Whiskey’s for drink’n, water’s for dumping

August 16, 2013
108

Ramona Ave. and Fearn Ave.

OPINION By JULIE TACKER

Millions of gallons of groundwater of unknown water quality is currently being dumped into the Morro Bay National Estuary 24/7.

The Los Osos Wastewater Project’s “last resort” location has become “Option 1” to discharge dewatering water from the construction trenching into the estuary, a state marine reserve, with estimated flows exceeding eight million gallons per day.

County staff explains they have a permit to discharge in this manner and are exercising their interpretation of this permit. The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board wants more information before they sign-off on this disposal. The County is dumping this water, regardless of the promises made to the community, California Coastal Commission and the Regional Board.

If this water is clean enough to dump to the bay, it’s clean enough to provide beneficial use, somewhere, anywhere, but lost to the sea. It is unknown if this water will damage the fragile ecosystem of the estuary, characterized as “temporary,” only the creatures caught in the balance can determine to what extent this change in flows will have.

Meanwhile, Los Osos was certified level severity III of the resource management system, it and surrounding communities are clamoring for water. This is the best the county public works department, under the watchful eye of Supervisor Bruce Gibson, could come up with.

118

Butte Dr. and Solano Ave.

Shameful!

112

Ramona Ave. and Fearn Ave.


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12 Comments

  1. Downtown Bob says:

    Clearly, based upon the two photos here, there is no where near millions of gallons of water being released anywhere. Besides, this is natural water from the ground that is simply put into the rain water collection and sent off to the ocean. What a joke Mrs Tacker, you are a mess.

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  2. suzyque says:

    Again, who’s in charge? This sounds like bad decision making if it isn’t agreed upon by the majority. What part of a consensus do the County Supervisors not understand? Do we have to wait until there’s a crisis every single time water issues aren’t handled properly? Or do we need to get new supervisors? hum?

    (5) 15 Total Votes - 10 up - 5 down
  3. obispan says:

    What a disjointed piece. In short, no one has offered Julie Tacker a job jet. De-watering is part of many excavation projects. The water is not toxic, and it could be used. Do you have any place to store it and the infrastructure to get it there?

    (18) 34 Total Votes - 26 up - 8 down
  4. godislanguage says:

    So…where else do you expect the water to go? Pump it into a truck and drive it to a waste water treatment plant?

    This appears to be a big fat NON-ISSUE!!!!

    Yea, go ahead and try to figure out the feasibility of certifying trench water as potable….how much will that cost the people of Los Osos? FYI, you gotta dig trenches to lay pipe, water fills the trench from the surrounding earth….why? Because it is naturally suspended in the ground and through hydrostatic forces it…..drum roll….fills trenches….viola! Pesky trench water.

    What is shameful and irresponsible reporting is how you don’t include the real cost to the bottom line of what your insinuating and without proposing as an alternate to this project and the people of Los Osos.

    Your a “Stone Thrower” Julie Tracker and you should pick her your battles more carefully, this is a big fat angry “Sky is Falling” hit piece.

    …waste of time reading

    (18) 40 Total Votes - 29 up - 11 down
    • CherieMcKee says:

      Really “hydrostatic forces”? Maybe you should read the record on dewatering and where it’s supposed to go? http://www.diglososos.com

      The dewatering water was supposed to go the Broderson leach field, storm basins or to the farmers.

      The county is talking about as much 16 million gallons a day, not the 1 mgd. (or so) septics discharge i over the whole town, for a complete and total imbalance.

      (-8) 22 Total Votes - 7 up - 15 down
      • godislanguage says:

        SOOOOOOO WHAT!!!! The trench water source is organic.

        Are you guys claiming the people or the eco system is dying or threatened?

        This isn’t some Valdez oil spill, its trench water, and this event will pass.

        Keep crying, its just money and its nonsense issues like this one which escalate project costs.

        But maybe the goal here is to bankrupt us all back into the stone age.

        When all said and done the estuary will be as healthy as ever, and the people of Los Osos will have a sewer system.

        (11) 27 Total Votes - 19 up - 8 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    It’s ironic that you should be concerned about the effects of dumping this water in the estuary, yet you fought for years to stop the sewer, while septic tank discharge, in the absence of a sewer, continues to pollute the bay.

    (17) 37 Total Votes - 27 up - 10 down
    • CherieMcKee says:

      Such a predictable response. The testing required isn’t being done to know for sure what quality water is being harvested to the bay.
      The amount of water for construction dewatering is much more than the amount of water discharged by septics each day (like 10x).
      A septic tank’s water that is discharges on Highland Dr. doesn’t see the bay for about 10 years, giving it plenty of soil column to go through to be relatively clean by the time it hits the bay. The bay, which depends on the freshwater flows from these discharges. The dewatering of 10-plus million gallons per day will leave a voud, causing that septic water from Highland Dr. to go downslope sooner, leading to less treatment from the natural soil and lead to more pollution in the bay.
      Once again, kill the messenger, not the message.
      Have you read the letter from the Regional Board to Waddell date August 7th? You might change your tune if you read it. Join Julie’s Facebook group, Los Osos Sewer Sleuth, and be part of the discussion. She back’s everything with fact/documentation.

      (-14) 30 Total Votes - 8 up - 22 down
      • Pelican1 says:

        Sadly, the messenger (YOU) is nothing more that a pseudo, self proclained expert unable to accept the fact that a sewer IS being built, despite ALL your attempts to delay, and./or stop it.

        (9) 21 Total Votes - 15 up - 6 down
  6. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!!! We don’t have enough water problems or adequate and effective over site of discharge and we want to entertain, invite a whole new set of issues with Fracking??? We sit on top of the Monterey shale and PXP has already applied for dumping waste water into the San Luis Creek from what operation? We are not sure. They have oil wells out there and they don’t need any permission to start adding toxic lethal chemical, pure acid to melt the rock, and up to 9 million gallons of our fresh water per well to frack the living daylights out of that area. 40-70% of that now classified toxic waste remains in the ground never to be recovered and no, absolutely NO guarantees it will not contaminate, mingle, meander, seep into our groundwater.

    If we had any foresight any wits about us we would pass a law right now making it a crime to use those chemicals anywhere within a 100 miles of any water source above or below ground.

    We think drought, contamination is a problem now wait until there isn’t any water to fight over because it is all poisoned by all those exempted toxic chemicals they use to Frack with. Exempted means it’s legal to poison the well and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about until and when we make it a crime.

    This seems like a case of, if we had half a brain we would have half a brain. Are we going to wait until the inevitable happens and then call foul? There must already be something in the water with this kind of thinking.

    (-9) 27 Total Votes - 9 up - 18 down
  7. tomsquawk says:

    “and are exercising their interpretation of this permit”. doesn’t that say it all?

    (15) 25 Total Votes - 20 up - 5 down
  8. cambriavoice says:

    Cambria is faced with a similar problem. The county is planning on dumping thousands of gallons of
    water taken from Santa Rosa Creek into Cambria’s wastewater plant. The water will be taken from the
    new bridge project on Main Street. The contractor will be dewatering the trenches for the bridge pilings
    and thousands of gallons per day will be contaminated and can not be placed back in the stream. Taking
    water out the creek and throwing it down the drain at a time when the creek is almost dry and the fish are dying is criminal. The construction project could wait a couple of months for the first rain and then the
    creek can afford to loose the water without harming the fish.

    (4) 30 Total Votes - 17 up - 13 down

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