manpower and a senseless squandering of precious time. Haranguing over whether there is a ‘clean review process’, a WWTF on ‘a particular site’, or a ‘particular collection technology’ will not result in a ‘better’, ‘less expensive’ or an ‘acceptable’ waste water project. Time lost attempting to do so just results in much greater costs to the Los Osos PZ property owner to resolve the worsening water pollution and water availability problems.


County Planning staff and the Board of Supervisors must accept the reality that time has run out for Los Osos; nor has any time left to spend.

The County must resolutely act to RESTART THE TRI-W PROJECT simply as it is the fastest way to achieve the reality of a waste water project for Los Osos, keep project costs to a minimum AND start the long-delayed restoration and preservation of our water resources. Whether you agree or disagree with this statement is moot as time (with attendant upward pressure on costs along with the worsening of our water resources) waits for no one. If one is sincerely outraged over the costs of a waste water project for Los Osos, then restarting the Tri-W Project is your only guarantee of a plausible lowest-cost outcome.

I know that the County’s intent, and of those publicly involved in the process, is in earnest. I do not mean any disrespect to the County or anyone else. However, the current process is languishing without expectation of timely resolution; all involved should be very concerned.

Three years and $6,000,000 spent by the County since the 2005 recall election has resulted in an EIR with serious deficiencies that must be resolved before the DEIR will be codified. The resolution of the EIR’s many deficiencies will undoubtedly add much time and huge costs to the County’s purposed project. Years will be spent through litigation, environmental studies, finalizing of mitigation methods to the project’s impacts, going through the Byzantine permit-obtaining process with numerous State and Federal agencies, etc. But most worrisome is the likely failure of the County’s current project to qualify, let alone secure, Economic Stimulus Grant Funding now flowing from the Federal Government.

The dispersement of Economic Stimulus Grant Funding for the Los Osos waste water project is THE once-in-a-lifetime LAST HOPE for our community to realize a low-cost project.


Sadly, the County’s current project is defined as a ‘new-start’ project or anyway near ‘shovel-ready’; with all ‘new-start’ and non-‘shovel-ready’ projects NOT fundable by executive order of President Obama. The Tri-W Project is not considered ‘new-start’ as it has received Federal Funding in the past; and meets the very definition of ‘shovel-ready’ too. Whether you like or hate the Tri-W project; if you desire the lowest cost project then it is your ONLY OPTION.

-Richard LeGros

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

But Richard,

What about the children?

he asks whiningly?

What about process?

What about studying the situation so long that each and every citizen in Los Osos, from newborns to the nearly dead all know every detail about every possible option? After all, unless we all study every possibility, the decision will be tainted!

Let's spend years and years learning every possible option so that we know which truly is the least expensive and let's pretend that there are no costs involved in delaying the project!

Let's say that we are in favor of treating our wastewater and aquifer recharge but then let's torpedo the best possible option for doing both!

Let's say that we want a sewer but oppose every proposed sewer because there might be something better out there.

Let's complain bitterly about how expensive it is and then demand we spend more time studying options until the costs go up again.

Richard, you are full of cr*p ... no wonder people voted you out of office ... you just aren't in touch with Los Osos citizens who want a hobby of studying and complaining about sewers. You wanted to get something done and that proves you just don't fit in.

Richard LeGros said...


Yeah, your right! I am so ashamed.


Watershed Mark said...

What your treatment above ignores is what the current county study process does, LPS, Vacuum and USBF™ aka “facts”.
Perhaps you can find some time to look over the DEIR comments. I’m certain you can find something to hold onto to.

Just because somehow some are being distracted by the idea of stimulus money all of a sudden does not detract from the basic premise of an effective and sustainable solution.
That does not include your favorite energy intensive/leaky/polluting sewerage/ Tri-W “plan”. No matter how you try to spin those failed designs.

Communities across the USA have projects which require funding and are a lot better organized that the LOSTDEP.
SRF 30 year interest free money is available now and in the future. What’s your hurry?

The way I see it technology is beginning to make certain segments of the WW industry obsolete.


Words have meaning and consequences.

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wort word, Latin verbum, Greek eirein to say, speak, Hittite weriya- to call, name
before 12th century
1 a: something that is said bplural (1): TALK , DISCOURSE putting one's feelings into words (2): the text of a vocal musical composition c: a brief remark or conversation -would like to have a word with you 2 a (1): a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use (2): the entire set of linguistic forms produced by combining a single base with various inflectional elements without change in the part of speech elements b (1): a written or printed character or combination of characters representing a spoken word -the number of words to a line —sometimes used with the first letter of a real or pretended taboo word prefixed as an often humorous euphemism -the first man to utter the f word on British TV — Time- -we were not afraid to use the d word and talk about death — Erma Bombeck- (2): any segment of written or printed discourse ordinarily appearing between spaces or between a space and a punctuation mark c: a number of bytes processed as a unit and conveying a quantum of information in communication and computer work3: ORDER , COMMAND -don't move till I give the word 4often capitalized a: LOGOS b: GOSPEL 1a c: the expressed or manifested mind and will of God5 a: NEWS , INFORMATION -sent word that he would be late- b: RUMOR6: the act of speaking or of making verbal communication7: SAYING , PROVERB8: PROMISE , DECLARATION -kept her word-9: a quarrelsome utterance or conversation —usually used in plural -they had words and parted-10: a verbal signal : PASSWORD11slang —used interjectionally to express agreement
— good word
1: a favorable statement -put in a good word for me-2: good news -what's the good word-
— in a word
: in short
— in so many words
1: in exactly those terms -implied that such actions were criminal but did not say so in so many words-2: in plain forthright language -in so many words, she wasn't fit to be seen — Jean Stafford-
— of few words
: not inclined to say more than is necessary : LACONIC -a man of few words-
— of one's word
: that can be relied on to keep a promise —used only after man or woman -a man of his word-
— upon my word
: with my assurance : INDEED , ASSUREDLY -upon my word, I've never heard of such a thing-

Middle English diffinicioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin definition-, definitio, from definire
14th century
1: an act of determining ; specifically : the formal proclamation of a Roman Catholic dogma2 a: a statement expressing the essential nature of something b: a statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol -dictionary definitions- c: a product of defining3: the action or process of defining4 a: the action or the power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear -the definition of a telescope- -her comic genius is beyond definition- b (1): clarity of visual presentation : distinctness of outline or detail -improve the definition of an image- (2): clarity especially of musical sound in reproduction c: sharp demarcation of outlines or limits -a jacket with distinct waist definition-

14th century
1 a: the thing one intends to convey especially by language : PURPORT b: the thing that is conveyed especially by language : IMPORT2: something meant or intended : AIM -a mischievous meaning was apparent-3: significant quality ; especially : implication of a hidden or special significance -a glance full of meaning-4 a: the logical connotation of a word or phrase b: the logical denotation or extension of a word or phrase
— meaning adjective

Steve wrote: Let's spend years and years learning every possible option so that we know which truly is the least expensive and let's pretend that there are no costs involved in delaying the project!

How about getting an honest result from an honest study, Steve?

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin honestus honorable, from honos, honor honor
14th century
1 a: free from fraud or deception : LEGITIMATE , TRUTHFUL -an honest plea- b: GENUINE , REAL -making honest stops at stop signs — Christian Science Monitor- c: HUMBLE , PLAIN -good honest food-2 a: REPUTABLE , RESPECTABLE -honest decent people- bchiefly British : GOOD , WORTHY3: CREDITABLE , PRAISEWORTHY -an honest day's work-4 a: marked by integrity b: marked by free, forthright, and sincere expression : FRANK -an honest appraisal- c: INNOCENT , SIMPLE
synonyms see UPRIGHT

BTW, “You ain’t foolin’ anyone Steve, we all know your BBuddies with r.

Richard LeGros said...


Not to be rude, but you inadvertently, but clearly, higlighted the point of my 1:15 PM post......That immediate ACTION divorced of rhetoric and posturing is what is needed now.

Thank You


Richard LeGros said...

Hi All,

Just to be clear regarding the restart of the Tri-W Project and the desire to acquire Economic Stimulus Grant Funding;



Watershed Mark said...

Now that is spin!

Watershed Mark said...

How about getting an honest result from an honest study?

When I get the billing statements from the county's consulting engineer(s) I will digitize them and forward you a copy if you are interested.

Watershed Mark said...

What's you hurry r?
Stimulus moneycomes with conditions.
Like transparency and "no" waste...

Oh vey...those leaky pipes i a PZ...

Watershed Mark said...

r wrote(after wrote ne never would again)Mark,

Not to be rude, but you inadvertently, but clearly, higlighted the point of my 1:15 PM post......That immediate ACTION divorced of rhetoric and posturing is what is needed now.

Thank You


What happened to change your mind r?
See how stupid giving up your right to free speech is now?

r is now thinking(I wish I could quit you!)

Watershed Mark said...

After writing that he never would write to Mark again, r wrote:


No trash can, Ann?

Sewertoons said...

Maybe we already answered the question about cheaper and didn't know it? We don't know what the second choice of everyone was. If 2 years of delay or losing stimulus money or greater expense for out of town is what we'd get going with Tonini, perhaps there will be a second choice due to logic and community good rather than catering to the "process is tainted" bunch" which nothing will ever please?

Will anyone re-bid Tri-W? Here is where we'd get some answers.

I'd bet most who filled out the survey thought Tri-W WAS more expensive than the County project because of all the campaign crappola of Chuck and Steve and John. We don't know how up-to-date people's info is. What if those voting for out of town had never seen any BOS, TAC or ANYTHING related to the project - but those who answered Tri-W for #1 were sewer geeks, (those not trying to derail the process with "even greener" technology, I mean)? What exactly is "lowest cost" on Question 11? That question is asked a lot blunter on #17.

Sewertoons said...

I do agree with Richard, Tri-W does more for less, PLUS it prevents growth. It is what I voted for. I just want that to be shown in a bid, to shut up the Tri-W haters.

Mike said...

Hello Rick... You are correct, too much "public" input/ involvement in the sewer wars... Too damn many "sewer lawyer/engineer/expert wantabe's"...!!!!

I see you picked you a fan in Soar (or is it Sore?)... seems like one of those "sewer lawyer/engineer/expert wantabe's"

...but please keep hanging around even if the gossip columnist seems to have given the blog over to an out-of-state and out of work, non Los Osos property owner... We won't really learn anything, but it's fun to laugh at the outrageous remarks of those wantabe's...

GetRealOsos said...

TGC asks: "How much time has passed when you have had to work, raise a family, and otherwise live your life while dealing with this constant community stress hanging over your town?..."

If you had a brain you'd know the stress hasn't even started yet!

You wait! The sewer bill will start low and get higher every year -- for 20 - 30 years! When times have never been tougher and won't get better for many years (there are simply no jobs so real estate value can't go back up to where it was!) and fees and charges will increase, and repairs, etc. will keep most people living in stress every day -- what kind of life is that I ask?

Do you know that for a $10,000. loan for hookups and on lot charges would be an extra $290. per month if you can get a 3-year loan from a bank, but if someone can't get a loan right now and has to charge the hook up fee to their credit card at 25% that could double.

And have you never heard a jack hammer?

And just wait until the sand shifts and pipes break -- oh boy!

ANSWER (A WONDERFUL COMPROMISE) is vacuum system! It's perfect for both sides of the sewer issue. For the people who hate septic tanks they can flush and forget. For the step people, it's more environmentally friendly and won't have those big spills and can be carried out to ponds. It can be put in the ground much faster.

I think it's the perfect compromise that would help to town get back to being somewhat normal again. Vacuum HAS TO BE half the cost or less.

GetRealOsos said...




Contractors need work and some jobs are coming in at 50% less.

Your arguments don't hold up!!!

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...


Actually, if construction costs have dropped as much as you say, Richard's argument that we ought to move forward with TriW ASAP is even more solid.

After all, if the County moves forward with TriW, they could be in the construction phase within a year (at reduced costs as you point out) but if we wait three years before construction starts up, there will be inflation.

Think about it this way ... you want to buy products when they are cheapest and not when they are most expensive.

When buying strawberries at the farmer's market in Los Osos I notice something ... early in the season the prices are pretty high because of pent up demand and low supply. When the supply catches up to the demand, the prices drop a lot. Buying Strawberries in May is a much better deal than in early March. However, if you forget about this and assume that Strawberries will still be cheap in November you will be sad when you go looking and find that the few places that sell strawberries have low quality berries at a very high price.

Let's summarize: I am happy construction prices have dropped. To assume that the drop will continue is naive.

Richard LeGros said...

That right Shark inlet!

Construction labor costs are dropping; and those costs benefit ANY wastewater project that is build NOW. The real cost savings if we restart Tri-W will be realized by building the project NOW instead of waiting YEARS for the County's plan to be ready to go.

I appreciate GRO pointing the reduced construction costs we are witnessing today. I also appreciate Shark inlets pointing out that those savinigs will not last forever. Great postings.


Watershed Mark said...

Stawberry Fields Fovever...

But what ha that got to do with r's failed leaky/energy intensive Tri-W design?

All those beautiful native and "non-native" trees some ofwhich must have been there before r the butcher and his "crew" attempted to inflict there will upon the people.

r, you rushed then and "look at the result", literally.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Just to clarify one thing ... I am not saying that TriW will be the best project for Los Osos.

I actually do like it better than the County's proposal for one key reason ... the aquifer gets recharged. Oh yeah ... an additional park would be cool, too. And as Mark reminds us, MBR doesn't ever smell or have spills or other problems, we can conclude all those opposed to TriW for smell and environmental reasons are were simply grasping at straws because they were being NIMBYs.

Now ... to the point ... I suspect that there would need to be a special CCC hearing to approve of TriW now that the CDP has lapsed. Even so, the total time to get something going would likely be lower with TriW than any other possible project (save perhaps the County proposal of the mid 1990s).

Does this mean that TriW would be best? I actually dunno about that. Even though it might be best from an environmental, permitting and cost point of view (surely the new County proposed projects being an estimated $250 per month plus M's reminder that construction costs are now lower than when TriW was bid and TriW's cost of $200/month means that TriW, if re-bid today would likely be less than $200/month) ... I think that there are enough people who've put their egos on the line and who would fight to the death to stop TriW. These are the same people who will continue an argument rather than admit they were wrong and would rather pay more for a product instead of being embarrassed and admitting they bought the wrong thing.

Essentially I am saying that the County might be wise to avoid a "to the death" battle with a few folks who have already threatened such if they don't get their way.

Should the County be held hostage? No. Is it sometimes wiser to cave in to the whiny child? Yes.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

By the way Mark, stop being such an ass. It doesn't help your case and probably makes people less likely to respect what you write.

GetRealOsos said...


It's naive to think that jobs are coming back and that construction costs won't be lower. There is no work Shark!

You can talk strawberries all you want, but a vacuum system with ponds is the least expensive option, the quickest option, the best option.

Get over the Tri-W plant and location.

AB2701 was made for the expandable plant out of town so the developers can develop (and have the PZ pay for it of course) --

If Don Beardon likes vacuum with ponds then I rest my case. He hated septics. The Joyce Albrights wanted to flush and forget and vaccum system achieves that.

Vacuum is the best compromise to be sure!

P.S. Do you know what a jack hammer sounds like?

Mike said...

GRO loves to wring his hands and fret about costs... It's too bad that he didn't worry about costs when voteing for the recall...

The Tri-W site looks better every day...!!!! We already own the haggling over some ranch land and then the lawsuits by those neighbors for exporting Los Osos crap out into their neighborhood...and they will certainly point out the Tri-W site has already been legally permitted for a WWTF...Why should the County now have to pay millions for a large parcel when the Tri-W site is ready to go...???? Ever try to buy a large parcel when everyone knows you are up against a wall and have to buy...??? Just add a few more million as you drive the value up (yup, even in a down market!) Those good ol' boys know exactly what's going on and are already to negotiate...they aren't nearly the bunch of hicks our naive sewer obstructionists would like to believe...

Sewertoons said...

Every acre of prime farm land used at Tonini will require an acre bought elsewhere for mitigation. Cha-ching!

With a property that large, there will be plenty of land to expand the plant and have mini-ranchettes, ag clusters and housing developments hook up - hey, isn't one of those parcels out there already subdivided? Don't worry about the water - with that much money at stake, the water will be found. Hey - a sludge dump for the entire County will look pretty out there!!

Then there is Tri-W. Once build-out is achieved - that's it - no more hook-ups, no subdivisions, no mini ranchettes. Can those things still be built? Of course - it will just be a whole lot harder!

The people who stopped Tri-W - either they want to develop out in the Valley (Jeff Edwards?) with infrastructure in place or ready for expansion, OR they really had no idea what they are bringing to Los Osos.

Sewertoons said...

Here is an interesting thing I just found on the City of Carnation, Washington - they just installed a vacuum system.

December 2, 2008

"City Engineer Hill also reported that the engineers are reviewing the problems with the sewer system startup.The vacuum pumps are running longer than had been anticipated in order to maintain vacuum. An AirVac representative will becoming to Carnation to help identify the problem. There has also been more clogging from debris such as towels and latex gloves than had been expected."

It amazes me that people are so willing to trust a salesman. He is going to give you the best possible pitch on his product and downplay the problems.

Sewertoons said...

Guess I should have added this:

Carnation is a rural Western Washington community of 1,905 residents that is approximately 1.1 square miles in size. The sewer dedication was in May, 2008.

Imagine 4600 hook-ups messing up.

Mike said...

...hmmmm ECOFluid.....????

Watershed Mark said...

USBF™ is a biological process that is a very clever variation of extended aeration/activated sludge that is odorless.
There aren’t any other ea/as designs that can claim to be odorless.

The MBR technology used in the failed Tri-W design must have significant odor controls.
Another significant difference between the failed Tri-W designs and USBF™ with its gravity flow though post membrane design is that the membrane never is in contact with the sludge.

If you had actually read what I sent you Steve, you might have already known that. But we are here now and I am happy to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the technologies still in the race.
The energy consumption between these two MBRs is extreme, so I expect that benefit if USBF™ to continue to create quite a bit of interest.


Any idea why the county’s engineer wanted to overlook such an energy efficient high quality water treatment technology?
I wonder why anyone who claims to be “working wonders with water” would…

Watershed Mark said...

Did you read the Kennedy Jenks report I sent you?

Watershed Mark said...

Thanks for the input. We have been playing with this issue for several months now and everyone just wants it to get over. We may be calling in an outside engineering firm to come in and do the calcs as you have mentioned.
Civilperson, good point about the pumps cycling so often, unfortunately that was a design item that I will look for next time around.
bimr, I am hoping you are wrong about the pipe size, hopefully if we get an outside firm in they will find that pipes are correct or I guess we will have to figure a way to change them. Both pump sets pump the same, and we have checked the valves in the pump house. Yes the checks are spring and we have seen debris already, but not enough to cut us back 140 GPM. Someone said that they thought a regular flapper type valve would beat it's self to death rapidly because it was so close to the pump? We do have flapper checks in the piping from the sump.
The piping from the sump pumps in the wet well is about 40 feet, I guess it is suction line although it runs about 35 PSI when the sump pumps are supplying water to the house pumps which also are running. I do need to have the piping from the sump to the house pumps checked before we do a lot more work (like digging up pipe or running a pig) and I hope we can do that soon.
Everyone who has answered here has been a great help, thanks to all of you

Watershed Mark said...

A forced main sewer was installed on my last job and is having some issues.
The line is about 1.5 miles long and goes from pump station over a small rise and then drops lower than pump station into a draw and then goes up over another hill higher than pump station and then drops into a gravity sewer on the top of the hill, a built in air bleed here. We have one vacumn/air valve at the top of the first hill and a blow out at the lowest point but for some reason no clean outs were installed; deleted through a higher authority so we have what we got.
We have been losing GPM and a slight increase of pressure has occured since start up, about two years ago. A lot of different ideas have come up and a lot of checking of system has been done and all things point to a block in the line.

Dueling posts Lyneete?
Let's get it on...

You really don't need to look any futher than the Men's Colony or doentown SLO.

Watershed Mark said...

kentgolding (Structural) 12 Feb 09 15:51
we have 6" pipe through the pumphouse and where it 90's down to go into the floor and underground outside it goes to 8". I believe we have a 4" to 6" expansion off of the pump. Ductile iron is used through out the system, from the wet well to the gravity sewer (I just tried to shoot a photo of the pump house, not sure if it worked. Sorry my photo program is not working so it is a rather large photo.)

RWF7437 (Civil/Environme) 12 Feb 09 17:54
You've probably already done this but, I would suggest you draw an accurate ( to scale) profile of the force main. Using that, plot the hydraulic grade line based on the original design, i.e. how it was supposed to work. Then plot the HGL of how it actually is working based on your measurements. The difference may give you important clues as to where and what the problem(s) may be.

All this from a 2 year old system Steve, MIKE, Lyneete, after the consulting engineer is goe and the contractor is off the warranty hook.

Be sure to see the photos.

The newspapers just don't do these kind of stories(yet), sorry.

Sewertoons said...

Hi Shark,

You are saying, "Essentially I am saying that the County might be wise to avoid a "to the death" battle with a few folks who have already threatened such if they don't get their way."

Well, I like the word might. But my questions are:

How long can they hold out, how many of them are there, and should we condemn the whole town to a worse solution to try to stop a few whiners? Heck, we've been listening to them for years now - won't they just start to whine about something else anyway? Nothing makes them happy - you give them something and then they jump to something else to whine about. They are going to hate whatever they get! Let's resolve to put up with the whining over the right thing for the community, rather than be silent and miserable over something we don't like either!

Tri-W had been litigated off the map, we have the County to field litigation if there could be one more point even left to litigate and a smart Board majority that won't get sucked into some stupid PZLDF debacle. The whiner's supporters might just back off, leaving the 12 to 15 to hang in the wind. I don't know. It just would not be fair to most people to cave on this issue. But then, it is all up to the County. We are just throwing out opinions!

Realistic1 said...


No matter what happens there will always be those who think the process isn't transparent enough, that there are always "thumbs on the scale", special interests at work, conspiracies in play, blah, blah, blah...all because they aren't getting their technology, their collection system, their pricing.

The County should just lawyer up, fight back and get it done. The prelim survey results are clear enough. Gravity is the preferred collection system and fast tracking the construction of the plant are the two most important things to the survey respondents.

Enough is enough! Let's get on with it.


Did it ever occur to you that only 27% returned the survey because everyone else is just plain sick of the topic and want the County to just do it already?

Sewertoons said...

Hi Realistic1 - I agree with what you have said - in addition, I think some people use these reasons not to attempt get their preferred sewer, but to STALL the process, and CONFUSE the issue, as they really want NO SEWER of ANY type.

Realistic1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Realistic1 said...


Thanks for finishing my thought - you are absolutely correct. In politics and police work it's called "the art of misdirection."

In my world, I call it bull$hit.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

But Realistic ...

If we don't study things for another two years and have another lawsuit or three to delay the project for another three years, I won't be able to avoid paying for a sewer for the next five years which has been my goal all along ... even if it costs *you* more, I can avoid paying which is all that matters.

I also vote against funding the schools if my kids are past school age and against healthcare for the poor folks because I have insurance myself and against migrant farmworker safety laws because I want my food to be less expensive.

I have the right to be selfish, damnit!

Sewertoons said...

It all boils right down to selfishness or insanity (magic sand).

Watershed Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Watershed Mark said...

Steve and Lyneete you really shouldn't be too hard on yourselves.
You have no formal training and no real interest in learning about process or "the process".

"If" after all is said and done the county decides to solve the septic tank discharges problem in LO/BP they really need to do the correct "thing".

On this we can agree. No B$...
Many are now watching that never knew LO/BP ever existed...

Realistic1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

Not to worry folks... Obama's stimulus package is going to save us all...

Unemployment will drop to less than 1%... The Stock Market will rise to record new highs... Morgage Lenders will forgive all late payments and will voluntarily lower all loans by 50% and with a rate of 1% over 40 years.... and all this with no new Taxes...!!!!

Realistic1 said...


Of course, what was I thinking???????

The needs of the ONE (and the snake oil salesmen) outweigh the need of the MANY ...that's the Los Osos way.

Watershed Mark said...

r1: "I call that tall talk for a squeaky little mouse hiding in a closet" ;-)

But seriously if you proud of what you write, why not use your real identity?
Why so afraid?

Realistic1 said...

Call it what you want, Mark. Plenty of people know who I am. If you, ya know, LIVED here - you'd know who I am as well.

I have no knowing who I am is just not on my list of priorities...

Aaron said...

I don't think that identities on the Internet is important. It's what you do with it and it's how you form that identity.

Here are some problems I had with the survey:

If anyone wants to follow along, you can go by the County's March 3rd Powerpoint presentation, which can be found here.

The County decided to release the preliminary results before they accepted the late returns today. It's like tallying up the absentee and early ballots before the November 4th election. That could influence people to vote pursuant to what the majority of those 1,097 (13%) chose. So whether you prefer out-of-town or mid-town, the results may push people to jump the bandwagon.

Question #21 on the survey reads, "How much savings over a Gravity System would a STEP/STEG system have to provide to make it worthwhile?" That question is skewed toward Gravity in terms of savings and cost. Then you see at the very bottom of the graph of page 7, "Prefer STEP/STEG, even with no savings," which assumes that STEP/STEG will have no savings over Gravity.

It's clear that five out of the six options provided accommodate Gravity collection including "No Option," which is still a preference to Gravity but without consideration of savings.

I'd like to remind everyone that these are loose, off-the-cuff observations.

Watershed Mark said...

r1: "You wouldn't want to stay anonymous unless you had something to hide."

Mike said...

Hi Realistic... You're only wasteing your time trying to have a battle of wits with an unarmed Arizona snakeoil salesperson who is only trying to bait you...

...besides it's more fun to laugh at the cosmic gossip columnists lack of understanding that we have all seen through...

Keep smiling and punching holes in the "opinions" expressed in these viewpoints...

alabamasue said...

Hey Mike-
I'm still laughing at your alliterative name for Mark Low. "Arizona Ass" is right on target. I remember, when he first started to pimp his latest, greatest, morphing to this day sewer salvation, he referred to CMC as the "Men's Resort", not having a clue that it was a state prison. Having retired after many years working at that institution, I thought that was hilarious. Some resort! Keep poking holes; you are on the right track.

Watershed Mark said...

I guess ya'll don't get the humor in the term men's colony.
We went around on this way back right Lyneete.

I guess you feel good about hurling you weak insults from your closets.

Great, have fun. Sticks and stones may break bones but names will never hurt me.
The LOSTDEP will yield results some never thought possible.

You are all so very entertaining, so I guess we shall continue to continue.
Fun huh?
I love LO

Mike said...

Good Morning Alabamasue... You are so right on refering to the Arizona Ass as a "pimp"... It is incredulous that an individual pretending to be a "sales person" could become so obsessed in a Market that will not buy whatever latest "product" being hawked... A normal person would have listened to the market and realized that the market had turned it's back on those "products" and would have moved to a more receptive market...

...but not that "pimp", so blinded at being unable to sell one of his whores, that he has stupidly become one and propositions anyone who would turn an ear... All his "braying" have been for naught as his propositons became insults and eventually will turn to lawsuits... The County is not blind to the Arizona Ass, they have just chosen to ignore his "unusual" marketing style... The County Engineers working on this project know far more than that the jackass will ever know about what will work in Los Osos... They know that no system will be 100% perfect, but they do know how to apply the latest piping and treatment methods... They don't need a sewer pimp with no education to provide some divine guidance... He is nothing more than an Al Barrow ranting and raving about things he only knows a very little about...

Most of us on this blog and who actually live and pay our property taxes here have laughed at his antics and moved on... We sent in our Surveys and support the County in whichever direction they will take this sewer... but we will see a sewer and we will see our drinkng water protected...

And thanks to the sewer obstructionists, we will see major housing developed around Los Osos as the economy recovers... it may take several years, but we will survive and we will recover...

Watershed Mark said...

Wrong again MIKE.
You are dreaming.

The process is far from over and I like surprise endings, don't you?

Why would anyone who claims to be "working wondere with water" not be looking at better technology?
Why wouldn't you?

Come on out of that closet so we can discuss it man to man or man to woman as the case may be.

Same goes for r1 and abs.
Ask Lyneete and Steve and r, it doesn't hurt a bit, right guys?

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Here's the funny thing, Mark ...

You say it doesn't hurt, but some of what has been written here has been rather threatening. People have written comments here which some would reasonably be considered threats against my family, my kids and my employment.

I still think that a person should have the right to be anonymous if they would like.

Mike said...

Correct Shark... You certainly have been threatened, which you already know is why I'm also in here... Outsiders like WM are simply sheep being led by the "opinions" of some of the nastiest folks my family and I have had the unfortunate happenstance to have been accosted by...

Truthfulness and follwing the law never has been bothered them, simply their extreme opinions that they and only they are right...!!! They will not ever listen to anything they don't want to hear... These people still reside in Baywood/Los Osos and live only to prevent any sewer, anywhere in Los Osos...

Aaron said...

Don't you guys think we should focus more on the issue than the person bringing up the issue?

"Arizona Ass," "pimp"... it all sounds like a message written by a manic-depressed 16-year-old girl on MySpace.

Watershed Mark said...

Seems that being anonymous gives some, who attempt to hide behind it, courage to say and do things they would otherwise not do.

My invitation to come out and discuss issues face to face using our real identities like Aaron, Ann, r and myself is simply to keep the discussion honest.
Maria Kelly was honest in that she used her own identity when she misspoke and then removed her statement instead of defending it.

I would think that MIKE, abs and r1 would be a little more civil if they had their actual “skin” in this blog.
Lyneete and Steve were unwillingly ousted from their ramparts, yet still don’t stand up and enable access to their Profile.

I see from Steve’s and MIKE’s comments that they are living in fear.
Too bad as that is a terrible way to live life in these United States of America.

I still maintain: "You wouldn't want to stay anonymous unless you had something to hide."

I agree with Aaron about raising the level of discourse.

Your President said...

Regardless if 35% answer the survey according to Daniel Press's take, late of the CCRWQCB, there would be that 65% who didn't answer the question(s)and that's not a very good response. When your talking hundreds of millions of dollars I would think we would want at least a 50% response. But there are those for the sake of expediency who would pay for a Rolls Royce when a Ford Fusion Hybrid would do the job for less and with less pollution and a smaller carbon foot print. Now don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of Step because of the on lot cost to the home owner. But the more I look into the vacuum system and the advantages communities across the nation and the world have touted I am more convinced that vacuum did not get a fair evaluation in the rough screening. For every 4 lift station for gravity you only need one vacuum station. That also equals out to 4 less aux. power generators. With this project having 20 gravity lift stations you can see the saving in capital cost and power usage. You only need to bury the Vacuum pipes 3 to 5 feet. Another huge cost saving. On lot cost included. O&M cost are also less than Gravity as well as less lift stations to service. Zero I/I especially in high water areas. No man hole covers and accompanying pipe works. I could go on and on but if you aren't listing you won't reap the rewards. Look it up for yourselves or continue to wear blinders. Add ADS/Nelson ponds and watch the cost plummet. You don't have to be an expert in wastewater systems you just have to be able to read and do the math.
And a word about process. If you don't like the process change your government. Elect people that will write legislation that keeps the people out of the process so you can be ruled by and not served by the agencies and institutions we create. If people weren't so busy trying to circumvent the process for expediency sakes then the delays would be next to nil. Besides, Paavo Ogren already stated that since the county began the 2701 process no individual or group has delayed this process. You can't be an obstructionist if nothing has been obstructed.
'nuff said.

GetRealOsos said...


You whine: "People have written comments here which some would reasonably be considered threats against my family, my kids and my employment."

,,,yeah, right. Threats to your kids and family?!?

Just more spinning from the spin master!

To: Your President:

Right on! And no jack hammers for years. These idiots here just want Montgomery Watson Harza and nothing will get in their way. It doesn't matter how bad and out-dated gravity really is or that with all that noise they won't be able to talk on the phone, watch TV, hear themselves think etc. for years. They won't be able to park on their street, have to go to the Post Office to pick up their mail. Oh boy!

Before 2701 was written, the plan was for the same system, same contractors, etc. etc.


Maybe Blakeslee and Gail got their "expandable out-of-town" plant for their developer friends, but it was always MWH.

Now, Sam and Gail were smart. They got the PZ to pay for 640 acres and an expandable plant!

The PZ will pay for everything! ...NO PROBLEM!

Sewertoons said...

What ? "Your President" ISN'T standing up for ECOfluid as being less costly for treatment?!

Maybe YP can explain how the pit shared by several homes -- the only way to keep the cost down -- would be acceptable in Los Osos? Your neighbor screws up the system that you share - but you all get to pay to fix it? Maybe YP can explain where a retrofit of this size exists in California - no, I'll be nice, make that the whole US. OK, I'll be even nicer, make that a NEW installation for a town this big anywhere in the US. Now THAT would get my attention. I don't want LO to be an experiment. It would be nice if this town of 14,600 that you find has a system that was operational for a few years too, just so we can see the O & M charges over time. I believe the TAC when they ruled this out ages ago as not being viable for Los Osos. It would be nice to find that magic bullet - but it does not exist.

As to obstructionists, AB2701 became law in 2007. We just started 2009. Nothing has moved forward, so no lawsuits --yet. If YP doesn't get vacuum evaluated the way he/she wants -- do we have a future obstructionist giving us a warning? Pardon me if I seem a little nervous - uh, YP, do YOU LIVE in the PZ? (And expediency is driven by the Water Board.)

GetRealOsos said...


We all know who you work for, so you can stop your spin because how can anyone take you seriously?

The (state) water board gave out an unsecured loan. The water board knew and let the Morro Bay pipes leak like crazy while giving out CDO's in LO to scare people into a positive 218 vote (still with no proof of pollution.)

Dr. T is THE expert, and he did not like gravity in this sand, with earthquakes, in these hills AND SAID SO. We are on a sand dune, you dummy! Our own engineer preferred Step with Ponds over gravity. So, who are you? You are no expert.

But, please, Lynette, keep promoting your rotten to the core project, as your husband (along with Maria's) benefit greatly.

I love how Cal Poly rewarded Chip from the Tribune for his dirty work to push for the big sewer. How much is he making now? $120 grand a year -- and all for his mis-reporting, non-reporting, spin, and lies. He never printed a word about CDO's, did he???

Well, Lynette, you and Maria and your gravity gang will have to live with yourselves when the town is wiped out by putting in (MWH's) most expensive sewer possible. You can't say that you didn't know. You do know.

You call truth and justice seekers obstructionists because that's what you're told to say. Another lie. Pandora's lie.

Pandora was the obstructionist when she conned the people of LO to form a CSD to build and pay for the sewer.

The County couldn't pull it off. They could not use the health & safety issue to get around having a 218 vote. Pandora saved the day for the County, but she has to live with what she's done to so many. So does Gail. Both did so much damage. The County did quite a bit of damage too and committed fraud.

The truth will come out and the County's actions will be exposed, as will the actions of the State Water Board and their collusion with Montgomery-Watson-Harza!

GetRealOsos said...

Oh, and Lynette, one more thing: You said, "I don't want LO to be an experiment."

Well, I've got news for you. Gravity will be an experiment as will the Broderson site for disposal!

...but, of course, Paavo said he'd worry about that later...

(just like the BOS said about the mercury water they're building a pipeline for!!!)

Sewertoons said...

GRO - the ORIGINAL, the TRUE OBSTRUCTIONISTS were the people who voted down the County sewer project when, with federal money, it was almost FREE. We have them to thank for this mess, first and foremost. So as we can see from history, each sewer version, DESPITE WHAT PEOPLE SAY, will be more expensive. Let's not forget our history and stop obstructing. It is OUT OF OUR HANDS ANYWAY. But if it makes you FEEL better to moan and groan - have fun. I'm enjoying your ramblings - for entertainment purposes.

M said...

When exactly was the vote for an almost free sewer system? I have been through this entire ordeal and I sure don't remember voting down an almost free sewer system.
Sincerely, M

Watershed Mark said...

As you have lived in LO for (only) four years and you have demonstrated you are unable to grasp even the fundamentals of wastewater technology, I sincerely doubt your ability to be the town historian and "labeler". Stop trying to obstruct truth.

Soon I'll shoot you a copy of the detailed billing invoices for over three million dollars worth of "consulting".
Then you will have something to actually apply yourself to, instead of all the retro politics that will not change anything.

Be here now...

Please stop trying to spin, it makes you look loony toons.

TCG said...

The election that lead to the downfall of the County's low-cost, grant eligible project was the one that installed Bud Laurent as County Supervisor over Bill Coy, who had worked very hard with the regulatory agencies for funding support. Mr. Laurent did everything possible to obstruct the project and delay it for what has now become decades. Kind of like the post-recall CSD Board.

Sewertoons said...

Thank you TCG - that was somewhere around 1983, wasn't it? Does anyone recall Bud Laurent's campaign? What was he promising? Why did his viewpoint prevail?

TCG said...

Laurent lead the "no sewer is necessary" campaign. He had the County doing nitrate studies to try and convince the RWQCB that the pollution level didn't warrant a sewer system. The results were, obviously, unconvincing but the delay costs us funding opportunities and added many millions to the project cost.

Sewertoons said...

Ahhhh. Thank you once again TCG. With some of the opinions out there today - sounds like Laurent has some ardent followers still.

Watershed Mark said...

You are ready for duty.
I’m just kidding...It’s just that you are so predictable and uniformed.

GetRealOsos said...


Didn't you see the memo from the RWQCB stating the pollution in the wells were from surface run off?

Didn't you see the memo from Gordon and Stan stating a plant would do nothing for 30 years if ever?

Didn't you see the memo from the USEPA saying that all tests were inconclusive and more tests needed to be done?

Don't you realize that if what the experts said is true and that the nitrates are from natural sources (vegetation and animals) that a plant wouldn't do anything about nitrates?

And that Golden State removes nitrates? And that as far as groundwater that it's the State's water and they benefit and should pay their fair share for the sewer?

Don't you know that nitrates are valued in Europe and other countries?

I know the county will build it's monster sewer because MWH needs the money and the kick backs from them have probably been paid with more to come. They need to cover up the old bad project anyway.

And you think the County has done such a great job! It's been stated in writing a few times by them that they planned on gravity and the same contractors from the beginning. They wasted millions of dollars for a dog and pony show to trick the PZ into thinking that they really had a choice.

What a scandal!

Sewertoons said...

GRO, please point me to that RWQCB memo.

I didn't see a memo from Gordon and Stan, they TOLD me that information - and that is true now too. The best predictions for recharge without injection wells is Broderson and it will take a long, long time to stop the advancement of saltwater intrusion. We really messed up, didn't we?

If we want to have any water left in the lower aquifer we need to act now. More tests are not needed. Emerging contaminants, while only in small quantities, are now in the upper aquifer. Those chemicals are from humans. Think with the million gallons of polluted water we soak into the ground daily, that the nitrates have vanished into the magic sand?

Golden State will be removing nitrates, they aren't doing it yet. The sewer must be in to allow them to do it. Oh and their customers are paying for it, too.

Nitrates have never been valued in drinking water.

Please explain how MWH "covers up" the old project?

Hope you are enjoying your scandal.

Prefix528 said...


If we are going to have a conspiracy we need to pay some attention to dates.

The RWQCB ban on septic tanks was in 1983. The Clean Water Act which funded 75% of wastewater plant construction was phased out in 1987.

Bud Laurent became supervisor in 1990. He supported CSD formation (but then most of Los Osos did too). It was an earlier generation of sewer warriors that delayed construction until the opportunity for federal support was lost.

Sewertoons said...

Thank you for the history Prefix528 - the more facts we get in the open, the better the understanding becomes.

Sewertoons said...

Did Laurent work for the County prior to becoming a Supe? Who were the sewer activists that delayed this to the point of losing the funds?

Realistic1 said...

Whoa, Prefix!

If this is true, then what you're saying is that Pandora isn't to blame? That there was a generation of obstructionists before her?

Heaven above! What's Ron gonna write about now that his very reason for living has been debunked?

Watershed Mark said...

Because there is so much mis and dis information regarding what is legal and what is not.

The WaterBoard does not regulate drinking water, that is up to "Health Departments".

The Environmental Protection Agency has set a drinking water limit at 45 parts per million (ppm) . The law says that no public water supply can exceed this limit.

Watershed Mark said...

Lyneete, You want a leaky gravity sewer in your aquifer but don't want Nitrates in you drinking water.

Unfortunately you cannot have both.

Watershed Mark said...

r1: p hasn't debunked anything.

Watershed Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prefix528 said...

The group litigating the project was Citizens for an Affordable Wastewater System (CAWS). Members would have been identified in the multiple court cases that were filed but that was before everything was posted on the web. It would take old fashioned research to identify who was involved.

A history of the project written in 1993 is available at.

Ron places Pandora on the scene in 1997-1998 (his Grand Jury Complaint). How she inspired CAWS to commence litigation five years earlier has not yet been disclosed. Even more in need of investigative exposé are the duplicities that led Pandora to publicly state that continued litigation by CAWS and CASE has inflated the cost of a treatment system. See:

M said...

Seems like I remember reading that she was Bud Laurents campaign manager or publicity director or something. That would seem to date her influence even further back than one might think.
Sincerely, M

Churadogs said...

TCG sez:"Laurent lead the "no sewer is necessary" campaign. He had the County doing nitrate studies to try and convince the RWQCB that the pollution level didn't warrant a sewer system. The results were, obviously, unconvincing but the delay costs us funding opportunities and added many millions to the project cost."

If memory serves, Percy Garcia ran the pizeometer (sp?) tests under three leach fields. Apparently that had never been done before, and Surprise! contrary to the prevailing wisdom that nitrates go directly down untouched (a statement made by Matt thompson, under oath, during the RWQCB's Mad Hatter Tea Party Kangaroo Trials of the Los Osos 45) they found OOOPS! What's THIS??? denitrification taking place, even in standing ground water. Surprise all around. The problem, however, became clear with those tests was that what was at work was a basin loading situation and in too many spots, a lack of sufficient vados zone for further denitrificaiton. Which is something I've always found interesting. If indeed this was a basin loading problem, then a line on a map, i.e. the PZ, is the wrong thing to do. But, of course, the RWQCB ignored the tests and the implicaitons of the test. They wanted the town sewered. Period.

M sez:"Seems like I remember reading that she was Bud Laurents campaign manager or publicity director or something."

Yes, if memory serves, Pandora was Bud's campaign manager.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...


There is something interesting about the soils in Los Osos ... sand on top of clay and when wet, clay acts like concrete, causing water to flow over the surface instead of going straight down. I don't know that denitrification would be occurring all over the place, but during the rainy season, I suspect that many of the leach fields don't drain down but instead it probably heads toward the bay.

Mark will now most likely chime in and say that I don't have proof (grin).

Watershed Mark said...

Leach field are sub surface. You are incorrectly applying inaccurate rehtoric, again.

It amazes me how Chatty Kathy you are as you seek to spread misinformation.

It may not even be intentional but pathological.

Realistic1 said...

OMG, Mark.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

You are a piece of work.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...


Go back and re-read what I wrote again. If I used the word "surface" in a way you misunderstood, I apologize.

Now that you've re-read my comment, you may now apologize for reading into my words a meaning which I did not put there.

Whether you do so or not will be a test of your character and intelligence for all to see.

Watershed Mark said...

You wrote when it rains leach fields don't work as designed.

And you are testing me?

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...


I did not write that leach fields don't work as designed. I wrote: "There is something interesting about the soils in Los Osos ... sand on top of clay and when wet, clay acts like concrete, causing water to flow over the surface instead of going straight down. I don't know that denitrification would be occurring all over the place, but during the rainy season, I suspect that many of the leach fields don't drain down but instead it probably heads toward the bay.

Again, this is a test of whether you will insist that your misinterpretation of my words is the only reasonable way of understanding what I wrote or whether you can see some flexibility in my choice of the word surface. This is all to say again ... are you gonna apologize?

Watershed Mark said...

Steve, You are making yet another unsubstantiated rhetorical statement. Unless and until you cite some factual basis for your statement, it isn’t worth discussing.
It is your credibility on line not mine.

Watershed Mark said...

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

I'm not gonna waste my time backing up an offhand comment I made. If I was wrong, it was an offhand comment and no big deal. If you want to spend time showing I was mistaken, great and if I was wrong, that would be awesome. We'll deal with it if you take the time to demonstrate my error. Hell, I'll admit it now, I may have been mistaken about the aquifer Phoenix using being in overdraft. I might have been thinking of some other town. Big deal.

Just Spin Baby...

9:40 AM, March 10, 2009

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Okay then, Mark ... I gave you your chance to apologize for reading something into my words ... you chose not to do so.

Let's revisit my use of the word "surface". I wrote "There is something interesting about the soils in Los Osos ... sand on top of clay and when wet, clay acts like concrete, causing water to flow over the surface (of the clay> instead of going straight down. I don't know that denitrification would be occurring all over the place, but during the rainy season, I suspect that many of the leach fields don't drain down but instead it probably heads toward the bay."

This clarification of my words shows both my intent and that Mark was misunderstanding my words when he wrote that leach fields are sub-surface. Not a big deal, really, but I find it rather telling that instead of going back and re-examining my statement and his inaccurate conclusion, he got all huffy and defensive and offensive and then relied on his standard "prove it" line.

Oh well, in Mark's desire to make me look bad, he was too anxious and didn't read carefully. This is neither here nor there other than it reflects interesting characteristics about Mark's personality.

Watershed Mark said...

There is nothing incorrect about my conclusions so stop your whining.
You make yourself look bad as you are commenting on topics you do not understand.
Play with yourself from now on, unless you have something you can actually back up with fact.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...


You wrote that I made a mistake and that leach fields are sub surface. Well, yes, they are below the ground. On the other hand, I did not say they were above ground, just that water effluent heading down thru the sandy soil would hit a clay barrier and then travel laterally.

What is funny is that you think that it is I who don't understand what I meant or that I am wrong about these statements.

My gosh you're willing to go to great length to avoid the embarrassment of admitting you were wrong!

Watershed Mark said...

Wrong again Steve.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...


If you, king of "prove it" don't demonstrate that I am wrong, we will reasonably conclude that you are blowing smoke and that you've got nothing to back up your "Wrong again Steve" remark ... indeed that I am right.

That being said, prove it, Mark.

Watershed Mark said...

Snark, It's your point you prove it.
Don't waste your time, you are wrong.
Drainfields operate as designed when it rains.

Give it up, you continue to act you do not want to uderstand process...

Watershed Mark said...

Give it up, you continue to act a if you do not want to understand process...You act like you want a friend or something I can't give you.
Go throw the ball with your children or maybe fly a kite, I hear it's a little windy in LO today.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Now Mark is telling us that clay soil isn't hydrophobic when wet.

If the good Dr. Ruehr were still alive, he and I would have a good laugh.

I'm done.

Watershed Mark said...

The fool does finally, what the wise man does at once.