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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ripley Writes To The CC, But Is Anyone Listening?

The following excerpt will be/is part of the “public comment presented” to the Coastal Commissison for their Hearing tomorrow. Fifty million dollars will buy a lot of bananas. It’s also strange that the CC says they’re interested in “cost,” but is that anything more than window-dressing and/or an optional consideration? And what about the goal of competitive bidding as promised in the 218 vote? More window-dressing? More options? And what’s with the reference to “change orders,” which, of course, equals a no-cap, open ended, sky’s the limit cost.

Well, anybody want to lay odds on how the votes as to how “cost” and fair-bids  and change orders will fare Friday? Naw, me neither. Not here in “Chinatown,” at any rate. Done deals is done deals and if the community wants a more expensive project, then who is the Coastal Commission to deny them their wish?

Honorable Commissioners:

I am Dana Ripley, team leader for the Los Osos Wastewater Plan Update1

The process schematic of the 2006 Update Plan is very similar to the process schematic that I prepared for inclusion in the recently published “Water Reuse” textbook (McGraw Hill, 2007) as Figure 13-15. Thecaption of that figure reads:prepared in 2006 for the Los

Osos Community Services District.

Our final report was completed in August 2006 and was validated by the National Water Research Institute in December 2006. Septic Tank Effluent Pump (STEP) collection isfundamental to the “2006 Update Plan” and is, in my opinion, fundamental to the long term success ofthe Los Osos wastewater project.

Schematic flow diagram of comprehensive water reclamation and reuse plan incorporating STEPsystems for low-, medium-, and high-density communities.



A copy of this schematic is provided as Attachment A. It represents what I believe to be state-of-the-artin small community wastewater collection, treatment, and reuse whether constructed for a new development or for an existing community upgrading to central collection and treatment.

My testimony to the Commission today will focus on cost and affordability. CC staff recognizes the importance of affordability to Los Osos homeowners and businesses as follows:

The affordability of the project has been and will continue to be a major concern for the residents of Los Osos2


1 Ripley Pacific Company, Los Osos Wastewater Management Plan Update for the Los Osos Community ServicesDistrict, San Luis Obispo County, CA, Wastewater Collection Treatment, Storage, and Water Recycling: Beneficial Reuse of Water and Nutrients. Digital and hardcopy provided to CC-Santa Cruz staff on February 8, 2010..

2 Application A-3-SLO-09-055/069 staff report, May 27, 2010, p.2

The single largest factor influencing affordability is obviously the project’s construction cost. The estimated construction cost of the 2006 Update Plan prepared by our team is presented as AttachmentB3. For comparison, San Luis Obispo County’s latest cost estimate for the gravity-based system is presented as Attachment C4

Based on my review of the two construction cost budgets, assuming service to both developed and undeveloped properties and cost escalation to 2010 dollars, the cost difference between the two systems is at least $50 million. That is, the 2006 Ripley Update Plan cost utilizing STEP collection technology is at least $50 million less than the cost for the County’s gravity-based collection, treatment, and reuse plan..

The actual cost difference between the two system alternatives could in fact be substantially greater than $50 million. For STEP construction, there is relatively low construction cost risk since excavations are shallow and impacts of unforeseen conditions can be mitigated easily. For this reason, the STEP contractor has offered a guaranteed maximum price cost basis to SLO County.

For gravity construction, however, construction cost risk is significantly higher due to deeper excavations and difficulty of dealing with unforeseen conditions such as high groundwater and archeological sites. The contractor will be required to fuse-weld at least 12% of the collection system and more if high groundwater is encountered beyond that already mapped. SLO County would be compelled to accept change orders for these unforeseen conditions which in essence provides for an open-ended contract, irrespective of what the winning competitive bid cost number is. Of course, the extent of change order costs cannot be known until project construction is complete.

I also note that the County’s budget for Broderson leachfields does not include a redundant disposal option as recommended by the project hydrogeologist due to the uncertainty of winter dispersal capacity at that site5

Based on the foregoing comments, it would be likely that the completed cost difference between the two systems could be substantially greater than the $50 million difference represented by the two attached budgets.

The Broderson leachfield system is a $6.1 million line item that may need to bereplicated at one or more other undetermined locations to provide sufficient winter dispersal capacity. Even with the minimum $50 million cost difference, the Commission is faced with at least two issues inconsistent with the Coastal Act if the applicant’s gravity collection system is constructed.

First, Coastal Act Section 30604(g) states:

The Legislature finds and declares that it is important for the commission to encourage th eprotection of existing and the provision of new affordable housing opportunities for persons of low and moderate income in the coastal zone.

3 2006 Ripley Update Plan, Table ES-5.
4 San Luis Obispo County, from SWRCB Credit Review Checklist, April 23, 2010, Table 1.1.
5 Spencer Harris, hydrogeologist, San Luis Obispo Planning Commission, June 30, 2009; “You’d better have capacity somewhere else.”
3Los Osos Wastewater Project Dana Ripley, PE CA Coastal Comm. June 11, 2010 De Novo Hearing Public Comment

A cost difference of this magnitude has a direct impact on affordability. A lower project construction cost will lessen the impact to low- and moderate-income residents living within the coastal zone.

Secondly, Coastal Act Section 30120 defines treatment works6

. . any devices and systems used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of
municipal sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature to implement section 1281 of this title, or necessary to recycle or reuse water at the most economical cost over the estimated life of the works. .

, as follows:

Consistency with this section of the Coastal Act would require that the most economical plan be implemented, irrespective of any technology preference by the project owner. The $50 million difference in the two estimates would likely preclude the gravity system as a viable alternative.

I am aware of the applicant’s technology preference against STEP collection for reasons such as green house gas emissions, soil disturbance numbers, nitrogen removal, on-lot easements, and on-lot pumping. I believe that each of these issues can be resolved in favor of STEP collection given the opportunity in an open forum. It also must be reiterated that the STEP collection alternative was CEQA certified as environmentally superior in 2001, was determined to be a viable collection alternative in the current project EIR, and was intended to compete with gravity collection through the bidding process pursuant to the Proposition 218 assessment vote in 2007. Finally, the Request for Qualifications prepared by SLO County in December 2008 presented both gravity collection and STEP collection as accepted alternatives for interested design-build teams bidding on the Los Osos wastewater project.

Only with elevation of the STEP team into the competitive bidding process with guaranteed maximum bids can the $50 million cost differential presented above be ascertained one way or the other. The Commission should seek the assurance that the competitive bid process promised by the Proposition 218 vote will be preserved and that consistency with Coastal Act Sections 30120 and 30604 is upheld.

Including this requirement as a permit condition today will not only assure Proposition 218 and Coastal Act consistency, but will assure that project timelines remain in place to “maximize the project’s eligibility to receive funding support that can offset local costs” as urged by SLO County and your staff. Thank you for your consideration of these cost and affordability issues, and I am available for questions.

/dr

6 Definition of treatment works as set forth in Federal Water Pollution Control Act per Coastal Act Section 30120.

38 comments:

Watershed Mark said...

For Lyin' Lynette, MIKE and Little "r" to consider.
Perhaps they will e able to see the stupidity of con-sewerage from afar.

-----Original Message-----
From: Waterguy [mailto:waterguy@ix.netcom.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 7:36 AM
To: Onsite/decentralized wastewater management issues
Subject: [decentralized] Fw: meanwhile

The problems are manifest. But so are the solutions. What seems to be
lacking is the will to consider them. As has been so amply demonstrated
recently on Cape Cod, as just one example now familiar to list members. Our
societal institutions are failing us. How can they be motivated to stop
doing that?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Waterguy"
To: [mayor, council members and council aides addresses redacted]
Cc: [city manager, assistant city manager, water utility director addresses
redacted]
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 8:35 AM
Subject: Fw: meanwhile


> Perhaps you saw my letter to the editor in the Chronicle last week on the
> sewer spill for which the city has offered a reward to finger the supposed
> perpetrator(s). The forwarded message below offers further perspective on
> that. You would do well to pay more attention to the problems created by
> the way the city has chosen to organize its wastewater system -- and
> continues to insist that is the only way it will organize it going
> forward, e.g., all throughout the SH 130 corridor -- instead of spending
> public money on meaningless rewards. What happened in that case may have
> been mediated by an anti-social person or persons, but the impacts that
> resulted are the very predictable consequences of having organized the
> wastewater system in the manner the city has. And as highlighted below,
> similar incidents are common. You may recall, in fact, the city having
> spent (or maybe it is still spending) a BILLION dollars (in tough budget
> times) to address all the pollution being caused by this creaky,
> vulnerable, failure-prone system, a settlement with EPA to stem that
> pollution.
>
> While that is water over the dam now, you all know that considering an
> alternative organizing paradigm for the wastewater system has been urged
> upon the city for over a quarter century. This concept recognizes this
> water is a resource right from the start and urges treatment and reuse of
> the wastewater close to where it is generated, eliminating much of that
> pollution-producing pipe system that instead takes the wastewater "away",
> addressing it solely and exclusively as a nuisance. How many of the
> problems addressed by that billion dollars could have been avoided if that
> paradigm had been pursued throughout that quarter century?

Watershed Mark said...

Perhaps more
> importantly, how much conservation of "original" water supply would have
> been attained by focusing our investments on local area non-potable reuse
> instead of on moving pollution around the city? While we produced and
> pumped ever greater quanitites of potable water to all those sites to
> serve non-potable demands.
>
> As noted, that is a road not taken, and we are where we are in terms of
> the existing system. But we have the opportunity to not repeat this
> pattern going forward. First, however, the city has to become willing to
> even so much as consider that alternative organizing strategy, again a
> matter they absolutely refuse to engage upon, in large part because THEY
> HAVE NO POLICY DIRECTION to do so. Even the recent water conservation
> task force, charged with considering all options for saving water, could
> not get its head around this matter. What could have -- should have? --
> been a major thrust, a strategy that could save more water than all the
> other measures put together, was accorded one "should consider" phrase in
> the whole document. And lacking policy direction, you can be sure that the
> bureaucracy will avoid even that weak tea.
>
> This is a leadership moment. Are you up to it?
>
> Thank you for your kind consideration of this matter.
>
> David Venhuizen, P.E.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Waterguy"
> To: [Austin Chronicle address redacted]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 9:59 PM
> Subject: meanwhile
>
>
>> http://impactnews.com/southwest-austin/258-recent-news/8735-manchaca-road-water-line-break-dumps-100000-gallons-of-wastewater-into-williamson-creek
>>
>> Just one of many OTHER wastewater spills, overflows and bypasses that
>> happen in Austin routinely. With no rewards offered to turn in the
>> perpetrator(s).
Because THEY ARE THE CITY. These are the inevitable
>> result of choosing to organize the system the way it is. A way of
>> organizing it that is predicated on making to go "away" what is perceived
>> solely and exclusively as a nuisance, spending huge sums of money to do
>> so, which could otherwise be focused on the beneficial utilization of
>> that RESOURCE.
>>
>> We cannot change the way the existing system is (at least not "cost
>> efficiently") but we change how we organize, build and run the expansions
>> of Austin's wastewater management system going forward -- e.g.,
>> throughout the SH 130 corridor. Leading to an overall level of water
>> conservation through reuse that would dwarf what is projected to be
>> attained by all the water conservation efforts included in the recently
>> completed report of the Water Conservation Task Force. Again, that is
>> the story here. Which everyone ignores. And has for over a quarter
>> century, during which those problems have been compounded exponentially,
>> all funded by us. Ultimately resulting in a purported "need" for another
>> water treatment plant, also to be funded by us.
>>
>> "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive" ...
>> Mother Nature.
>>
>> David Venhuizen, P.E.


For Alon- Word Verification: killeda

Richard LeGros said...

Ann,

A CCC decision to adopt Ripley's claptrap would result in more needless delay and greater costs. 40 years of Los Osos WWTP history has shown that delay only results in greater costs; a history lesson we should all learn!

It should to be pointed out:

1. Even if Ripley is correct, the resulting County project would STILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE WHEN COMPARED TO THE TRI-W PROJECT.

2. If the Tri-W project was too expensive at $155,000,000....then how would a +$160,000,000 County Project be any less expensive to Los Osos (or you for that matter?)

3. It is hypocritical for you to promote S/S when considering that your core belief is that Los Osos does not need a Waste Water Project at all!

Your behavior, including your being a PLAINTIFF in the failed PZLDF/CCW lawsuit, has clearly shown that you have NEVER BELIEVED that Los Osos is polluting its' water via septic systems; and/or that the SWQCB has the power to determine and require a WWTP for Los Osos to begin with.

For once Ann, try to be honest with your readers.

-Tell us, without flinching, that you believe Los Osos absolutely needs a WWTP.

-Tell us, without any doubt or reservations, that further delay to pursue yet another WWTP will result in lower costs.

Ron said...

Yin:

"history has shown that delay only results in greater costs"
-- Richdora Nash-LeGarner

Yang:

"The current estimate of $200/month is based on several conservative assumptions regarding financing and a 25% construction cost inflation since the LOCSD Project in 2005. The inflation that was included in the estimate has not occurred. In fact, construction bids throughout California and in our region have been below engineers estimates by as much as 30%..."
-- SLO County Project Team

Ya see... the Richdoras of the world simply can't let Ripley's plan happen... even if it means saving $50 million, because if Ripley's plan WERE to happen, it would mean that not only did Julie and Lisa stop the Richdoras of the world's 7-year and $25 million Tri-W disaster/embarrassment, but the Julie and Lisas of the world would have also solved everything in about 6 months... after the Richdoras of the world spent 7 years and $25 million developing an environmental disaster/embarrassment.

So, the Richdoras of the world will now do ANYTHING to make sure that Los Osos doesn't save $50 million.

How's that taste, Los Osos?

Ooooo, look, Los Osos, a little shiny thing. Now, spend $50 million more than you have to.

Watershed Mark said...

Little "r" doesn't know how much pipe it will take to collect and delivery the wastewater.
How can anyone consider his evaluation regarding costs accurate.

Heck he thinks his "group" evaluated "Upflow Sludge Blanket Filtration" (USBF)when he and his group never did.

He is confused ad should visit his health care provider for a review of his "program."

Watershed Mark said...

Too good, not to share:

From: Waterguy
To: [redacted]
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: the heart of the matter

In discussing this matter with a colleague who is more familiar with the machinations of TWDB than I am, I understand that perhaps what we have here is at its root a problem with how the funding application process is set up and run. It was asserted that no alternatives analysis is required at the application stage, to minimize the effort required to simply get in the queue for funding. That analysis is (supposedly) done only after a funding commitment is made. The problem (it is asserted) is that what has been set forth as the nature of the project is hardly ever re-examined at that point. Rather, the course of action represented in the application gets sorta set in stone, and indeed the very idea of determining the cost effective approach as a condition of funding does not hardly ever get put on the table.

It seems to be run on a sort of "scout's honor" basis, you might say. Perhaps largely because most of the engineering mainstream remains incognizant that a fuller range of options are even there to be entertained (or they consider dealing with "alternatives" to be antithetical to their short-term fiscal interests?), the alternatives that ever get considered -- to the extent they get considered -- tends to be very narrow. The bottom line seems to remain that TWDB accepts whatever the project engineer chooses to set forth as the entire universe of options for any project. And as we reviewed a few months ago in your office, that strongly tends to be a "one size fits all" approach, forcing a "conventional" large-pipe sewer system onto every situation.

Perhaps consideration may be given to an application process that first requires a statement/documentation of need for improved wastewater services, which would lead to award of a planning grant. Indeed, aren't you prioritizing the funding on the basis of the purported need? So why not make an explicit demonstration of need the entry point into the process?

Central to the problem, it seems, is that no real planning is being done, because there is no funding to support it. Rather, the engineers play the game as it's set up, helping the community to get the grant or loan at no up front cost, presuming that they can then proceed with the "cookie cutter" project upon which they based the request, a project arrived at with hardly any analysis of the matter, again because there is no funding explicitly for that. It appears that any "alternatives analysis" at the stage it is presently required is seen as a mere pro forma -- it is simply a "defense" of the project they WANT to do. Otherwise, they wouldn't be after that project. It's the nature of the business -- they make money doing what they deem they already know over and over and over. They don't make money learning new ways of doing the job and figuring out how to apply that knowledge to the unique circumstances of the situation at hand. Again, a "one size fits all" approach is essentially encouraged by the present setup.

But engineers might transcend this if there is funding explicitly for determining the solution that fits the situation at hand. Particularly if TWDB demands that these planning studies contain a bona-fide, meaningful analysis of available options. In that regard ...

Watershed Mark said...

Critical to this process is that you would not allow the statement of need to be of a nature like that set out in the message below -- "a sanitary sewer system was needed" -- which simply presumes the solution, regardless of the actual nature of the problem. Rather you would require it to be an actual review of the problem for which funding is requested to resolve. This planning grant would then be used to conduct the investigations that NEED to be done UP FRONT of any funding commitment to execute detailed design and implementation, to survey the options and determine the cost effective approach in the situation at hand. This provides TWDB leverage to require a bona-fide consideration of the full range of options available in each situation. To make that clear to the engineers who would conduct the planning, you might provide some sort of guidance on the range of options that must be considered -- e.g., look at the review of the Quemado project on my web site for the range of generic management strategies that might be required to be considered -- somewhat in the manner of RUS Bulletin 1780-3 (although the requirement in there is rather weak tea).

This, of course, will not make any engineering firm which chooses to remain ignorant of the possibilities (or sees some of them as antithetical to its revenue model) to act in good faith -- that will still require more diligence by TWDB than it appears able to muster at present, which it somehow needs to find the wherewithall to apply. (That probably implies a need to train YOUR engineers about the full range of options available, another matter to consider when evaluating this funding model.) But at least it would lay it out there that a range of options needs to be considered and that the cost effective option is expected to be the one presented for implementation funding. And it does not allow the present situation to persist, in which a presumed "solution" presented in the initial application just sorta "oozes" on through the whole process, never really brought to question for whether it is the "best" or even a "good" solution to the matter at hand.

Now a perceived barrier to this sort of process might be a claim that you are already so short on money to implement solutions that it would not be palatable to dedicate some of those precious funds to "mere" planning. I would counter that you should consider the "7 P's" -- Proper Prior Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance. Which is to say that you should consider if the "one size fits all" mentality presently holding sway is "wasting" far more on inappropriate solutions than would be spent on planning for the appropriate solutions.

Again, as the guardian of the public purse, please consider if there isn't some way to get a better handle on all this. Thank you for your kind consideration of this matter.

David Venhuizen, P.E.
Planning and Engineering as if Water and Environmental Values Matter
www.venhuizen-ww.com

FOGSWAMP said...

richard

You come across as one cold-hearted hypocritical dude when you make statements from high on the hill, outside the PZ claptrap, telling the unfortunate folk of Los Osos with no big pensions that it's too late to seek the promised alternatives, but rather "Accept the possibility they can no longer afford to live in Los Osos and move; and while in the process selling their homes to others who are willing to pay for the WWTP".

Your insensitivity should instill in others the mindset of some of our recalled CSD directors, still in denial.

Most all of us recall the first long delay by the County, until it was unaffordable @$87.00, then the second more costly delay when we were frankly lied to with a cheaper and better flawed project at a more affordable $35.00 or so.

Watershed Mark said...

Maybe Lyni' Lynette's and Little "r's" homes will get swallowed up from Karma:

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Henry [mailto:henry_bruce@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 11:16 AM
To: Onsite/decentralized wastewater management issues
Subject: [decentralized] Guatemala City sinkhole

I apologize if this has been discused. I've been retired for a year and decided to check on the old decentralized list server. There's been much speculation as to what caused the sink hole in Guatemala City. I and others believe it was caused by a failing sewer.

Large sewers were built in Guatemala City many years ago by tunneling methods very deep underground. Cars were used to remove the spoil and the workers using pulleys and a long rope. These sewers were intended to take the sewage going to Lago Amatitlan and divert it to the Managua River drainage. Guatemala City sits on a continental divide. This would offer a very good explanation for the current sinkhole and the one that formed in 2007. Underground piping is notorious for causing these types of cataclysmic occurrences.

Here's a good article on this.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/06/100603-science-guatemala-sinkhole-2010-humans-caused/

So, another possible problem with large centralized systems could be the loss of a three story building.

Bruce Henry, P.E.
------------------------------------------
Use the listserver's web interface at https://lists.epa.gov/read/ to manage your
subscription or unsubscribe. To unsubscribe, click on the "my forums" tab and click on "unsubscribe".

For problems with this list, contact decentralized-Owner@lists.epa.gov
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Watershed Mark said...

From: Waterguy [mailto:waterguy@ix.netcom.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 3:58 PM
To: Onsite/decentralized wastewater management issues
Subject: Re: [decentralized] Fw: meanwhile

Unfortunately, most of those in control of the situations that could use this information and these services do not (yet) perceive themselves to be in such a box, Craig. Here in Austin, for example, they see no reason they can't go on extending that creaky, vulnerable, failure-prone further and further into the hinterlands without end. They've just gotten council to approve a very expensive new water treatment plant -- which the environmental community here has labeled the "mistake on the lake" -- so they think they've got enough water supply to go on making all the wastewater go "away". As has been reviewed on the list, those controlling the process on Cape Cod don't perceive a need to consider all their options, despite having learned that the "conventional" option is very, very expensive, to the point it may cause a displacement of 10% of their existing population!! Sure, the chickens will come home to roost sooner or later, but how much damage will have been done in the meantime? So wouldn't it be better if this shift was based on a rational evaluation of the options, in light of all the matters that should be taken into account -- including, indeed especially, sustainability measures -- instead as a panic reaction to the prospect of "losing control"? Are all these institutionals really THAT dedicated to maintaining the status quo until it all comes crashing down around us?

David Venhuizen, P.E.
Planning and Engineering as if Water and Environmental Values Matter
www.venhuizen-ww.com

Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend a hand
For the times they are a-changin'
-- Bob Dylan
----- Original Message -----
From: claquapoint@aol.com
To: Onsite/decentralized wastewater management issues
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: [decentralized] Fw: meanwhile

It will come David because few if any will have the money. More important howvever is that and the compliance issues will not be relaxed.
I have seen it.
What happens is that management is not sufficient to make the difference and that will force us to creative re-design.
I mentioned it in my WE&T editorial.
A major utility in the southeast had a contract out to design a 15mgd treatment plant that the director doubted would ever be built.
Development pressure was appearing at several locations in the county desopite the economic downturn.
The director did not want to lose control of infrastructure. He told me his budget woes and then asked, "What can you teach me about decentralized wastewater treatment.

Craig Lindell
Aquapoint

Churadogs said...

Richard sez:"It is hypocritical for you to promote S/S when considering that your core belief is that Los Osos does not need a Waste Water Project at all!

Your behavior, including your being a PLAINTIFF in the failed PZLDF/CCW lawsuit, has clearly shown that you have NEVER BELIEVED that Los Osos is polluting its' water via septic systems; and/or that the SWQCB has the power to determine and require a WWTP for Los Osos to begin with."

This is a perfect example of how incorrect Richard's "facts" are. And how, instead of reading what I've written over the years,he just makes up stuff and thinks its true.

From day one, Richard, I have always urged the community to PAY ATTENTION and make sure they not only know what's going on but HOW it's going on and have urged that the community have a clean process (no thumbs on the scale) and a way to ensure that they're getting accurate facts and will end up getting what they want, not some "spun" pre determined project. (Remember my continued request for a Chinese menu "vote, Hmmm? Recall both me and many others pleading with your Board to, at the very least, allow the community to vote on Tri-W, Out of Town, you know, the old Chinese Menu method?)

This Ripley posting is also a reminder that this community was promised a "process" that included clear choices as to system and accurage/actual costs. This community was promised that the best technology would determine the project & etc.etc.etc. That process was short circuited and bypassed, so this community better wake up and understand that because in a few hours it will be all over but the too-late whining. And when the CC votes, everybody better shut up. They will be getting what they either actually wanted or what they failed to speak up about and so will get what's given to them. And if that means paying $50 million MORE, then fine. They'll get that.

And your statement about PZLDF makes it clear you don't know what that case is about. It's not about sewers, it's about a specific legal regulatory process that has run amok and has removed legal rights from 45 people.

To all readers of this post, please carefully read Mark's (second) posting of David's comments on HOW this whole system is set up. 'Splains just how and why Los Osos will be spending $50 million more than they need to and STILL haven't solved their water/groundwater problems. Horses before carts and like everything, to see who benfits, follow the money.

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard LeGros said...

Ann,

First:
In the end, after years of your whining and opining over 'process', what has it gotten you Ann?.......
NOTHING BUT GRIEF, DISAPOINTMENT, HIGHER COSTS, LESS SERVICE, AN INFERIOR WWTP, AND A CSD IN BANKRUPTCY AND LIKELY TO COLLASPE.

Second:
Regardless of your 'reasons' for your behavior (specially your being a plaintiff in the PZLDF lawsuit), the RESULTS of your behavior has produced the exact opposite of your intent. You have failed to positively alter the reality we are now in; and now must live with the very expensive results. Accept this reality Ann. Regardless of where you want to lay 'blame', or what you 'believe', you will now pay far, FAR more than you had to.
There is no escaping this reality.....you either pay to stay or leave.

Third:
You evade answering a very simple question........

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT LOS OSOS NEEDS A WWTP?
YES OR NO?

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"To all readers of this post, please carefully read Mark's (second) posting of David's comments on HOW this whole system is set up."

I would also HIGHLY recommend -- as you did, Ann -- that those same readers pay VERY careful attention to Ripley's choice take:

"SLO County would be compelled to accept change orders for these unforeseen conditions which in essence provides for an open-ended contract, irrespective of what the winning competitive bid cost number is. Of course, the extent of change order costs cannot be known until project construction is complete."

But, I wouldn't worry too much about stuff like that Los Osos... just keep focusing on your little shiny things. It's not like your area is loaded with archeological sites or environmentally sensitive stuff, or anything like that. So, dig deeeeep, baby! I'm sure it'll work out fine... Look! Little shiny things.

Richdora wrote:

"DO YOU BELIEVE THAT LOS OSOS NEEDS A WWTP? YES OR NO?"

Well, as I've pointed out many many times (but Los Osos is just too stupid to figure it out), of course you don't. The RWQCB itself has issued you a permit to install composting toilets as I first exposed waaaay back in 2007, at this link:

http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/2007/01/is-there-rosa-parks-in-los-osos.html

As I also reported in that kick-ass piece:

"An excellent source knowledgeable in these matters recently told me, "They (the RWQCB) said what they said, [composting toilets are] on the table as a viable option. The decision (the dollar one) is for the discharger. As a discharger, it is my decision how I meet the discharge order (within certain codes and guidelines). Remember, the RWQCB never mandated a sewer, they prohibited a discharge."

Then the source added, "Seems to me it would make a great test case. Take one of those houses with the C&D and show the Board their working composting toilets and they should be off the hook... and that's a hook from them as well as from anything the County is cooking up.
"

That amazing quote came from a former SLO County engineer (that wanted to remain anonymous), and is -- how can I put this -- VERRRRRRRY familiar with the Los Osos situation.

... but the people that stand to make a lot of money off of a sewer system (like the Richdoras of the world's real estate friends) keep showing dumb Los Osos little shiny things, and that's all it takes.

Although, I'm now more convinced than ever that my prediction is going to be nails tight: Los Osos is going to be a community of composting toilets (for the EXACT reasons I predicted)... in the extremely rare event that SOMEONE in Los Osos actually has a, you know, brain, and will figure out that all they have to do is print out page 6 of the RWQCB's Item 19, and then go online and order a composting toilet for about $1,000, and then tell Gibson and Ogren to take their $300 a month sewer assessment and cram it.

Finally...

Yin:

"Accept the possibility they can no longer afford to live in Los Osos and move; and while in the process selling their homes to others who are willing to pay for the WWTP"
-- Richdora Nash-LeGarner

Yang:

"Celebrate Los Osos!"
-- Pandora Nash-Karner, 2010

Celebrate Los Osos, baby... celebrate Los Osos.

Churadogs said...

Ron, Ah, yes, open ended change orders. As for composting toilets, don't think that would work because the RWQCB would then simply declare ALL greywater to be illegal and so you'd be back on square one.

As for the possible cost differential between gravity and STEP, the CC isn't interested in any of that. After all, if the community WANTS to spend $50 million more to get the system they want, who's the CC to say no?

Richard sez:"In the end, after years of your whining and opining over 'process', what has it gotten you Ann?....."

Here's what years of whining and opining "got" the community: They wanted a gravity sewer with the treatment plant out of town that was cheaper than Tri W. We don't know the final cost yet, but here's what the CC just made possible: A gravity sewer with the treatment plant out of town. That's what years of whining and opinion got this community: Two out of three wishes, so far. (And don't mention bankruptcy costs & etc. since a HUGE chunk of that UNNECESSARY cost rests squarely on your shoulders.)

Richard LeGros said...

Ann,

First, I asked what YOU got for your years of complaining; not 'THEY'.

Second, you (and ‘they') got nothing for all the years of complaining...NOTHING...EXCEPT much, much higher costs, 40 years of gross environmental pollution with the steady degradation of our water supply, and a technologically inferior project 'out of town'!

Regardless of who you want to 'shame & blame' for causing the current reality, YOU WILL PAY FOR IT!

You will be paying:
A. $23 per month (until AD 2032) in current bond costs;
B. $10 to $15 per month (until 2040?)to pay off the bankruptcy debt;
C. $240 to $300 per month in WWTP bond/loan interest, OM&R, and plant (until 2042?).

So let us add up the cost for your getting 'two out of three'

A. 2002 Bond debt: $23/month
B. Bankruptcy debt: $10-$15/month
C. County WWTP: $240-300/month

TOTAL YOU CAN EXPECT TO PAY :
$263 TO $338 PER MONTH.

There is no doubt about it, Ann. The last 5 Years of complaining have increased costs by $95 TO $155PER MONTH ....and represents a needless increase of out-of-pocket costs by 48% to 72% when compared to the monthly costs of old project.

HERE ARE THE CURRENT CHOICES BEFORE YOU:
A. EITHER PAY THE UPCOMING $263 TO $338 PER MONTH (SOLELY OR WITH ASSISTANCE),
OR
B. NOT PAY AND LEAVE.

Mike said...

....and possibly;

C. SUE THE COUNTY, THE STATE AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT...then after 5 more years, "they" (wink, wink) will have maybe doubled the cost... and then "they" will take option B.

Let's encourage the LOCSD to not pony up the cost of another of Ann Calhoun and Gail McPhersons frivolus lawsuits... let those 2 finally pay for the delays and hugely increased costs coming our way...

M said...

So Richard, if you're so good at projecting monthly payments, what happened to your estimates being 46% underestimated at the costs of Tri-W? And you accepting those inacurate estimates and bids?
Mike. Do you own property here? Do you now live here? Do you have rental properties here? Based on your biography, you do not live here.
Sincerely, M

Ron said...

Ann, I'm surprised:

"As for composting toilets, don't think that would work because the RWQCB would then simply declare ALL greywater to be illegal and so you'd be back on square one. "

Now you're the one making things up.

Do you have a document that shows that, or are you just free-stylin' on that one?

Because, I DO have a document that shows that the RWQCB all but raves about composting toilets, and where the RWQCB "Pro/Cons" composting toilets, they don't say this:

"ALL greywater to be illegal and so you'd be back on square one"

... in the "con" section.

Richdora wrote:

"TOTAL YOU CAN EXPECT TO PAY :
$263 TO $338 PER MONTH.
"

OR, you could print out page 6 of Item 19, and spend about $1,000 on a composting toilet.

Look, I realize that Los Osos is really, REEEEEEELY stupid, but, trust me, it's just a matter of time until SOMEONE in your over-the-top dumb community wakes up, prints out page 6 of Item 19, and spends about $1,000 on a composting toilet, and then EVERYONE will (eventually) be economically FORCED to do the exact same thing, and you will have a $180 million sewer system that no one needs to hook up to, yet taxpayers EVERYWHERE are stuck paying for... you dumb f--ks.

Hey, look Los Osos! Lookeeee! Little shiny things! Oooooooo... now go "Celebrate Los Osos," and don't forget to "send a check to Nash-Karner at 350 Mitchell Drive," like it said in the Bay News the other day. That includes you, Mike.

Richard LeGros said...

M,

While it obviously makes you feel better to blowing off WWTP ‘steam’, continuing to play the 'shame and blame' game will not change reality or the WWTP costs.

Regardless of my cost projections (past or present), or your opinions about MIKE, you will never-the-less PAY MUCH MORE for the WWTP THAN YOU HAD TOO!

Accept it. Plan for it. Your choice.

Mike said...

...sorry you have to continue the SWAG... guess you have nothing left, but being mired with your own septic tank...until you are required to hook up to the gravity sewer... and then you will see how close Richard has been with the cost projections...

Step/Steg has been dead a long long time ago, why must you continue to try reviving a decaying corpse... If you want to place blame for anything/everything sewerage, then you are going to be a very bitter person unless you take Option B pretty soon... Property values are holding fairly steady now, you could probably sell and move on to some place where you won't have to guess who your neighbors are...

M said...

I have no choice but to take what is being given me. That decision was made long ago by others. And apparently cast it in concrete. Blame is all I am left with to do. Oh, I could move, but the would be allowing the "terrorists" to win. You can call me an obstructionist if you want, but I think the term terrorist best suits Richard with his constant bleating of cost and get out if you can't afford it because of my (Richards) decisions.
Mike, I know who my neighbors are. I know you are not one of us. Want me to cite some information you have posted that involves your identity?
Sincerely, M

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:""As for composting toilets, don't think that would work because the RWQCB would then simply declare ALL greywater to be illegal and so you'd be back on square one. "

Now you're the one making things up.

Do you have a document that shows that, or are you just free-stylin' on that one?

Because, I DO have a document that shows that the RWQCB all but raves about composting toilets, and where the RWQCB "Pro/Cons" composting toilets, they don't say this:

"ALL greywater to be illegal and so you'd be back on square one"

Ron, the RWQCB can create any kind of "finding" they want. They don't even have to have any real "scientific" proof. The official language they use includes words like "we believe" or "common knowledge." One of the newer Cleath & Assoc water reports showed trace amounts of chemicals from shampoos in it & etc in the aquifer. Sufficient data for them to conclude that household pollutants in greywater (not just nitrates) are polluting the aquifer and so pass Resolution 83-14 declaring a Los Osos prohibition zone for all "DISCHARGES" (and remember, the RWQCB considers an illegal "discharge" right now to be ANYTHING coming out of a septic tank, even clean water from a brand new tank.)

And sez:"and spends about $1,000 on a composting toilet, "

Last I heard, the County will not issue permits for composting toilets and the RWQCB still requaires everyone in the PZ to hook up even if you have a composting toilet, and if you don't you'll be "tried" in their Kangaroo Court and then you'll have to go to "real" court on your own and spend gazillions suing the State of CA.

Churadogs said...

Richard sez:"First, I asked what YOU got for your years of complaining; not 'THEY'."

Here's what I got, a community that repeatedly said THEY wanted a sewer plant out of town( If you recall, on the survey that was pretending to be a "vote," Tri-W came in LAST as a site selection. The community DIDN'T WANT Tri-W), said they prefered gravity and that's what they got.

All of which COULD have happened on your watch. (Remember me whining about Chinese Menus?)And likely WOULD have happened if the earlier Board hadn't lied about out of town being waaaaayyyy more expensive and Tri-W being the ONLY way. Could have and would have, but didn't. So, what I wanted was for the COMMUNITY -- not me, not you -- to have the chance to make those choices. And they did.

YOU, (and Gordon & Stan and Pandora & others),on the other hand, made sure they'd pay dearly for that choice. That's why your whining about cost is so obscene to me and likely to others.

Richard LeGros said...

Ann,

STOP playing your silly 'shame and blame' games.

ACCEPT what 40 years of Los Osos' playing the 'Let's avoid buiding the sewer game' has wrought.

PLAN for what is to come: i.e. WWTP payments on your property of
+/-$300 per month.



(S)top+(A)ccept+(P)lan = SAP: which describes you perfectly.

Ron said...

Ann sez:

"Last I heard, the County will not issue permits for composting toilets"

Three words: Little shiny things.

The "last you heard" is flat-out wrong.

If "the County will not issue permits for composting toilets," then why did a SLO County engineer tell me this...

"Seems to me it would make a great test case. Take one of those houses with the C&D and show the Board their working composting toilets and they should be off the hook... and that's a hook from them as well as from anything the County is cooking up."

... after I showed him page 6 of Item 19?

Like I wrote above, TRUST ME, it's just a matter of time before SOMEONE in your "clueless," easily "manipulated," over-the-top stupid community prints out page 6 of Item 19, drives down to Home Depot, picks up a composting toilet, and tells Gibson and Ogren to take their $300/month assessment and cram it.

Ann also wrote:

"YOU [Richard LeGros], (and Gordon & Stan and Pandora & others),on the other hand, made sure they'd pay dearly for that choice. That's why your whining about cost is so obscene to me and likely to others"

Now, THAT you are 100-percent right on.

What Richdora is doing is absolutely disgusting, but Los Osos is SOOOOOO stupid (and those you mentioned know it) that your "clueless" community is just going to see their little shiny things... and not only take it, but send them money.

Now... y'all go "Celebrate Los Osos," and don't forget to "send a check to Nash-Karner at 350 Mitchell Drive," like it said in the Bay News the other day... you dumb f--ks.

Mike said...

ron, you are about as childish as the little Och kid... "you dumb f--ks."... just what kind of intelligent remark is that...???

...just more of your cheap gin talking again... oh well, at least we don't have worry about your drunk driving in Los Osos....

Ron said...

"ron, you are about as childish as the little Och kid."

Ouch!

As Jon Stewart says, "I took that one right in the testicles."

"just what kind of intelligent remark is that"

Oh, the irony: Someone from Los Osos deciding what's intelligent.

Mike, considering you're from Los Osos, I'll type verrrrrrrry slowly:

It... wasn't... meant... to... be... intelligent... ,... just... funny.

And, it sure as hell makes ME laugh.

Now, scratch a check to Nash-Karner, and start thinking (if possible) what you are going to do with your "compost"... you "clueless," "manipulated," dumb f--k.

Hey, Mikeeee, lookeeee... little shiny things... ooooooo.

Gotta go... time to beer-up for the Laker game.

Go Lakerrrrrs!!!!

Mike said...

I almost feel sorry for you ron... I did meet you once in a meeting and you absolutely stank...you really are a drunk...!!! Please don't drive in Morro or down LOV...I would hate to read about you killing someone in your drunken state...

The Razor said...

M, if you ever have a change of heart and want to share some information about Mike, let me know. I'm working on a project -- and that information will come in handy. Thank you!

Mike said...

...go back to your own blog aaron, you don't own property and you don't pay taxes... at least M owns a home here...

apparently Ann still lets you pop in here, but you really need to get a life...maybe a job, maybe go to Cuesta...

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:""Seems to me it would make a great test case."

"test case" means months of wrangle with the RWQCB before "administrative remedies" are exhausted, THEN $$$ for a lawyer, a trial in a real courtroom,, and if you get a typical SLOTOWN judge, you'll need more $$$ for an appeal & so forth. Meanwhile, the RWQCB will change the goal posts, add "greywater" in a new resolution and you'll be back at square one and unless you can meet all greywater peramaters (and have enough land to do so), more square one.

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"Ann also wrote:

"YOU [Richard LeGros], (and Gordon & Stan and Pandora & others),on the other hand, made sure they'd pay dearly for that choice. That's why your whining about cost is so obscene to me and likely to others"

Now, THAT you are 100-percent right on."

Yup. Asking that a sewer plant be moved out of town is/was a perfectly reasonable community request. What happened after that was truly dark, ugly, evil,insane stuff. Which is why a book about the Sewer Saga would have to include input from psychaiatric experts, not just sewer experts.This thing went so off the rails as to enter the relm of irrational. Fine them out of existence, indeed. Dark, dark stuff.

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

HaHaHaHaHaHa...

"Yup. Asking that a sewer plant be moved out of town is/was a perfectly reasonable community request."

Just WHY weren't YOU on the LOCSD and helping make the hard decisions for 8 years PRIOR to that recall..???

Guess YOU had a different agenda and couldn't stand for those who had been elected to make the decisions the community elected them to do...

Thanks Ann for "moving the sewer out of town"... YOUR lawsuits really helped keep the costs down...

...yup, asking is one thing, but sueing because of your personal opinions is quite another... try looking up the meaning of compromise some time...and tell us if the "PLAN" was ever a reasonable compromise... No, Ann, YOU never would allow that the LOSCD had worked 8 years and jumped through every legal hoop to obtain every legal permit required and in the last couple of years before the recall, they did it inspite of the uncompromising, extremists without any viable PLAN... Well Ann, you got your wish, the WWTF will land somewhere outside Los Osos...but will that stop the obstructionist lawsuits... No, Ann, I don't expect YOU to answer that, I do suspect you are already working with a small group to file the next challenge...

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

Ron sez:""Seems to me it would make a great test case."

Actually that wasn't me that "sez" that. That was me quoting an extremely knowledgeable SLO County engineer.

Ann, also sez:

""test case" means months of wrangle with the RWQCB before "administrative remedies" are exhausted, THEN $$$ for a lawyer, a trial in a real courtroom,, and if you get a typical SLOTOWN judge, you'll need more $$$ for an appeal & so forth. Meanwhile, the RWQCB will change the goal posts, add "greywater" in a new resolution and you'll be back at square one and unless you can meet all greywater peramaters (and have enough land to do so), more square one."

That may have been the case with the enforcement actions, but, again, you're just making that up when it comes to composting toilets.

Ooooooo...lookeee Los Osos... more little shiny things.

TRUST ME, it's just a matter of time... and that time will be when the first $300 assessment bill shows up in the mail.

Think about it. Even if someone in Los Osos has the brains (and I realize that's a loooong shot) to figure out that all they have to do to get out of the sewer assessment is print out page 6 of Item 19, and then install a composting toilet, why would they do it now?

There's absolutely no motivation.

But when that fist assessment bill shows up, NOW you pop down to Home Depot, pick up your composting toilet, and have it up and working in a weekend.

And, like I wrote in my original kick-ass piece:

http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/2007/01/is-there-rosa-parks-in-los-osos.html

... (where I first exposed all of this) if the Water Quality Control Board STILL wants to come after that person for "improving the water quality" (the RWQCB's own words describing composting toilets), well, that'd just be a GREAT story, huh?

But since I actually KNOW people in THIS COUNTY that not only use composting toilets, but have for years with ZERO problems, and they went through proper county channels to get them, I just have a hard time seeing how Ann's made-up scenario would come to fruition.

The RWQCB would look like (even bigger) fools, and that's saying something.

Wanna hear a GREAT story?

One of my neighbors actually told me that when they put in their composting toilets years ago, County officials asked them to "please keep quiet about it, because if Los Osos found out, they'd all put in composting toilets."

Los Osos, you're welcome.

Angry Mike wrote:

"I did meet you once in a meeting..."

I went to about three meetings five years ago (because they were such a fun circus), and, I didn't talk to one person other than Julie Tacker, briefly. And, believe me, had I met a loser like you, I would have remembered... heck, I would have taken notes for my book.

Because this:

"truly dark, ugly, evil,insane stuff"

... is a HUGE part of my book, and it fits you perfectly.

Now, keep cowardly hiding behind your anonymous name, send a FAT check to Nash-Karner, get your garden ready for all of your "compost," and buy me a case of Heineken for saving you so much money.

You're also welcome... anonaloser.

Lakers in 7!

Mike said...

...the drunk is always in denial...

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"Think about it. Even if someone in Los Osos has the brains (and I realize that's a loooong shot) to figure out that all they have to do to get out of the sewer assessment is print out page 6 of Item 19, and then install a composting toilet, why would they do it now?"

If I understand correctly, an assessment was voted on and applies to all the properties in the PZ and is owed even though you're not hooked up to anything so to fight that assessment would require going to court and I suspect you'd lose because the courts view sewers as benefits even though you're not using them.(Sorta like paying a school assessment tax even though you don't have kids in school.) Plus, you know the RWQCB would issue a Resolution #14 forbidding discharge of all greywater within the PZ so you'd be back on square one.

Mike sez:"Guess YOU had a different agenda and couldn't stand for those who had been elected to make the decisions the community elected them to do... "

Once again you're making stuff up. What I kept harping on was a chinese menu VOTE -- heck, even a survey-like "votish" type thingee like the County used. THAT would have given the community a clear sense of options and asked them what they wanted to buy. THEN, the community would have chosen their project (just like they did with this last "survey") and that would have been that. I (and many, many others) also urged Richard, Stan, Gordo & Co NOT to proceed with digging Tri-W up until the recall election (after all, the recall was a sewer vote, wasn't it?) If they had done that, it would have been a clean choice and, again, that would have been that. The people of the community would have spoken.