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Friday, May 27, 2011

Uh-oh, Better Get More Candles

If you want to experience a sickening sense of deja vu, get a copy of New Times ( http://www.newtimesslo.com/ )for Colin Rigley's excellent story, "Consulting Waste."  Morro Bay and Cayucos are joined at the hip via the Joint Powers Authority to upgrade their shared wastewater treatment plant which is located in Morro Bay. Naturally, this being a sewage project, the Usual Suspects showed up:  Corrollo Engineers, Wallace Group, followed by Montgomery Watson Harza.  And, as Rigley notes, "It's been five years since the two communities contracted the first consultant to begin planning for a plant upgrade project.  Morro Bay and Cayucos have, as it stands, a project proposal that could be in need of a complete overhaul.  Consultant fees have so far cost about $1 million in what could ultimately be a $34.3-million project -- unless it gets more expensive."

Continues Rigley, "'You hire a consultant, and they have no responsibility for the outcome,' said one local official intimate with the project. 

"The consultant gig can be a cut-and-run game in which the consultant submits a proposal, then skedaddles before that proposal is put to the test.

"'This means they can do anything they want, charge anything they want, and if it doesn't work out, then you have to pay more," said Gail McPherson, a wastewater division manager from Riverside -- now acting director for Citizens for Clean Water."

Adding to the expensive pile-on, are the lobbyists whose job is to try to finesse (or "spoon feed") a project past the Coastal Commission, a tough job if the project is shaky, which this project was from day one.  I mean, almost before the ink was dry on the copy of the plan, the CC was firing dangerous warning shots across the JPA's bow. The problem? Thinking they could just build a new treatment plant on the old site without looking seriously at alternative sites that would take the plant off a 100-year flood zone.  Plus taking a serious look at treated wastewater reuse, a costly re-do but one that's simply going to be the prefered plan for any upgrades from now on in a water-strapped state.

And so it went, consults begetting consultants.  Here's Rigley again.  "If some of the names and companies working on Morro Bay's and Cayucos' project seem familiar, it's because they are.  In the Los Osos project, members of the Wallace Group and Carollo -- specifically Lou Carella, who worked briefly for MWH -- sat on the panel that recently selected MWH as one of the top three firms to design and build the most recent incarnation of the Los Osos sewer project.

"In fact, [Project manager Dennis] Delzeit's contract with Mrro Bay is a joint venture with him as the project manager along with the Wallace Group.  On paper, Delzeit and the Wallace Group are virtually synonymous.  Every page of his contract pitch for the project management gig is labeled 'R. Dennis Delzeit & Wallace Group.'

"Delzeit was also part of a seven-member review committee that selected MWH to design the Morro Bay/Cayucos project.

"Morro Bay Capital Projects Manager, Dylan Wade, who worked for MWH until April 2007, also sat on the selection committee (wade, however, recused himself from the final state of the selection process, he said in a previous interview.)

"'It seems pretty clear that we just keep on reverting to the same firms,' said one local official.

Indeed, some of the same MWH people who designed the Los Osos project are part of the MWH team in Morro Bay and Cayucos.

"And the price tag is rising."

I'll say. Which is why Rigley concludes his article with this: "What no one wants, though, is a replay of Los Osos -- a project that has skyrocketed in cost over three decades and coutless revisions.  But as it moves forward -- manned by many of the same people and companies for a project that may need to relocate -- it seems the Morro Bay/Cayucos project could be facing the same fate."

Which is why I say, get out the candles, folks, and start saying your prayers for the good folks in Morro Bay.  

41 comments:

Sewertoons said...

I don't think it is the same people manning the same companies that is the problem, it is the same mindset of voters wanting something cheaper. Times are far tougher now than they were 3 years ago. Moving the plant to new property and wastewater reuse will cost TONS more. But dragging their feet to even get to this point is where most of the blame can lie.

Really, Gail is now over there now putting her nose into MB's business? Please tell me this is just an off-the-cuff comment! Does she live there now? She sure didn't live in the PZ and look how all of that "help" worked out.

Yes, GOOD LUCK Morro Bay.

Alon Perlman said...

So first, for Archival purposes I submit this link http://www.newtimesslo.com/cover/6113/consulting-waste/
Because next week the Link posted in your Blog post will direct to “couvrir article de la semaine” ( !?) as it were.
Second: I had completely forgot of this webpage in my Sewer Pages /Blog count.
http://www.citizens4cleanwater.org/about_ccw On review it hasn’t had much updating since ‘09.

That count also did include the more recent Blog and web pages not the 2 web sites and Blog of the publishing empire “Crock of Simi valley”
So it’s Calhoun’s and Ron’s. Then Page’s page, Alon’s secret blog and then Citizens for sustainability as interactive “sewer” blogs.
Then there is the Highly regulated Pozer. A non-interactive pseudo Blog.
Then the Sewersites-C4Clean water, another sustainability site and the two other – Crock written sites.
And who won’t forgive me for leaving out the Counties’ first blog, which is now unlinked and an abandoned asset. Toonce’s site isn’t really about sewer.

Alon Perlman said...

“This means they can do anything they want, charge anything they want, and if it doesn't work out, then you have to pay more,"
Well, that’s the nature of the biz. Contracts with standard boilerplate about cost overruns. Big International Firms. Local Operations Monopolies. Inexperienced CSD’s. CSD directors pandering to small constituencies. Inexperienced Coastal commissioners, either in the pocket of developers, or pandering to the perceived public’s will as presented in 3 minute segments in front of the cameras while pages and pages of evidence and research remain unread.
Where JPA went wrong was in attempting to lobby over a regulatory hurdle, that was too high a bar to ford. So their Hired Jockey dug in her spurs and their horse went lame. What they needed was a lesser paid team of consultants to work with Coastal Commission Staff. To trot up and down the banks find the spot where the waters are shallow and flow slowly and attempt a crossing there. Disassemble the hurdle and lower the bar, before attempting to jump, so to speak. (I don’t think I can mix equestrian jumping and river fording metaphors any further than this). It’s getting dark quickly in the ravine. Get out your candles and light them at both ends.

Splash tromp…..Tromp Tromp… TROMP TROMP TROMP… What’s that echoing through the Canyon? It’s the sound of the Cavalry. The Los Osos Sewer Advocate Rough Riders are Here!!!!

Not much hope there either. BUT JPA did get a warning “The CCC will consider this a NEW project”. And that warning was FREE of ¢harge.

Churadogs said...

Alon sez:"I had completely forgot of this webpage in my Sewer Pages /Blog count." and "So it’s Calhoun’s and Ron’s. Then Page’s page, Alon’s secret blog and then Citizens for sustainability as interactive “sewer” blogs."

Uh, hate to tell you this, Alon, but I don't write a "sewer blog." It's a Calhoun's Can(n)on blog and I cover a whole variety of stuff, including but not limited to sewer stuff. So, of the nearly pure Sewer Blogs, I presume Ron's would be tops, which would make sense for a blog called "Sewerwatch."

Alon sez:"So their Hired Jockey dug in her spurs and their horse went lame. What they needed was a lesser paid team of consultants to work with Coastal Commission Staff. To trot up and down the banks find the spot where the waters are shallow and flow slowly and attempt a crossing there."

hahahah. very apt analogy.

And, Toonces, I suppose the issue (again) is, spend pots of money now AND then spend WAAAAAAYYYY more later in a complete do-over. Or spent pots of money now and get a complete toilet-to-tap with new plant located out of town. Either way, it's pots of money. But one begins to solve a water problem in additon to a "waste"water problem.

FOGSWAMP said...

Lately, it seems that the "guardian angels" of our 1100 miles of coastline are more influenced by politics than the real-world scientifically sustainable environmental concerns they were commissioned to protect.

One would think that McCabe, a former member of the CCC, should be barred from engaging in CCC matters for a reasonable period of time. Look at (McCabe & Co) the list of over 200 clients, developers and oil companies etc, she has amassed since leaving the CCC.

There is no limit or accountability of how much any faction with unlimited funds can spend to sway the 12 commissioners. The information "spoon fed" by lobbyists need not even be factual. More often than not it's sliced and diced sound bites put together to distort the true meaning of the original content.

It's all about winning these days and very little about factual truth.

Alon Perlman said...

Sorry Ann, I did previously include the caveat “Your part time subject matter” when describing your cannons in context of Sewer. And the recent spate of Anon trollings on your blog, was originated by the Owners and webmasters of three sites/blogs (I’m counting the sentinel) who are dedicated by stated mission, as Sewer Blogs, if not by transparent personal agenda. These “troll attackers”, not only see you as “Competition”. (Identifying you as a sewer Blog and “Judging” you on that basis), but actively seek to enhance their own (blog’s) stature, by (anonymously) downgrading yours. A classic pathology explainable by transactional analysis, among other studies of abnormal antisocial behavior. The “I’m O.K. , You’re not OK” and “I’m not O.K. , You’re not O.K.” pathology, and the exclusion of “Parent ego state” . Clearly for some, “Sewer Wars” is a mask protecting the expression of unresolved issues from early childhood.

So much for actively ignoring the professional trolls. In shorter-Greedy attention Grabbing Green-Eyed Tantrumators at it again.

Big Ditto to Fog! Where IS the like button on these comments. But I always try to view in separate; the inherent fickleness of the Coastal commission, from the wise influence of their staff. Given that Peter Douglass may be going, but for legacy, the Coastal Commission may be further cast adrift from any grounding in reality.
And I have stated before, in different form: "Let Morro Bay learn from it's own mistakes".
Not that the situations arn't uncannily paralell, just that Los Osos Activisem hasn't done such a great job of learning from it's own mistakes, before engaging in the exportation of "Le-Revolution".

SLOTowner said...

Alon, I don't know who you are, but you're a weirdo if you spend this much time talking about me as a "troll." Are you drunk?

Sewertoons said...

FOG says, "It's all about winning these days and very little about factual truth." Hence, those who are STILL attempting to stop the current sewer project in LO.

FOGSWAMP said...

Toons

"Truth" never penetrates an unwilling mind, but it's so rare these days it's delightful to tell it.

Wisdom is found only in truth and like the sun, it aint going away anytime soon. (Von Goethe?)

Sewertoons said...

Too bad that there is no universal "truth." Unwilling minds have created much bad history.

(Don't know the quote's origins! Good guess - I'll be you are right!)

Churadogs said...

Fogswamp sez:"One would think that McCabe, a former member of the CCC, should be barred from engaging in CCC matters for a reasonable period of time."

ah, yes, the old revolving door. Favorite American Pol Passtime, it seems.Talk about recycling.

SloTowner sez:"Alon, I don't know who you are, but you're a weirdo if you spend this much time talking about me as a "troll." Are you drunk?"

I re-read Alon's comment above. SLOT, can you please point out where in his comment he called you a troll or even used the name SloTowner and then called SLOTowner a troll? Are you the owner/webmaster of three blog/sites he refers to? Apparently, you assumed he was talking about you when he refered to "trolls?" Why would you assume that? Very weird.

SLOTowner said...

I don't own any websites. Who are you saying that I am? I'm confused, and apparently so are you.

FOGSWAMP said...

The California Coastal Commission is a powerful entity and so are the environmental groups that serve as watchdogs to save us from ourselves.

CCC decisions often gratify some and astonish others at times.

The monthly traveling circus attracts an entourage of tour groupies, big money lobbyists and tons of unread waste paper .

The old adage "power corrupts" and "absolute power corrupts absolutely" comes to mind. Maybe that would explain some of their decisions that astound some folk.

IMHO what is happening today in Morrow Bay and Los Osos wouldn't have occurred if the CCC members had prohibited building sewer plants and installing large sewer pipes deep underground in dangerously high groundwater and liquefiable soils when there are alternatives.

A strong majority of environmental groups and every scientific study available on the planet clearly stated the environmental dangers. There is a great sense of concern with open-minded citizens.

The National Science Foundation stated "Today, nobody would design a major project without fully investigating the liquefaction problem."

For Christ's sake look what just happened in Christchurch, NZ, the worlds largest liquefaction event.

So, why the hell did the CCC let us down?

Sewertoons said...

FOG, the CCC didn't see the need to go back to square one to redesign the project. And, (big point), our community did not support Step despite the best efforts of the Step worshippers to convince us.

The pipes in Christchurch were sized to accommodate the sewage of a city of 348,400 people, which is hardly the case here. The small diameter pipes to be used here are only slightly larger than that of Step pipes.

Oh, by the way, a couple of weeks ago when we were all talking about HDPE pipe, I ran into John Waddell outside of Carlock's. I asked him what type of pipe would be used for our project. He said that this would be up to the contractor. The basic material used HDPE pipes is weaker than that of PVC, so the walls of HDPE pipe are made thicker. (I would have posted this before but that thread vanished.)

FOGSWAMP said...

Toons .... So, in your mind 23" is "only slightly larger" than 2" and the 87% that voted for a step system somehow didn't support it. Spin -Spin.

Yes, HDPE pipe is superior and can be used in Step with a continuos coil length 2 to 4" (no joints) vs larger gravity diameters which come 40-50'.

The County Plan calls for 45+ miles of deep buried pipe with approximately 12,000 unfused slip-joints, not including the 5,000 home connections.

The Expanded Geology Analysis used in the EIR clearly states that lateral spreading and ground lurching is a potential significant hazard, as every other known study available also states.

Lateral spreading & upheaval is what occurred in Christchurch along with some broken pipes and numerous broken manhole connections spewing raw sewage. In the shallow groundwater areas the ground level dropped 5" overall.

Each of the 250 or so proposed vertical manholes have four connections susceptible to lateral spreading and 12 Pocket pump stations (10'L x 10'W x 10'D), 6 duplex pump stations (10'L x 10'W x 10'D), and 2 Triplex pump stations (12'L x 12'W x 12'D).

Since water conservation is becoming a necessary focus and because of the ability to operate with reduced flows, STEP stands out as the superior collection system.

Consider the millions of gallons of dewatering necessary to lay gravity pipes and make the bed below the pipe in the 18' wide deep trenches. In Baywood where groundwater is almost above ground in places (2' 6") it would be near impossible.

In Salinas for example when they were dewatering for a sewer line it required the pumps to be running around the clock for three weeks before a crew could work in the drained area. The pumps used for that project pumped a combined 12,000 gallons per minute in order to dewater the trenches.

All this water has to be hauled away, treated and disposed of. The same with the massive amount of soil excavated which must be hauled away and different soil brought in for the bed to be compacted.

Read the EIR Expanded Geology analysis which clearly states that lowering the groundwater level
during construction dewatering can cause the soil to subside (settle) under the increased weight of the ground above it.

Sewertoons said...

OK FOG, where are you getting your figure of 23" and "deep buried pipe?"

The Draft EIR (Appendix B, Table 3-2) spells out that 207,425 ft of pipe will be 8" in diameter (or approximately 39 total miles and 159,256 feet or 30 miles of that total will be no deeper than 8 feet), 2,490 ft will be 10" in diameter, 3,721 ft will be 12" in diameter, 4,270 ft will be 15" in diameter and 1,460 ft will be 18" in diameter.

Let's un-spin this: The 87% that voted for a Step system also voted for the treatment to be in the middle of town, in an open pond. Apparently things changed between 1998 and 2005, yes? 20 more votes for out of town, with no mention of Step.

You can extoll the virtues of Step all you like, but when it came to money, people voted gravity. My guess is the uncertainty of costs solely to be borne by the property owner did Step in. That and the gargantuan tanks as shown by a citizen who bought one and put it on display and by Orenco at Farmer's Market. Those things gave me the heebie jeebies.

I don't think ordinary people care all that much about dewatering - much like they don't care how a combustion engine works or how a piece of meat winds up wrapped in plastic at the supermarket. It just isn't something to worry about the same way they worry about their jobs, their kid's grades or sickness in the family.

You mention, "The same with the massive amount of soil excavated which must be hauled away and different soil brought in for the bed to be compacted." Well, just imagine the huge amount of used septic tanks that would need to be broken up and hauled away. Didn't Ripley say 95% of the tanks needed replacement?

FOGSWAMP said...

Toons .... You're probably right about the sizes, but my point was, and still is, (respectfully of course) that you were "slightly stoopid".

I don't know where I got the idea the pipes were 23", I guess we'll know actual sizing when we see the final contract eh?

It's a well known fact that plastic sewer pipes are highly vulnerable to float in a seismic liquefaction event. The new world Seismic Resistant Designs recommend a bed/backfill of concrete to make plastic pipes neutrally buoyant, install anchors to keep them from floating (used in gas industry) and install fins on the pipe to take advantage of the backfill weight etc. Was any of this even considered for the Baywood area?

Yes, larger pipes are more buoyant than smaller diameter, but concrete pipes are less buoyant than plastic.

Check out this site "sewersmart.org", an excellent presentation from around the world of Sewers Float and other aspects of Sewer Performance in Earthquakes and Liquefaction by Donald Ballantyne, PE.

Should be mandatory reading for folk that want to distract the truth about liquefaction and the extremely dangerous County Plan AB2701 has brought us.

FOGSWAMP said...

Oooops I guess I gave the wrong link. Just google "Sewers Float and other aspects of Sewer Performance"

Sewertoons said...

(I found the report by googling the name, but thanks for clearing that up.)

Well FOG, CDM is going over the old plans right now, so to answer your questions we'd need to see what they come up with regarding fins, backfill, etc..

I went to the sewersmart.org website. Do our septic tanks have backflow devices right now? YIKES! I'd say we will need them when we get the new sewer - or rather - A sewer.

You are clearly very worried about gravity pipes being plastic. Concrete pipes are not going to be used here, and were they to be used in the small 8" diameters (the bulk of this project) with the earthquakes you describe, would it really matter?

It would have been nice if the Ballantyne report had mentioned anything but gravity pipes to actually compare the supposed excellence of a Step system in a liquefaction event. But then, according to a 2006 Orenco presentation to the LOCSD, there are only 150,000 Step systems in our 50 states. Are any of those in an earthquake zone so we could actually see what happened, rather than speculate on its superiority?

Do you plan on continuing to live here given your dislike and fear of gravity pipes? Or are you of the mind that anything can be done to change this situation?

FOGSWAMP said...

Toons .... Yes, I plan to live here along with my children and grandchildren. I have a hell of a greater stake vested here than any one of the County fathers and their entourage that circled the gravity wagons.

If it "doesn't really matter" why are we retrofitting our buildings to earthquake specs, or why do we need fire extinguishers in buildings?

One of the big problems with gravity is you never know that a pipe is broken or leaking until the environmental damage is done, or a car falls in the sinkhole like the one in LA which was 30 feet deep.

Last year alone, more than 3.5 million people became ill from E. coli and other toxins released from over 40,000 sewage spills in the USA, according to the EPA. Most all from failed gravity pipe systems.

That doesn't happen with a STEP which is only 4' down and you can discover a pinhole is short order well above the leachable soil.

Look what's happening in Oceano or a while ago in Shell Beach. Why would any sane person want to join that party it you can avoid it?

Churadogs said...

If memory serves, Dr. T observed that sewage treatment is about a century behind, the textbooks in engineering school always out of date, the technology vastly ahead of the civic engineers who oversee these projects and the bureaucratic and public mind-set. It takes a long, long time for old technologies to get updated. I would be willing to bet if you did a word-association test with Los Ososians, for them "sewers" are traditional gravity, flush and forget, while STEP is viewed as somehow "new-fangled" and not trustworthy, some fly-by-night gimmick, so gimme dat ol' time gravity pipe which was good enough for Grandpaw. All of which is a gut response that isn't necessarily based on fact or science or anything else. The public tends to be "conservative," especially on large, costly things. Given a choice, people may spring for a new whizbang gizmo for a hundred bucks, but when asked to spend $25,000, they want The Old Standby, even if it's more costly and may not be the best technology or even best for the environment (i.e. undiscovered deep breaks and leaks & etc.)
It's just human nature. Change is scary. New ideas are scary.

As toonces noted: "You can extoll the virtues of Step all you like, but when it came to money, people voted gravity. My guess is the uncertainty of costs solely to be borne by the property owner did Step in. That and the gargantuan tanks as shown by a citizen who bought one and put it on display and by Orenco at Farmer's Market. Those things gave me the heebie jeebies."
Heebie-jeebie is an emotional, irrational, gut-level response, especially to a tank that, in reality, would be invisibly buried in the ground, not sitting in your front yard looming. But unexamined, irrational gut-level responses are responsible for a lot of things that get done that can leave a lot of people scratching their heads saying WTF????

FOGSWAMP said...

Grandpa, and every other farmer around us, had an outhouse and all were smart enough to place them downwind of the farmhouse.

"Flush & forget", a good songwriter should write a "Flush Three Times Lyric' because thats what it takes to move things along with a gravity system using new toilets. Like, Flush three times and meet me at the lift station, Flush twice and meet me at the manhole, Flush once and meet me at the street.

Toons was right when she suggested we have come full circle to wanting the Solutions Group Step system.

Look at some of the advertising literature used by the Solutions Group in 1997, linked by Ron Crawford on Sewerwatch, you could just change the date and use it to support Step today;

"LOS OSOS RESIDENTS CAN SAVE $30 MILLION ON SEWER" (just make it $50 million)

"The journey of so many Los Osos Citizens from ground zero ----the imposition of a ruinously expensive sewer system ---- to the very real possibility of a viable alternative that could save our community millions".

"Under the Septic System Maintenance/Management Program each residents' septic tank is inspected maintained, repaired, pumped, and replaced if necessary; and everyone has an adequate supply of drinking water without importation".

'A flat charge of $5.75 monthly charge per unit for support of the Septic System Management/Maintenance Program".

The Coastal Commission at that time agreed 8 to 0 .

The Solutions Group consisted of 40 - 50, at that time, well-respected folk, plus thousands of well-educated eager supporters.

The only part the RWQB didn't buy was the ponding system itself and even suggested the county use a STEP collection system in their plan and in the same letter warned about the location being questionable.

The only difference between then and now seems to be the salespersons and the five blind mice sitting in judgement.

Sewertoons said...

FOG, (to answer your 4:40pm post on 6-3), I hope that your fear of falling into a sewer-caused sinkhole is not inculcating your progeny with irrational fear. Are you also mindful of the dangers of driving a car, riding a bicycle, taking an airplane, to the point that you would blog about it? We live relatively close to a nuclear power plant too. Does the possibility of falling into a sinkhole trump that?

Sewers everywhere fail due to lack of maintenance. That would also be true of Step system but there are so few of them and they are all relatively new, not like 60 - 100 year old gravity sewer systems.

We really don't know what Step's performance is in an earthquake, do we, we are only guessing.

If you do maintenance, you know if there is a leak with a gravity system, and it is a slow leak, not like a Step system's "cut artery" response, as it is under pressure.

Oceano's problems have been discussed in the media. Operator error. That can be true anywhere. Shell beach? I found one small, private spill. Did you mean Pismo?

I'd bet 4" down is not a uniform depth either. That sounds dangerous if you are digging up your yard with any force with a shovel or dredging up weeds with a fork.

You still didn't quite answer my question. Gravity is a done deal. What would change that now?

Sewertoons said...

FOG says, ""Flush Three Times Lyric' because thats what it takes to move things along with a gravity system using new toilets."

Can you document where you got that information? Is that with a new collection system or an old one? Maybe you are talking about San Francisco? That is an old system.

I don't think the solutions group planned on changing out the septic tanks which Ripley later said needed 95% replacement. The on-lot costs were not specified as to who would pay what, either. The cost was also lower because the whole town was not going to be "Stepped."

"The Coastal Commission at that time agreed 8 to 0 ." Agreed to what? Can you tell me the date and name of the ruling or point to your reference please?

"…and even suggested the county use a STEP collection system in their plan and in the same letter warned about the location being questionable." What letter do you reference?

I'll agree, the salespersons now are not nearly as compelling as the SG. How many of the old SG now still prefer Step?

The lesson I see is that to keep changing projects makes the next project more costly.

TheOpenEye said...

Fogswamp,

HDPE is thicker due to relative strength to PVC, but HDPE is highly ductile which allows deformation necessary when the earth moves. PVC is stronger but also highly brittle, allowing little deformation under tensile stress. This is at the heart of the STEP vs. gravity debate since the Christchurch reports clearly indicate “thousands of breaks” of brittle PVC pipe versus “no instance of failure” for ductile HDPE pipe.

Waddell is wrong – selection of pipe material is up to the engineer, not contractor.

You write well and are technically accurate, however manhole count is over 800, not "250 or so." The upheaval of manholes will likely be the second largest cost component of sewer collection repairs in Japan and NZ (after pipe replacement). During winter, about 60-80% of LO manholes would be vulnerable to uplift in a seismic event of moderate magnitude and duration. With ductile HDPE pressure pipe, no manholes, no lift stations – the STEP system repair cost would be relatively trivial (if any) compared to substantial gravity system repair cost.

The door is slightly open now on HDPE pressure collection. Yet this is a winnable argument and grows more so, not less, with each passing day.

The biggest ally in this debate may just be the “Expanded Geology” section in the EIR. It speaks for itself and also highlights how MBA, County, Carollo ignored liquefaction, lateral spreading, ground lurching, and so much more. If liquefaction had been considered at all in rough/fine screens by Carollo, gravity collection should have been eliminated as a viable alternative a long time ago. But since there was never a gravity tech memo, it was never even considered. Just add up the time and cost savings if Carollo had included a gravity tech memo and then done their job on this.

Sewertoons said...

I can see Ann and FOG, that we just do not agree on the virtues/weaknesses of Step vs. gravity. That is OK with me, we are civil about it! I do know that had Step already been in place here when the houses had been built, I would be fine with it now. It is just the huge damage to property now that seems too much, both in private costs and habitat loss. Digging up a road does not impact wildlife the way removing trees and shrubs do for the new tanks.

Also, the CC talked about increased greenhouse gas with Step and what about the exhaust from the numerous truck trips for routine pumping and inspections? We sure don't follow the guidelines now we'd have to follow with Step. See pages 1 and 2 here:

http://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2010/6/Th7b-6-2010-a5.pdf

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

TOE says, "— the STEP system repair cost would be relatively trivial (if any) compared to substantial gravity system repair cost." Where is your documentation for that? We can assume of course that the Step pumps will weather the shaking, right? Got any documentation on a Step system after an earthquake?

Show us the reference to a Step system used in Christchurch, NOT the just type of pipes (HDPE) used which can be used for both gravity and Step and water mains. (Problem would be solved here if we just used HDPE instead of PVC - of course at a far greater cost, right?)

"During winter, about 60-80% of LO manholes would be vulnerable to uplift in a seismic event of moderate magnitude and duration." Please cite your reference for this. How did Morro Bay's manholes do in the last quake of moderate magnitude and duration? Or Avila or Pismo?

"The door is slightly open now on HDPE pressure collection." Who says? Winnable? Who says? Some lawyer hoping to make a buck on people's hope for Step to return?

As an aside, were this to be true, what is the plan? Go back to the Planning Commission, the Coastal Commission, the permitting agencies and the funding agencies with another project? And oh, yes, mount another case against the CDOs with the Water Board… Speaking of CDOs, the Water Board will not rescind them because of the PZLDF case still being active. How's that for irony?

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PW/LOWWP/BOS+Related+Items/SWRCBresponse5-27-11.pdf

"Waddell is wrong." Well, thanks for taking my word on what Waddell said. Best you should ask him directly for clarification.

FOGSWAMP said...

Open Eye .... Wow 800 vertical manholes, each with probably four connections. Thanks for the info.

You're certainly right, liquefaction was a killer of gravity, thus the reason it was "glossed over", as one writer put it.

It seems it's a never ending fight to get it done environmentally right.

Some say that 80% of the entire project is in the collection system, but I'm not sure that's true. I guess using a gravity system it may well be true.

I wonder how many gallons of water will be wasted in the Baywood and other areas during the monumental dewatering task necessary to make a bed for gravity pipes and all the green/gas Toons is gassing about, to haul it away along with huge amounts of dirt.

In Salinas it was 3 weeks, 24/7, pumping 12,000 gpm in just one area. But no one cares about water according to some or the seawater intrusion the massive amount removed may cause.

Sewertoons said...

FOG, does any of this matter to NOW? We are getting a gravity system.

"Environmentally right" would have meant sewering this town from the get-go. Most present residents would not have been able to live here due to the increased prices on homes.

There would have been 900 pipes off-gassing from a Step collection system, each with a little filter that would require regular changing.

How many gallons of water would have been wasted digging holes for the new Step tanks down in Baywood?

You really can't compare us to Salinas.

And I think Mr. Waddell was referring to Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc.. Page 180 on this document -

http://slocounty.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1096&meta_id=215470

Second paragraph from the bottom explains a lot:
"Comprehensive design engineering services for complete detailed design of the Los Osos Sewer Project Collection System, including but not limited to; the preparation of complete detailed design plans and specifications for the collection system…"

Churadogs said...

TOE sez:"It speaks for itself and also highlights how MBA, County, Carollo ignored liquefaction, lateral spreading, ground lurching, and so much more. If liquefaction had been considered at all in rough/fine screens by Carollo, gravity collection should have been eliminated as a viable alternative a long time ago. But since there was never a gravity tech memo, it was never even considered. Just add up the time and cost savings if Carollo had included a gravity tech memo and then done their job on this."

oOOOO Noooooo, plueeeze don't tell me: ANOTHER offical/consultant/expert supposedly qualified player who, uh, "forgot" to do their job correctly, failed to include some tach memo, dropped out information that, if included, would have been seen as a "fatal flaw" and changed things early-on. Oooo, Noooo, not ANOTHER "oversight failure," another, "missed important information, another, "forgot to do such and such," another "oops, my bad, sorry, well, too late now."

Well, why would the M.O. of the Hideous Los Osos Sewer Project change now and/or Corollo be any different, even after all these years? "BUNGLES R US" seems to be the motto here.

Sewertoons said...

And had the project gone to Ripley/Orenco in 2006, it would have been no different at all. Ripley flip-flopped 3 times on what to do with our septic tanks. Where was his tech memo on liquefaction? Or is it you don't need to think about it in an earthquake with a Step system? Hmmm. Concrete tanks breaking apart, fiberglass tanks floating to the surface and disconnecting from the house - well, maybe you do!

Where are the stats on Step systems in earthquakes? Haven't seen any of those.

FOGSWAMP said...

It's astonishing to witness our local politicians blatantly ignore science for political gain, or perhaps quid pro quo, at our peril.

According to the National Centre for Science Education, scientific literacy has doubled over the past two decades, but only 20 to 25 percent of Americans are "scientifically savvy and alert". Most the rest "don't have a clue".

Perhaps understanding this kind of ignorance may explain why many today don't seem to understand or care about the destructive nature of liquefaction eh?

Sewertoons said...

FOG, can you point me to documentation as to how a Step tank/system behaves in an earthquake where liquefaction has occurred?

FOGSWAMP said...

Excellent point Toons.

It's not easy to find any "low hanging fruit" about STEP because their isn't any.

You may want to confirm the many virtues of the STEP system with the numerous former members of the Solutions Group.

According to their literature In 1997 (ALL ABOARD ----BETTER, CHEAPER, FASTER) they "spent hundreds of hours and $24,980.00 of our own dollars to pull together an alternative sewer plan which we feel will be more effective and cheaper to build and run,one that's more bang for the buck".

Surely you know some of them folk and that information is still around somewhere.

Why would you want to "delay" the project with a Gravity System?

Sewertoons said...

Me? Delay with gravity? What about having to "Step" back to the Planning Commission, Coastal Commission, RWQCB and especially starting over with the funding agencies? Please explain how all of that would not delay things?

I don't mean low-hanging fruit - I mean the glowing praise that Orenco or someone would have on their website if there was proof of a Step system surviving an earthquake? Where is that evidence?

Please tell me who in the Solutions Group wants to revisit Step?

Alon Perlman said...

I can’t believe you two are still circling the drain on this one.
Actually, I know it is a hot topic. Linde mentioned “what happens when liquefaction launches (Manholes and pump stations?)”.That was at closing member comments at the CSD utilities committee.
Given that STEP is no longer in consideration.
I believe that other things are more relevant and potentially fruitful. For example; things mentioned about conservation in the latest ISJ report –Assumptions about changes in population (Margotsen and myself), toilet retrofits (Margotsen). I spoke at the utilities committee, (after you left toons); The relevance of review of that report by the Ad hoc committee, since no one else is doing it. Future growth , teeth in the ordinances, lack of participation by golden gate, (suppliers of half the water of the 98% of basin users in the PZ). Other good comments by the Taylors (private wells)

Nice comments fog and you too toons. I’m still calling liquefaction a distraction.

Sewertoons said...

Thank you Alon. It is a distraction. Our talking about liquefaction and Step are meaningless, as we are not revisiting Step.

It was really nice to see you at the UAC meeting tonight! I had another engagement, so had to leave a bit early. So I truly appreciate your recap of what I missed.

Yes, the relevant topic is water conservation which will be primarily funded by the sewer project. One point I often make when talking to people who want to stop this project and start a new one — you can't be on both sides of the fence - stopping this project and then claiming to care about the basin. It was eminently clear in tonight's meeting that the sewer project will do the heavy lifting on water conservation which is the most necessary part to saving the basin.

FOGSWAMP said...

Alon old chap, Toons is no longer "circling the drain" because I flushed her down, the problem is she keeps coming back up covered in mythology.

"Liquefaction is a distraction" you say;

Actually the dissatisfaction to the inaction about liquefaction is simply a reaction by a scientifically wise faction, and is in fact gaining traction by the very interaction caused by the diffraction, which enlightens folk and creates a contraction to distractionalism.

Sewertoons said...

FOG, the flushing of me is pure fiction. I have gone nowhere therefore I do not need to keep coming back.

I have asked, reasonably and politely, for some proof as to how a Step system performs in an earthquake. You, as a Step proponent, have been unable to point to an actual town/city on a Step system that has gone through an earthquake liquefaction event. The fact that you cannot do this, should bother even you, yet it doesn't! You trust "science" when it supports your beliefs, but dismiss it when it doesn't. That should be grist for self examination of your belief system.

You may cling to your fears and to your hopes for some revolt of the public toward the upcoming WWTF. So far the revolt has clearly not happened, nor will it. Lawsuits were not even mentioned at the last BOS meeting by the usual mentioners. I'm trying to get clear here what it is that you want. What is it? It would be nice to hear your answer to that specific question.

SLOTowner said...

Is this still going? WOW! Too sad! Does Sewertoons live outside the blogs?