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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Graywater's Coming! Greywater's Coming! Maybe

Mark your calendars: From the Sierra Club's Newsletter: There'll be a Graywater Workshop/info program that will cover the "do's and don'ts and maintenance programs and will evaluate the costs, complexity and environmental footprint of various systems."

"Gray water systems turn a waste product that can comprise up to 80% of residential wastewater into a valuable resource for irrigation and other non-potable uses. Harvesting graywater to meet your non-potable water needs utilizes and appropriate technology taha can recover initial costs quickly. No permit required. "

The Sierra Club has copies of the "San Luis Obispo Guide to The Use of Graywater" for $10 each while supplies last. You can E-mail kim.sierraclub@gmail.com or call (805) 543-2717 to reserve your copy.


The workshops will run from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. (presentations 5:30 - 7:30)
Local contractors and vendors wil be present with tables of information
Light refreshments will be served.

Morro Bay:
Tuesday, Nov 10
Morro Bay Vets Hall
$5 suggested contribution at the door, no one will be turned away
$10 Graywater Guides will be available for only $5 for the first 30 buyers!

Atascadero (co-sponsored by the City of Paso Robles and TCSD)
Thursday, Dec 10
Atascadero City Council Chambers
Free at the door

57 comments:

Sewertoons said...

Let's see if they address the empty spots in their plan that were discussed in the Water Ops Committee. Los Osos isn't Atascadero or any where else, and some very specific issues arose that they did not address in their prior information.

Alon Perlman said...

Great news.
These things do tend to get to be Yuppie Egofests, but Mikals Gray Water Manual does need promotion.
It's also available at Green goods 1 block north on Higera from opposite the DMV, and adjacent to Chumash village park.
I tried to get the manual promoted in other ways.
we'll see how that turns out (It's like tending a garden of persistant weeds)
80% of water not going into Gravity pipes? Don't trust anything you read on the Blogs. Actually the limiting factor is in "Individual Compliance". Not everyone or say no more than 20% max of houses will act.
Best use of an Individual Gray-Water system I've seen in Los Osos-
Al Barrow's duplex, (but Alon, You said Al... I callz zem as I seeum)

Just read tooncers; They have a Plan?
besides who are "They"?.
I do agree there has been a tendency to hyper promote out of town Gurus without discrimination to the affect of taking things that a good fit somewhere else and shoe horning concepts that have little applicability to the Los Osos unique situation.
Can you blame them? They love their new toys.
Word verification; nablemas
Spanish for; problems caused by people who cannot accept personal responsibility.

Watershed Mark said...

Read all about it here: Grey Water Information Central

Alon Perlman said...

Yep Mark, It's Art Ludwig's site. Easy to read,
"Grey water use yields the satisfaction of taking responsibility for the wise husbandry of an important resource."
Hmmmmm. I'm getting that warm fuzzy feeling again...

On an off topic Matter-"Corrigada" To Today's BOS meeting set to resume in an hour. Closed Session; Barrow VS County SLO.

On a matter previously mentioned. A letter from CCC is on the agenda Board of Supervisors today.
"d) Direct staff to set a public hearing for November 24, 2009 to consider issues of appeals identified in a letter dated October 20, 2009 from Charles Lester, Senior Deputy Director of the California Coastal Commission. "

Word verification; gumen
As in "Wartch yer lo-kal gumen in-action raht on yer terlivizen ar yer computerator".

Second word verification; speel
As in LT toons; Give us the Shpeel on what the CSD Water committee was about, speel those beens.

Alon Perlman said...

Sorry for failure of above link, hope this works.
Board of sups. current meeting agenda Item F-1

http://slocounty.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=55&meta_id=158972

Computers; THEY HAVE TO HAVE EVERYTHING "THEIR WAY", NO NEGOTIATION, NO FOREGIVENESS, IT'S DOWNRIGHT INHUMAN

Ron said...

"No permit required"

"Grey water," or, as the RWQCB calls it in Los Osos: "Illegal discharge"

What's the deal there? Can Los Osos do grey water, or not?

Because, if it can, then what I call "the County's worse case scenario" is going to materialize, just like I predicted.

Imagine this scenario:

AFTER the sewer system is built, someone like a Ms. Van Stone (sorry, I didn't catch her first name), who spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting where the Board approved the project, and offered to be a "test case" for a composting toilet system, says to themselves, "Hey, what was that SewerWatch guy saying about composting toilets? Something about page 6, and Item 19?"

And then that person prints out page 6 of the RWQCB's Item 19, and installs an "advanced" composting toilet system, and then successfully argues for an exemption to the Prop 218 vote because of a "no benefit" argument, and then gets past the RWQCB using the, "Hey, it (composting toilets) was their (the staff of the RWQCB's) idea," argument, and then also goes the grey water route, which will mean that they will be able to fill in their septic tank with sand, and instantly be 100-percent in compliance with 83-13 (because their septic tank is now filled with sand, aka: "decommissioned"), then EVERYONE in Los Osos will do the exact same thing (again, just like I predicted), because the more people that get that exemption means that the non-composting toileters will have to pay more for the sewer system, until EVERYONE will be forced to go the composting toilet/grey water route, or pay a gazillion dollars a month just to flush with water -- and there will be a $160 million sewer system in Los Osos that no one will need to hook up to... or pay for.

That's what I call "the County's worse case scenario."

Ms. Van Stone, you have a friend in SewerWatch.

If you're serious about being a "test case" for composting toilets, please make SewerWatch your first stop, and I'll set you up with some nice, tight arguments, using the RWQCB's own documents.

Sewertoons said...

Er ron, just what alternative universe is going to issue that composting toilet permit to Ms. Van Stone? Allowable gray water does not come from sinks, so which alternative universe gets that leftover water since your septic tank is now full of sand? Presumably that universe is out of the basin, so you will run into a problem there with the Coastal Commission, which is not in an alternative universe. ron, you really didn't think this through, did you?

Churadogs said...

I will have to hope that the Morro Bay forum will discuss the "special case" of Los Osos. And I will have to presume that the state laws now permitting greywater will also have "special cases" in them for areas where ZERO DISCHARGE means ZERO DISCHARGE, otherwise we'll see another DUELING AGENCIES go to war to see whose turf is owned by whom.

Ron said...

'toons wrote:

"Er ron, just what alternative universe is going to issue that composting toilet permit to Ms. Van Stone?"

The alternative universe of page 6 in Item 19, where the staff of the RWQCB all but raves about composting toilets.

As I first exposed:

---
[All bolding mine]
Require Alternative Waste Disposal Units – The Regional Board could (through General Waste Discharge Requirements, Cleanup and Abatement Orders, or Cease and Desist Orders) require use of alternative waste disposal units.

Advanced treatment units (for improved effluent quality), portable toilets and/or composting toilets (for reduced discharges, as discussed in previous section regarding prohibiting black water discharges) could be required. Such units could be required for existing discharges using Cleanup and Abatement or Cease and Desist Orders, or for new discharges using General Waste Discharge Requirements.

Pros: For those existing discharges where such alternatives are implemented, water quality improvement will occur. If General Waste Discharge Requirements are adopted by the Regional Board which authorize development of vacant lots, then this method may also provide benefits similar to those described under the 'Rescinding Resolution No. 83-13' section above.

Cons: Widespread implementation of this alternative would result in more costly waste treatment [Note: That's not accurate] and less effective water quality protection [Note: That's not accurate] than that offered by the community sewer. However, it remains one of the few alternatives, which can result in water quality improvement and is not subject to Coastal Commission approval.
---

There's your "permit."

"Advanced" composting toilets are "one of the few alternatives, which can result in water quality improvement and is not subject to Coastal Commission approval."

"Water quality improvement will occur."

And that's from the staff of the RWQCB.

Hey, if they like them, I love them... especially if it means that I don't have to drive over potholes in the Santa Margarita outback because the money that should be fixing them is going to Los Osos.

So, Los Ososans, here's what you need to do: Without ever contacting a government official (because they are just going to give you the run-around), print out page 6 of Item 19, then go online and order your composting toilet system, install it, then go to one of those greywater meetings, and get yourself hooked up with a tight greywater system, then fill your septic tank with sand.

Congratulations! You are now 100-percent 83-13 compliant.

And, after you do that, if the Regional Water Quality Control Board still wants to come after you for doing the right thing, and improving Water Quality, well, that'd certainly be a hilarious situation, wouldn't it? And it'd also probably get a little bit of press.

Imagine this headline in the L.A. Times:

State Water Quality Boards Punish Citizens For Improving Water Quality

Speaking of the Times, here's an interesting little article from someone who did exactly what I suggest... just go and buy a composting toilet, and put it in.

There is absolutely NOTHING stopping a property owner in Los Osos from doing that right now... today.

Then, get your tight greywater system, fill your septic tank with sand, and away you go.

OR, how's this?

Los Osos should wait until AFTER the $160 million sewer system is built, and THEN put my composting toilet idea to the test.

How very "Los Osos."

(By the way, of course, what I meant in my post above was worst-case scenario.)

Time to go drive over many, many potholes... that $250,000 would fix.

Watershed Mark said...

Hey, if they like them, I love them... especially if it means that I don't have to drive over potholes in the Santa Margarita outback because the money that should be fixing them is going to Los Osos.

BAM!

Los Osos should wait until AFTER the $160 million sewer system is built, and THEN put my composting toilet idea to the test.

How very "Los Osos."

DOUBLE BAM!!

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"Congratulations! You are now 100-percent 83-13 compliant."

However, your property is still assessed for $25,000 for, what? You'll have a compost toilet, greywater the rest and you'll STILL be paying $250 a month for a sewer system and if you want to opt out you'll have to pay gazillions to a lawyer to take the issue to court and I'm betting that the court will find that as a homeowner in the PZ, you're "receiving a benefit" in "clean water" and because "everyone knows that sewers are better and increase property values over septic/compost systems" so you'll have to pay for a "service" you don't need since that's just the way things are done. And/or the RWQCB can introduce another "stealth basin amendment" eliminating ANY GREYWATER at all, i.e. zero discharge means zero discharge, then issue a CAO on your home, physically hook you up to the sewer then send you the bill for doing so. And so forth.

No, the RWQCB want's the PZ sewered and it has nothing to do with polluting the waters of the state of California.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"... you're "receiving a benefit" in "clean water"..."

Does that mean that the Los Osos property owners outside of the PZ will be assessed for the project as well?

Hey, they'll be receiving the "benefit" of clean water.

"However, your property is still assessed for $25,000 for, what? You'll have a compost toilet, greywater the rest and you'll STILL be paying $250 a month for a sewer system and if you want to opt out you'll have to pay gazillions to a lawyer to take the issue to court"

All of that is exactly why LO needs a test case.

Get yer composting toilet. Get yer greywater system. Fill yer septic tank with sand, and then sit back and see what the RWQCB says. There's a slight chance that they could come to their senses, see how politically disastrous it'd be for a candidate Brown to do this:

State Water Quality Boards Punish Citizens For Improving Water Quality

... and just say something like, "Zero discharge out of your septic tank? You're good to go."

OR, the PZ could do this: Wait until AFTER the project is built, and hope that someone doesn't do exactly what I'm saying. Or, as I like to call it, the "Los Osos way."

"Let's just make up a "strongly held community value" on why our sewer plant needs to be built in the middle of town, and then hope that some smart-ass reporter doesn't catch on to the fact that we just made it up."

Ah, the Los Osos way... good times... good times...

Mike said...

Jump right in Ron.... but you have to understand that the COST of the TEST CASE rests solely on YOUR shoulders... The citizens of Los Osos have been bilked at least once by the Gail led PZLDF and Schicker's CSD into paying the legal fees on one bogus lawsuit already...

...but you sound like just the right smart-ass to try out the test.... WHAT...??? Ron Crawford does NOT actually live or pay property taxes in Los Osos...???? OMG... just another sidelines cheerleader....!!!!! Does that make you "smart" or just and "ASS"....????

Ron said...

Mike wrote:

"Jump right in Ron.... but you have to understand that the COST of the TEST CASE rests solely on YOUR shoulders"

Fair enough.

Tell ya what I'll do... since Mike's just going to whine, I'll contact a composting toilet manufacturer, and explain to them that a town needs a test case for a composting toilet, and, if the test case is successful, that manufacturer will be able to sell many, many, many units in that town, so I bet I could get a CT manufacturer to donate a nice unit.

Same with a greywater system.

Give me a week or two, and I should have a FREE composting toilet system, and a FREE greywater system ready for whoever wants to be the test case -- preferably a small household (2 people), and at least one of them is a lawyer.

I can almost hear all of those potholes being filled in now... now that Los Osos won't be taking all of SLO County's road money to pay for their mega-sewer.

Alon Perlman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alon Perlman said...

Aaaaaand back to the topic,

Graywater Obispo Style
San Luis Obispo County Guide to using Graywater:

Download it for free, save a tree!

Mikal’s Gray Water Manual does need promotion.
It's also available at Green Goods 1 block north on Higera from opposite the DMV, and adjacent to Chumash village park. 10.00 $

Sewertoons said...

Doesn't the COUNTY have to issue a permit for a composting toilet? Or do you advocate putting one in and letting them find out later?

Sewertoons said...

I admit, I only skimmed the report Alon cites.

Maybe someone will comment on these questions of mine:

1. Will the no washing machine water with dirty diaper rule be observed? What if you only wash diapers part of the time?

2. Let's say you sell you gray water plumbed house to someone who isn't ecologically minded. Will these no-no's be followed?

 Bleaches or softeners
 Detergents that advertise whitening, softening, and enzymatic powers
 Detergents with the following ingredients: boron, borax, chlorine, bleach, petroleum distillers, sodium and peroxygen
 Products designed to open clogs without scrubbing
 Water softeners that use sodium chloride

I am looking at my detergent bottle right now. It says, "CONTAINS NO PHOSPHATE." Lower down it says, "Ingredients include biodegradable surficants (anionic and nonionic) and enzymes." Is this detergent OK? How would I know?

3. What you do with graywater if we are having heavy rains and the ground is already saturated since clearly you cannot store it?

4. How do you "scrub" a clog?

5. How do these various options apply to 25' lot sizes where the hose covers most of the lot and the thin strips left are right next to their neighbor's houses? I don't see that they will work. Will people on these size lots "get" this won't work for them without someone actually saying to them - "Don't"?

Sewertoons said...

Well gang, I have been banned from the RAZOR! Please go over there and see what I have done that was so incredibly offensive - unless my posts have all been erased…

After reading the rules where Aaron asked me to, (No spamming, No trolling, No harassment) I asked what I had done -- as it seemed that 3 my 3 posts in a row about septics being banned in parts of Malibu by the RWQCB had triggered Aaron's upset (in the last post all I did was thank my Mom for calling me with that news for heaven's sake).

Now Dave D. also did 3 posts in a row, but this didn't upset Aaron so I asked why, and was BANNED! I'm guessing something else I did made him mad, but chose to hide the explanation in some gobbledegook about his rules.

I will admit that some of my posts could be called harassment by some, but by comparison to Aaron's articles it would be with a lower case "h" where Aaron himself writes about people he doesn't like in all CAPS, metaphorically speaking!

I'll miss you Lisa Klump and Dave D.! Adios!

PS I am taking a class at Cuesta and am in the computer lab a lot - so I may be back as I will be a little hard to trace over there. Ta-ta!

Aaron said...

I don't know what's worse: acting immaturely on a blog not related to Calhoun's Cannon or posting about being banned on a CC article that has nothing to do with being banned from my site (Sierra Club's Graywater Workshop/info program).

I'm not going to explain in the finest detail why you were banned given that (1) this is Ann's blog, not The Razor and (2) your behavior as exhibited in your post illustrates the reasons for making that decision. If you want a full explanation, e-mail me.

You have a proclivity for posting misinformation ("... as it seemed that 3 my 3 posts in a row about septics being banned in parts of Malibu by the RWQCB had triggered Aaron's upset") nor am I really "mad" about anything.

The only thing I'm disappointed about is that you feel it's necessary to air your grievances on an unrelated site nor did you e-mail me and ask for an explanation, which I would be more than happy to provide you at your leisure. You chose to go down that road, not me, but somehow, I'm mysteriously still to blame for your ban. There's no, "Gee, wait a second. Maybe I'm doing something wrong." None of that.

Oh wait, I get it. I'm responsible. I'm responsible for my site business on my site, which you feel obligated to broadcast in a vain attempt to cover up for your shortcomings, your misinformation, your slander, your posturing. At that point, that's where the jurisdiction of my responsibility ends -- and where yours begins.

And way to go for announcing that you're going to come back to the site using Cuesta College computers. Not only does that show a lack of respect for the rules, but also a lack of respect for me and readers who you've often berated anonymously over the years.

Good luck trying to use the Cuesta computers, by the way.

Sewertoons said...

Gee Aaron, just because I can't post doesn't mean I don't want to read! If I can view from Cuesta, I will. Different ISP. Different e-mail login. Are you so controlling that you need to censor who views? Why bother with a blog if you feel that way? You can ban my posting, your prerogative, but banning my viewing is just plain silly - sillier. I won't come back to write under a fake name, don't worry.

Ann, unlike you, is a generous host. And if you were not mad, why did you ban me? As I said, I posted 3 in a row on the Coastal Commission's banning of septics in parts of Malibu - and that set you off - actually, the third post was merely a thank you to my Mom for tipping me off! You scolded me for not following the rules. I looked at your rules and didn't see anything about not talking about Malibu or thanking one's Mom or posting 3 in a row - which another poster had done above mine and there was no censoring of this poster.

No I am not going to e-mail you for an explanation. We could have has a discussion on your site, but you chose not to do that. Where else am I going to air my "grievances" as you put them? I want transparency in our conversation, so all can see what is said. Ann has not deleted what I have said, so here is where we say our last words as I won't impose on her hospitality beyond this.

Thanks Ann.

Aaron said...

I simply asked you if you read the rules and I wanted a yes or no answer. I did not scold you. You didn't answer the question. Instead, you gave me lip and now you're gone, but I'll be more than happy to elaborate the specific reasons.

I respect transparency, which is why I have on the ban page an e-mail address. You can ask for an explanation and I'll provide that for you. That e-mail can be distributed here or anywhere else if you like. I'm not going to bring my site business here.

Instead of talking about it here, e-mail me or I will ask Ann to delete any future posts regarding this issue.

Ron said...

'toons wrote:

"Doesn't the COUNTY have to issue a permit for a composting toilet? Or do you advocate putting one in and letting them find out later?

I am advocating that you print out page 6 of Item 19, and if the county says a word, you shove that in their face.

By the way, I thought of a GREAT idea since yesterday.

I nominate that the test case be our very own "SLO CoastKeeper," Gordon Hensley.

Think about it. It makes sense.

Who better to set an example by taking the initiative to clean the water?

Wait... it gets better.

I also suggest that when it comes to installing the composting toilet system and the greywater system, we enlist the help of "Celebrate Los Osos."

Hey, they have contractors, like former Solution Group member, and former LOCSD Director, Bob Semonsen, helping them out.

So, they'd come in handy for the test case.

They can even hang their huge banner out on front of Gordo's house while they're putting all of that in.

"One friggin' project at a time"

Wait... there's more.

When it comes time to fill Gordon's septic tank with sand, I think it'd be awesome if we turned it into a huge photo-op deal. Pandora could help with the publicity.

Then we could get ALL of the Directors that were involved with the Tri-W groundbreaking "ceremony," hand them some shovels, and do a ceremonial "first scoop of sand in the septic tank decommissioning ceremony."

How sweet would that be?!

Then ALL of us -- Me, Pandora, Stan, Gordon, Richard, Lisa, and Julie -- could hang out, and drink beer, and sing "Kumbaya."

Awesome!

Mike said...

Ah yes, a couple of sideline cheerleaders... Ron and Aaron... a burnt out never has been and an immature kid with dilusions of grandure... now only need a meat salesperson to complete the picture of why Los Osos needed the sewer project ripped from the activists who thought they controlled the community...

All 3 offered no realistic solutions, only tripe in support of mystical, or dare we say drug induced fantacies...

None of Ron's or Aaron's or even the meat sales person's personal opinions mean squat in SLO County's sewer design nor the LO activists dreams of someday managing the design of a sewer system for Los Osos... Nope, the project belongs to SLO County... the rest is pure meaningless BS...!!!

Aaron said...

Mike,

Nobody is listening to you anymore.

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

...apparently YOU, Aaron, are having the problem...

You said that our new GM had been
employed by the County of SLO's BOS, and also referred to him as a city engineer for SLO.

So which is it Aaron? City or County...??? Do you know the difference...???
Here's a clue....Gilmore was never employed by the County.

You, Aaron, are oddly confused regarding city vs county government
structures.

You also fail to point out that instead of 2 employees earning over $100,000 per year in salary and benefits, that the LOCSD is down to one GM... which is a positive direction for the restructuring of a bankrupt CSD. It is about time something positive was being done toward the bankruptcy...

But bottom line, we guess YOU don't understand the structure of special districts and even more specifically the LOCSD.

How embarrassing for YOU...!!!

Who will you blame your lack of knowledge or research on this time...???

Aaron said...

Source: The Razor

The Tribune reported on October 30th that the Los Osos Community Services District is set to pay its new General Manager, W. Dan Gilmore, $90,000 a year during a period when the district is looking to crawl out of bankruptcy.

Former employer is incorrect. You're right on that note. I removed that statement. It was more of a typo on my part.

Again Mike, nobody is really listening to you. You're full of hot air as always.

Mike said...

..typo my butt... YOU are simply an immature little boy with no education or real world experience... simply a sidelines cheerleader...and a poor one at that... Your own blog exposes you as the schoolyard bully... or are you suffering from the mental problems inflicted by a bully...??? Either way, you seem to have a need to create the illusion that you are so how able to interpret the needs of the County and Los Osos... You are not experienced enough for anyone to actually follow or vote for you... You have tried and failed in your attempts to sound like some knowledgeable legal mind... Thank God that there really are some very knowledgeable folks in SLO County... You are just a little boy who doesn't know nearly as much as you like to pretend that you do... You are only fooling yourself...!!!!

Aaron said...

"Little boy," again? The Internet has enough pedophiles and child predators. We don't need any more of them.

Mike said...

...are you trying to be "funny" again...???

Your immaturity shows with every assinine comment you make...

Aaron said...

Asinine is spelled with one s, not two. Freudian slip?

GetRealOsos said...

Mike,

You state, ".... Nope, the project belongs to SLO County..."

Since you are in the "know" -- why don't you explain to all of us why the County hasn't officially accepted the project?

They've (BOS) made many important decisions and sure have spent many millions of dollars........

What's up with that?

Churadogs said...

Mike sez:"None of Ron's or Aaron's or even the meat sales person's personal opinions mean squat in SLO County's sewer design nor the LO activists dreams of someday managing the design of a sewer system for Los Osos... Nope, the project belongs to SLO County... the rest is pure meaningless BS...!!!" and "You are just a little boy who doesn't know nearly as much as you like to pretend that you do... You are only fooling yourself...!!!!" and so forth.


Mike, this is the reason I keep asking ou to go look in the mirror. !!!!!!!!

Toonces sez:"Ann, unlike you, is a generous host."

It's sufferance, and often gets very thin indeed. however, it's not altruistic. I believe in giving people rope so they can go hang themselves, which they keep doing with great regularity. The greater the rope, the louder and more clear that "voice" comes through, the better the reader can make a judgement about the writer, anonymous or not.

Ron sez:" also suggest that when it comes to installing the composting toilet system and the greywater system, we enlist the help of "Celebrate Los Osos."

Bwa-hahahahahah. Waaayyyy Cool doesn't come close to describing THAT photo op!

Toonces sez:"about septics being banned in parts of Malibu by the RWQCB"

What I found interesting in the Sat. Times story on that was they noted that tests were run by some lab at USC (? don't have the paper here) and one other lab which declared the septics weren't causing the pollution (didn't say if they ran isotope studies or DNA on fecal coliform??) and in the same article the RWQCB board member spoke of "sewage running down the street." Sound familiar? It's the old "raw sewage running down the street" language. Fascinating. I wonder if that Board knows as little about how septics operate as our Board does? Remember the infamous photo of a dirt street made during public comment, complete with photo of a Kotex, I believe, thereby implying that we had "raw sewage running down our streets" from our "leaking septics" and the Board sat there and nodded in agreement, instead of saying, HEY, wait a minute, kotex wouldn't be running out of a leach field, it'd be clogging up a leach field, that kotex fell out of a trash can and you're trying to pull a fast one on us. Ah, yes, the old "raw sewage running down the middle of the street." as in, "Pay no attention to what those (air quotes, wink, nudge) "scientific studies" say, everyone KNOWS the pollution's coming from the septics because that's what you get with septic tanks !!!! raw sewage running down the middle of the street !!!!"

But one thing is clear from a brief reading of the Malibu story, it was yet another City/County/RWQCB F*#&#&ed mess as well, with the citizens caught in the middle.

Watershed Mark said...

Why didn't Paavo study vacuum collection in his review of alternatives?

M said...

Mike, could you explain the thinking behind the County allowing 1100 more polluting septic tanks after 8313 was passed? 1100 more tanks to be de-commissioned after the sewer was to be built. How much extra money is involved in this I wonder. Actually, thinking about it, if we had gone to the step/steg system back then, there wouldn't have been nearly as many tanks to replace. I wonder how many of these 1100 permits were for 25' lots.
Sincerely, M

Sewertoons said...

M, I have a suggestion for you. Why don't you write to the Supervisors who were in charge back then and ask them your question.

You might slip a note to ex-Supervisor Bud Laurent while you are at it. In 1995, his tests, supervised by Dr. Ruehr - UNDER THREE septic tanks, and NOT from those tank's LEACH FIELDS where the stuff in the tanks is discharged, showed lower nitrates than at the test wells. Other tests on undeveloped land were misinterpreted to conclude that the native plants were at fault for the nitrates in the soil. Hence the conclusion that we are not polluting was made.

As to the need for tank replacement today, undersizing is an issue, not just failure.

Sewertoons said...

How about this one:

"air quotes, wink, nudge" --a road-kill deer propped up on the Tri-W fence----a wildlife corridor has been closed off and a deer (starved) (died of thirst) (you pick your "anything that sounds bad" reason)!!!!

Aaron said...

I can't make heads or tails out of the Malibu situation. There have been conflicting tests about whether the septics there were polluting or not.

Here are the links to the articles:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-malibu-septic6-2009nov06,0,6007608.story

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/11/hundreds-pack-malibu-septic-tank-hearings-.html

I remember when I was little and I played at one of the beaches in Malibu. The water was contaminated and I have some skin issues on my right hand that appeared ever since I went in the water. I don't know if that's from septic pollution or oil runoff.

Anyway, costs for hooking up to a central sewer there is at $500 a month, twice as much as current SLO County estimates for monthly cost.

Sewertoons said...

Aaron,

Thanks for putting the links I placed on your blog over here.

I'm sure they have their naysayers who came up with tests that show no pollution coming from septics, just like here. They probably even have magic sand. There isn't any industry in Malibu, like a chicken processing plant or beef cattle or any ag to speak of. Oil run-off from . . . ?

Where might the famous outhouse-style Malibu stench be coming from?

Alon Perlman said...

I wrote this several days ago,
it was in response to Lynett's posting on Aarons Blog, then waited when things diverted from the content. I still havent read the articles. There are bound to be topographical diffrences. There are storm water trickles that stink in pacific grove (sewered, some houses >100 years old)
Friday, 06 November, 2009 19.08.00

Without getting into the definition(s) of spamming, I'd say that the last few posts serve neither of you.
I'll read the Articles later.
Malibu has more star and Kato Kalin types, so the demographics are different. But even so there are people in Malibu that may hurt from this. I'm pretty sure that due to a steeper seaside cliff terrain in parts, Malibu just doesn’t have "magic sands" or more correctly "Distance".
So the situation could be different. Perhaps vacuum as conveyance?
And the test data may be misinterpreted, or more frequently; conclusions are over expanded as they are repeated by individuals
Within the environmental groups there are some who get happy anytime a law is passed that says “NO! to pollution”. In reality the laws of unintended consequences, don’t always bring about a best environmental solution. Not every solution solves every problem. That’s where CEQA is supposed to come in. Do no harm; don’t make it worse by fixing it. Measure and study the Impacts (hey, it’s the Coastal zone, can’t make to many mistakes here, “One size fits all” may apply somewhere else.
We really see this in Los Osos and I’ve talked to regulatory aware people on both sides here, and the lack of coordination between the Regulatory Agencies, has been a frequent theme. And I’ll add the fact that they (Agencies as CCC RWQBC) see scientific data and conclusions in different ways.

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

CCC and RWQCB have different mandates to implement, so according to their jobs to fulfill, and their tools with which to regulate, they are going to see things differently.

No one is doing a one-size-fits-all on this sewer project, that's for sure!

Sadly, people are hurt by environmental projects - look at Al - kicked out of his house by an owl. But if we don't protect salmon and forests, there will be none left and that serves no one.

I was being facetious Alon regarding magic sand. How they solve their problem in Malibu will be unique to them, just as our solution is unique to us. The main point is to get people to see that we do have a problem that we must fix, then fix it. We are doing that for keeps this time around.

Sorry for the deletion - typo.

Alon Perlman said...

Yeh, Toons we had some discussion on that Article on beaches filtering out bacteia but not necesarily much else, You posted a while back (Stinson, SF?).
Back to Graywater Event at Veterans Hall MB. It was a successful filled event, No Los Osos style grandstanding. Noah Smeckler presented followed by Dan Doris of MB Public services, Mikel Robertson (SLO-COAT, Green Goods,) spoke, Mladen Bandov SLO-COAT, spoke to regulations, some reporting on system is necessary (separate forms to record).
The manual is a fairly simple handling of a complex topic.

On the Vendor side, Josh Carmichael and others present Lawson Showler(sp) helped with the displays. Ann Calhoun, Margret from LOCSD Present.
One interesting nugget Given that a single residential appliance attachment is exempt; Moro Bay has 1 permitted system, SLO City 2 systems, County wide (Unincorporated?)2 systems since 1989)
incidentally the regulations were related both too get beneficial use and because to many people were in violation anyway. (Regulators using practical considurations? that's a first)

Question for Los Ossans; Do you Know where the outlet pipe from your clothes washer leads? Do you see a valve?
I'm guessing at least 20% of houses here have the Washer outlet going directly to a separate leach pit (sump function).

Alon Perlman said...

The flyer for the meeting that happened tonight

http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102818562772&s=150&e=001NZPbrrmrLgQnlWVgFfHR2rY3n8OGUL5O7oXabk_PIPNxD63sdu-T8uHNWt1aajVWgZL5EbExqU402c3pLXFWF1h3LF84HY11oh2tMhshCOYfsPB5oduVnY9TwQjmjp7mJwbctiATmh0mpeYftoY1YQ==

or this
http://www.mbnep.org/files/GraywaterPresentation.pdf

Sewertoons said...

Thanks Alon! Great reporting! It is appreciated!! Nice looking flyer!

I found a file that I saved from 2007 on Stinson, but I was not the writer. Here is the salient part:

"My understanding is that the regulators are not loving Stinson Beaches septic tank plan and are watching it pretty carefully AND it is a community of approximately 750 people covering 1.1 +/- miles.

Los Osos on the other hand has a density of approximately 1,900 people per square mile - simple math tells me that this is over double the density.

So I ask, where is the comparison? Why do these people keep comparing "apples to oranges" instead of "apples to apples"?"
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The pipe to the washer here goes into a black tube on the wall - after that - who knows! I think a lot of septics are not large enough or the leach fields are not functioning properly and wash water is being diverted into a lot of yards. (I got that nugget from a serviceperson who goes to many houses.) Are these residues biodegradable or ecologically friendly? (I know a dog who was poisoned by it - he survived, fortunately).

I guess my concern with graywater is what are people putting in it? (What if they have hepatitis or some other transmittable illness?) Will someone else's graywater flow onto my property and who gets to monitor that? Am I the policeman?

I posted a lot of question here (above) November 6 but no one has answered.

Ron said...

Alon wrote:

"Back to Graywater Event at Veterans Hall MB ... Ann Calhoun... Present."

Ann, (if you read this) did you ask any of those experts about using a greywater system in the PZ?

I'm VERY interested in hearing the answer to that.

And, now I have some good contact names. Thanks Alon.

Alon Perlman said...

Well, we are at a Gray water –Backwater with this string moving to the Archives soon.
Incidentally; I thought I saw D. S. a fourth street CDO at the meeting.
First a Correction; “incidentally the regulations were related both too get beneficial use and because to many people were in violation anyway. SHOLD BE “incidentally the regulations were relaxed
I have the manual but this is from memory-

(Toons) I guess my concern with graywater is what are people putting in it? (What if they have hepatitis or some other transmittable illness?) Will someone else's graywater flow onto my property and who gets to monitor that? Am I the policeman?

Yes you are the policeman- suspect intrusion on your property? Do the flows foam when you hose them? The detergents probably destroy most of the infective organisms, and If used properly (Diaper wash to septic tank) the system diverts them to the regular “Blackwater” system, so no actual infectious organisms should enter the graywater system (other than through the Shower)

SewerToons Questions on the 6th

1. Will the no washing machine water with dirty diaper rule be observed? What if you only wash diapers part of the time?
--ANSWER Unregulateable, but it is an intended 2 circuits-Three way valve near washer so can switch from Septic/Sewer for nasties, to Toilet flush and outdoor irrigation uses. See question 2 answer

2. Let's say you sell you gray water plumbed house to someone who isn't ecologically minded. Will these no-no's be followed? --ANSWER Even though “unregulated” some record keeping is necessary, The Property owner (Seller) should hand over a complete “System” including documentation, and use instructions. Renters? It is unlikely that home-owners will even bother with instructions to renters. The Gray Water Manual may get an Appendix in the future.

 Bleaches or softeners
 Detergents that advertise whitening, softening, and enzymatic powers-
 Detergents with the following ingredients: boron, borax, chlorine, bleach, petroleum distillers, sodium and peroxygen
--ANSWER some repetition here, Its in the manual.
 Products designed to open clogs without scrubbing
 Water softeners that use sodium chloride
-----ANSWER Depends on where the brine dumps. Is the entire indoor plumbing “softened”?. 2-circuit design to kitchen sink (goes to septic/Sewer also other designs exist, Phosphate (?) based softners other technology. You waste about 2 (3?) gallons at least to make 1 gallon of “softened” water.

3. What you do with graywater if we are having heavy rains and the ground is already saturated since clearly you cannot store it? –ANSWER; Should be designed for that capacity, there is a Surge overflow tank but the regs. say you cannot store it. Need to cover the temporary storage sumps from rain overflow.

4. How do you "scrub" a clog? –ANSWER; Occasional use of acid cleans the leach field design , other distribution techniques/other emitting apparatus does not clog much or has access for simple removable filters. or uses 1” pipes the more complex systems have filters.

5. How do these various options apply to 25' lot sizes where the hose covers most of the lot and the thin strips left are right next to their neighbor's houses? I don't see that they will work. Will people on these size lots "get" this won't work for them without someone actually saying to them - "Don't"?
--ANSWER; The regulations were relaxed to allow 1.5 ft from property line. There are 100x25 and smaller lots. It depends on the investment/effort.
There are some very specific GrayWater Issues related to Los Osos Situation; but overall- No significant affect, in the forseeable future.
Rational and evidence, for this conclusion?- Let the other "I'm not a GW expert, but..." chime in.
And the Word verification: nopott
Precious, No Paddle either.

Alon Perlman said...

Hi Ron, I would also mention as contact Steve Paige, member of SLO-COAT and not present at that meeting.

Sewertoons said...

Hi Alon, thanks for answering!

I hope that responsible home-owners are the only ones that will actually DO this. That is not the case now with the illegal discharges. I have not that much trust that these rules will be followed just due to the "forget" factor. As I noticed, I couldn't find specific ingredients on my detergent - so just kind of hope it is OK. I'm sure others will do the same.

We keep hearing of emerging contaminants that are present in soaps. Not that anything but R/O takes them out, I wonder if that could be a potential problem here, more that the emerging one we already have?

Who is the "police" if the reports are not turned in? Is there any enforcement? Who requires that the homeowner DOES turn over records of the system? I have my doubts

While not as watery, I prefer rain water harvesting to this as it is just rain, not possible damaging chemicals like in gray water.

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"You might slip a note to ex-Supervisor Bud Laurent while you are at it. In 1995, his tests, supervised by Dr. Ruehr - UNDER THREE septic tanks, and NOT from those tank's LEACH FIELDS where the stuff in the tanks is discharged, showed lower nitrates than at the test wells. Other tests on undeveloped land were misinterpreted to conclude that the native plants were at fault for the nitrates in the soil. Hence the conclusion that we are not polluting was made."

Actually, the research showed denitrificaiton taking place, which surprised the scientists and engineers because nobody had done those tests before (per Rhuer) and it was "common knowledge" that nitrates don't denitrify in the soil but head straight for groundwater (what Matt Thompson testified to at the ACL hearing, apparently having not bothered reading the county's test result which have been on file with the RWQCB for years), so denitrification was taking place, even in standing water, HOWEVER, not ENOUGH was taking place to keep the nitrate #s under the limits due to the overall density (all those extra homes) and the varied vados zone/gound water distances. As for the plants, those were viewed by "sane people" as "another source" one that will continue even when the sewer goes in.

Ron asks:"Ann, (if you read this) did you ask any of those experts about using a greywater system in the PZ?

I'm VERY interested in hearing the answer to that."

I both asked and issued a caveat for anyone in the audience who lived in the PZ. First, per the question, the presenters got real vague and cagey and noncommittal, mumbling something about how the RWQB has sorta said that grey water is a different issue than the sewer, and it was clear to me that the RWQCB is doing what they do best -- remaining vague and coy and noncommittal so they can play their games with no opposition since they've remained vague and coy and so can change their rules anytime they want, claiming that they always never didn't say this or that.

I then told the audience they should be very careful NOT to spend any investment in any greywater projects because they could loose it all when the RWQCB decided, at their leisure, to change their minds or get unvague and decide to forbib all greywater & etc. So I hope Los Osos homeowners will be very, very careful with this -- the Greenbuild workshop folks are enthusiastic about grey water, are touting how the State law is easing, how cities are encouraging people do this right & etc. but they do not know the RWQCB like a lot of Los Osians do. Our experinece is that the RWQCB is absolutely NOT TRUSTWORTHY about anything they say or do, they play by their own rules, can threaten anyone they want for any reason they want so anyone thinking to be green-smart and consider greywatering their homes, if they live in the PZ I can only say, don't do it. You could lose a lot of money and/or end up losing your house.

Sewertoons said...

I could be mistaken here, but does Ann's comment,

"HOWEVER, not ENOUGH was taking place to keep the nitrate #s under the limits due to the overall density (all those extra homes) and the varied vados zone/gound water distances"

actually mean she admits that we are polluting? We have a revelation here! (Even though it is the fault of the County for --is it -- allowing extra houses after it was shown we were polluting OR allowing all those tiny lots in the FIRST PLACE without a sewer?)

In any case, I'm happy to see it in print or actually pixels, and it is true, we are.

Watershed Mark said...

A bell and spigot gravity sewer leaks and therefore will pollute.
Why wasn't vacuum collection studied?

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"actually mean she admits that we are polluting? We have a revelation here! (Even though it is the fault of the County for --is it -- allowing extra houses after it was shown we were polluting OR allowing all those tiny lots in the FIRST PLACE without a sewer?)"

Actually, all you're seeing here is Toonces failure to pay attention to and understand what I've said for years: What we were ALWAYS dealing with here is a nitrate loading problem that COULD have been dealt with sanely years ago with a variety of approaches and solutions, but one approach that was absolutely contraindicated is the one both the RWQCB and the County took: Passing Resolution 83-13 & 12 then failing utterly to implement 12 and allowing 1,000+ MORE homes to be built on a loaded system. That's NOT how you fix the problem.

Sewertoons said...

I agree, adding 1300 more homes was a BAD idea if a sewer wasn't going to be immediately implemented after that. But to think that monitoring septic tanks would do the trick wasn't going to cut it then or now. It was past the "1 acre per septic BEFORE those extra 1300 homes were built!

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:" agree, adding 1300 more homes was a BAD idea if a sewer wasn't going to be immediately implemented after that. But to think that monitoring septic tanks would do the trick wasn't going to cut it then or now. It was past the "1 acre per septic BEFORE those extra 1300 homes were built!"

Actually, the moritorium stopped the climbing nitrate numbers. They've settled down slightly over the state limits with nothing else done (not even basin-wide septic inspection/managment to bring up to optimal all the tanks and fields) (And again, why were homes outside the PZ allowed even after the moritorium, all discharging to the basin & etc.) Again, if you're dealing with basin LOADING, then the questions and choices become (among others) : aribitrary PZ vs Basin-wide zone-load ; permanent moritorium vs build-out (need to factor water overdraft which was ignored for years); permanent moritorium w/partial STEP system in low lying areas & tertiary recharge, w/septic maintainence with inspection/replacement and complete retrofit/water/conserve measures in non-low-lying areas, .(i.e. The original Ponds of Avalon idea) and, as the technology matured, in-tank systems that reduced nitrate load; full bore gravity sewer and total build-out; treatment plant in town/out of town.& etc.

The county got off track waaay back in the early '80s and the entire issue was treated dishonestly from that point forward. And being dishonest made it impossible to correct or even solve problems in a variety of ways early on. (too much to constantly paper over, CYA) As I have repeatedly said, where and how you lay that first bit of train track will determine where and if it will go off the cliff. Los Osos is the sad poster child of that axiom.

Sewertoons said...

Ann, your words all speak to no-growth. Fine. I'm for letting the vacant lot owners finally build and then that's it. But to try to stop growth with "fantasy solutions" is wrong. What has borne the brunt of that? The basin. Then us.

To address, and I quote:
the moritorium stopped the climbing nitrate numbers. They've settled down slightly over the state limits AND permanent moritorium vs build-out
You are talking about the upper aquifer. Not all wells there are equal. Some are bad and others not so bad. If we flushed out the upper aquifer with clean water, perhaps it will be useable again, or to the point where blending will be allowed. As it is now, the CSD has a well in the upper aquifer intended for blending and Golden State intends to use ion exchange to use upper aquifer water, although neither is functioning yet. If we hadn't ruined our upper aquifer with poor management, we'd be fine, if we flush it out, we'll be fine.

aribitrary PZ vs Basin-wide zone-load
Fifteen percent of the town is NOT in the PZ, and most of those homes (that discharge into the ground over the aquifer --NOT Cabrillo, which doesn't--) are on large lots. Their impact is puny compared to ours.

permanent moritorium w/partial STEP system in low lying areas & tertiary recharge, w/septic maintainence with inspection/replacement and complete retrofit/water/conserve measures in non-low-lying areas
Septic maintenance on the NON-low lying lots that are crammed in 8 to 12 per acre would NEVER cut it!

as the technology matured, in-tank systems that reduced nitrate load
And will there be any aquifers left when that solution finally rolls into town - i.e. the Wrecklamator 2.0?

full bore gravity sewer and total build-out
We still must wait AFTER the gravity sewer to get the water issues solved before more building is permitted! (Sorry vacant lot owners!)

If you are dealing with basin loading, how does:
treatment plant in town/out of town.
MATTER? (Except of course we are paying on both, but it will be out of town, PLUS we have a bankruptcy to pay for now too…)

Poor choices across the board have brought us to this point. Now we are getting a sewer. Let's hope we can be RATIONAL about the water basin because its management is the next BIG thing.