Oceano’s flooding debate continues

May 3, 2011

San Luis Obispo County Public Works officials discussed the history of Oceano’s flooding problems and possible solutions before a turnout of about 50 people, many state and local government employees, at a public meeting on Saturday.

Members of the public contend the flooding of homes in Oceano is chronic and the county is doing nothing about it.

In 2003, the county paid for a study that provided several solutions. Nevertheless, the county failed to implement any of the suggestions and in December several dozen homes in the flood prone area around the lagoon were inundated with water and sewage.

During the December storm, water flowed through electrical conduits at the San Luis Obispo South County Sanitation District into pump motors which shorted out the plant’s electrical system, shutting down the plant’s intake pumps. Early reports said 3 million gallons of raw sewage had spilled into the community.

Oceano resident Joe Schacherer said that even in homes that did not flood the stench of sewage was pervasive. He also noted that many residents had sewage spewing up through their toilets and bathtubs.

Public Works Director Paavo Ogren spoke for almost an hour at Saturday’s meeting about the Arroyo Grande creek channel and the lagoon system. He referenced cleaning out overgrowth to enhance capacity of heavy flows. On May 24, Ogren is slated to present a plan to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and then ask the board for funding to implement solutions.

Residents of the neighborhoods that flooded say they have their own ideas such as using the airport for drainage and having Arroyo Grande Creek flow directly into the ocean.

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————-This statement by Larry A. Baughman was withheld from Judge Martin J. Tangeman by the County of San Luis Obispo Attorney who now is the OCSD Attorney representing OCSD! The photo above is Mr. Baughmans property, that now floods with Caltrans fixing the problem on State Highway 1 in 2009!

“We Own a home at 1519 Fountain Ave which is currently rented to Chuck Bachman. It floods every winter with up to a foot of water in the living room, causing Mr. Bachman to move to a Motel.”

“Water At The Corner Of 13th/Paso Robles/And Highway 1 Runs (Drains) Under The Railroad Tracks Across Railroad Ave And Collects In The Area Highlighted In Yellow On The Reverse. Something Has To Be Done To Get That Water To The Lagoon Or South To The Ag Creek At The East End Of Airport Runway. The End Of Fountain Ave Floods Every Winter. Larry Baughman”

It is a shame that the County of San Luis Obispo Attorney, who is now working with the Oceano Community Service District would withhold evidence from discovery showing the flooding problems in Oceano before Oceano Nursery began flooding in 2004!

All Documents can be seen at http://www.governorjerrybrown.net Some may ask why Governor Jerry Brown! Please watch the videos of Caltrans grading and shoveling contamination into the Oceano Communities storm water drainage channel when the west side of Oceano was not flooding!!

A little history of the flooding prior to State Highway 1 flooding!

Exhibit # 1756 Are three letters written by the Oceano Community Service District April 21, 1983 to San Luis Obispo County John Wallace. Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange, Dennis Donovan. Southern Pacific Land Company, John Sherman, explaining the OCSD Construction process of their well # 8 and their intended use of the storm water drainage channel.

Exhibit # 1730 April 29, 1983 Letter response from Southern Pacific Railroad to the Oceano Community Service District informing OCSD that the intended use of the storm water drainage channel is for “storm water runoff”

Exhibit # 1773 January 10, 1985 Department of Transportation Memorandum Document showing drainage concerns of Caltrans going back to 1974. A $5,00.00 Contributions from the Oceano Community Service District for their new Fire Station Construction drainage!

Exhibit # 1757 March 13, 1985 The Oceano Community Service District signed contract agreement with Caltrans allowing for the OCSD new Construction/Fire Station drainage to enter State Highway 1 and go into the Caltrans drainage inlet leading into Railroad culvert! March 14, 1985 Oceano Community Service District minute order regarding Caltrans agreement with OCSD # 05A239 signed by Gina Davis Deputy Secretary to the Board. March 13, 1985 OCSD meeting minutes with John Wallace showing the $5,000.0 OCSD contribution to Caltrans drainage of State Highway 1 per signed Caltrans OCSD agreement!

Exhibit # 1875 March 27, 1985 County of San Luis Obispo letter requiring requiring Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange to raise the Outlet of the storm water retention pond on Southern Pacific Railroad property. May 22, 1985 County of San Luis Obispo Building Permits for POVE Construction after 1977 Construction. Included is a OCSD letter to the County Of San Luis Obispo December 13, 1984 and a letter from the Counties Chief Building inspector John P. Little dated December 26, 1984.

Exhibit # 1774 April 4, 1985 Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Fully Executed Copy of Cooperative Agreement between the State and the Oceano Community Service District, addressed to then General Manager Richard C. Hill.

Exhibit # 1758 September 11, 1985 Are OCSD meeting minutes showing drainage changes to the Oceano Communities storm water drainage system with the discharge of Well # 8 water onto County of San Luis Obispo property. OCSD mentions prior recommendations from Montgomery Engineers’ before John Wallace became the OCSD District Engineer after leaving the County of San Luis Obispo.

Exhibit # 1759 February 27, 1986 Letter by John L. Wallace Consulting Civil Engineers to the County of San Luis Obispo Glenn Priddy for drainage coming off of State Highway 1 onto County of San Luis Obispo Airport “Pacific Place” property going into the Oceano Lagoon and then into the Pacific Ocean. “Culvert that crosses the Railroad tracks on front Street near the railroad station” OCSD new at this time that State Highway 1 Drainage was for storm drainage, rather then their Well # 8 water.

Exhibit # 1790 September 25, 1987 Letter By Gary Simms, from the Department of Transportation to the County of San Luis Obispo Glenn Priddy, showing that the OCSD and State drainage at this time could be fixed for only $43,295.00. The County of San Luis Obispo portion of this would be $9,310.00 and the Railroad/POVE portion would be $15,070.00. The Department of Transportation does not mention the Railroad or County in their 1985 $5,000.00 agreements with the Oceano Community.

Exhibit # 1791 October 15, 1987 from OCSD to the Department of Transportation per their 1985 $5,000.00 signed agreement with Caltrans taking liability for storm water drainage!

Exhibit # 1792 November 18, 1987 District Agreement No. 05A239 A/1 from the Department of Transportation. November 3, 1987 hand written document attached

Exhibit # 1793 May 18, 1988 letter to the Department of Transportation from OCSD, Plans for Subject drainage project from 1985 agreement between Caltrans and OCSD.

Exhibit # 1794 November 30, 1988 is Fred Brebs of the Department of Transportation maintenance log for cleaning cleaning

Exhibits # 1768 Starting in November 30, 2001 are the OCSD Phil Davis daily logs starting with the OCSD broken Well # 8 Pipe on County and Railroad property in 2001. December 20, 2002 Log, problem as seen in exhibit # 579 withheld from discovery by the County of San Luis Obispo. OCSD abated initial problem with OCSD pipe in culvert plugging debris at entrance to the culvert. Next OCSD problem February 9, 2004 having OCSD employee clean out drainage ditch from debris in ditch. May 19, 2004 OCSD Ditch Cleaning. October 26, 2004 Major flood from debris inside Culvert, that OCSD fixed with sewer cleaner jet. November 4, 2004 OCSD cleaned ditch. December 6, 2004 OCSD pulled leaves and sticks out of the south end of the culvert. December 9, 2004 OCSD finds RR culvert 1/3 plugged. December 10, 2004 OCSD report for culvert cleaning by OCSD after meeting with County Road Department. January 3, 2005 OCSD deals with flooded State Highway. March 23, 2005 OCSD cleans culvert. Tuesday December 18, 2007 OCSD meets with Attorney to talk about culvert before flooding later in the day. Friday January 4, 2008 OCSD Well # 8 has another tree brake their blow-off line in the culvert. Caltrans asks OCSD to pump the POVE pond. January 7, 2008 OCSD repairs their Well # 8 blow off line discharging still into the Railroads culvert.

Exhibit # 1789 September 15, 1987 Judge Martin J. Tangeman would not allow into evidence. This document shows a conflict between the County of San Luis Obispo, Caltrans and the Oceano Community Service District after the April 4, 1985 Department of Transportation signed agreement taking the OCSD storm water.

Exhibit # 579 that the County of San Luis Obispo withheld from discovery showing a problems with drainage observed with Caltrans in 2001 raising State Highway 1. One photo provided out of three showing a Union Pacific Railroad Train Wreck and a PVC pipe inside the storm water drainage culvert!

Exhibit # 9 filed July 24, 2008 after trial showing complaint in exhibit # 579 withheld from Discovery by the County of San Luis Obispo involving Gregg Albright of Caltrans and San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katch Achadjian!