The County’s Sewer “Project Update” glossy flyer is in the mail. It’s really pretty. Lots of big photos taking up lots of space. Lovely huge big map in the middle showing the planned wastewater trement plan. And, of course, a reminder of the Town Hall Meeting on Monday, November 29, at the Los Osos Middle School, doors open at 6, meeting starts at 7.
And the “vague” on the funding for the undeveloped properties is wonderful. We’re told that the Board is working to resolve water and habitat issues and that the undeveloped properties have not been assessed, but nowhere can I find a clear discussion of what may happen if undeveloped property can never be developed, or what benefit homeowners are getting by paying for undeveloped properties and so forth. I’m betting that discussion would have taken up too much room. Might even have had to bump a photo of a bear or something.
But, on the 3rd page, under the heading Water Conservation, we can get a head’s up. Part of the rates and charges is based on water use. If I understand correctly, the plan will average, say 3 winter month’s water use and that will be the basis of your flexible use charges (above the flat capital costs). (It’s presumed you’re not watering the lawn in winter so all water used in those three winter months is inside use which will need to pass through he sewer for processing, which will cost you) What kind of further conservation plans will be in place remain to be developed. But, starting now, I’d suggest all us Bearish folk start tracking our winter water bills for the next few years. Keep copies handy, since if you can show you’re consistently under the minimum being charged by the Rates & Charges ordinance, you may be able to get an adjustment.
And, according to the new Bay News, the CSD already has a WATER CZAR in place: Justin Finch. He’s our new Water Auditor and is now conducting water audits, starting with High End Users, i.e. folks who are running through water like it’s, well, water. He’s sent them letters offering an audit to see if he can offer ways they can cut down on their use (and thereby stop waste and save money). Finch will be starting with the high-end users first, but if you think you could benefit from an audit, you can call the CSD at 528-9370.
But, first, I suggest a visit to the website at www.h2ouse.org to read all the obvious tips posted therein. And once you’ve done all of them and think you may need more advice, give Justin a call. The $30,000 cost of this service has been/ is being paid for by you in your increased water rates, so you might as well get some of that money back by seeing what Justin can help you with, water-wise.
We’re all Los Osos, Now
Meanwhile, over at Slo Coast Journal ( www.slocoastjournal.com/ ) Jack McCurdy’s story notes that the Coastal Commission’s not-yet-released report on the DEIR of the proposed Morro Bay/ Cayucos sewer upgrade indicates the Commission’s sending it back for a re-do. Apparently it doesn’t seriously consider alternative sites for the plant or consider water reuse.
That’s one of the odd, tragic things about this upgrade. With water shortages predicted for all of California, why on earth would any town consider treating wastewater and then dumping it into the ocean? Especially in a community that had to close wells due to groundwater contamination and that had to import state water? Sure doing a complete toilet-to-tap remodel would cost gazillions and would likely displace 1/3 or more of Morro Bay residents due to cost, but, hey, We’re all Los Osos now. I say turn the project over to MWH and stand back from the money train.
In an email that I received noting the Journal posting, the emailer commented on how all of the concerns the CC expressed in their report were the same concerns that citizens had consistently brought to the attention of the various City Councils over the years, only to be labeled as cranks and trouble makers and “ranters,” and etc. Sound familiar?
Yep, we’re all Los Osos now.
Eeeeeuuuu, Ron, Eeeeeuuuu
Talk about History of the World, Part I, there’s “Entirely Visible Floatables” over at Ron’s blog at www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com Read it with a clothespin on your nose.