Environmental Press # 89

Subj: OCSD's Blake Anderson and his "waiver"
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 19:23:18 -0700
From: Doug Korthof <doug@seal-beach.org>
To: voiceforveterans@aol.com (via CleanOcean@orange-county.net)

Hi,
Blake rules OCSD as if he were the only decision maker. Unfortunately for him, the Board of Directors has ultimate oversight and he serves at their pleasure. That is, on a vote, Blake can be removed, terminated, and replaced, if the Board so chooses.

OCSD BOARD ORDERS FULL SECONDARY STANDARDS
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On the 17th, Blake offered to go "toward" secondary, by immediately ramping up to 65% -- thus improving the blend (from 53-47) to 65-35, if the Board would allow the waiver. Waiver backers argued that pathogens from the plume were not a problem for the beach, because
there have never been exceedences or violations.

REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD ORDERS CHLORINATION
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On the 19th, only 2 days later, waiver backers, including RWQCB staff, argued that they wanted to perform a $13,000,000 "experiment" to chlorinate the plume, "proving" it "innocent" if beach contamination continues, and thus "take it off the table" -- presumably, allowing them to re-open the OCSD Board vote, and re-apply for the waiver.

The only purpose for the rush-job on chlorination (it is to be started on Aug. 12) would seem to be to drag their heels on going to full secondary. Chlorination of primary sewage does not kill all the bacteria, but it kills even less virus, and also creates THM and chlorinated hydrocarbon poisons. In addition, the dechlorination chemicals kill the oxygen, creating potential dead zones.

So that's the fear: they are foot-dragging on plans for full secondary, proposing it will take "years", and, if they can "prove" plume bacteria is not a problem for the shore, Blake may offer to donate a token sum to fighting "urban runoff" if he gets to re-apply for the waiver.

AB1969 BAUGHBLOCK
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Senate Appropriations has been convinced that full secondary would require substantial rate increases, thus requiring state money -- and it's past the deadline for that. This on the theory that there are some state lands inside OCSD service area that would be impacted. This requires rewording at least, and maybe dooms it for this year. The goad of this bill was one big obstacle for Blake's plans, and that seems to be why sewage lobbyist Scott Baugh was detailed to stop it.

FIGHTING FOR THE WAIVER
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Why else zoom into chlorination, when they could go to 65% secondary right now? And why claim it would take "11 years" to comply with the Board direction?

What does the rest of the industry think about OCSD's truculence? Here is one letter, received from a new technology called "dual sand", which is being used at some Poseidon desalination plants for pre-treatment. Meanwhile, OC is ignoring new methods, and apparently relying on the waiver. As usual, Blake seems to think the real problem is getting around the Board, not improving treatment. Learn more at http://dualsand.com

---------------------------------------------FORWARDED MESSAGE------------------------------------------

"I find it interesting that the OCSD continues to promote this bloated cost estimate of $430,000,000 as the amount that it would cost to provide the treatment required by Federal Law. This is simply not factual as there is technology available today that will provide take discharge from their HB plant and treat it so that the final discharge would have the following qualities. BOD - non detect, TSS - non detect, Phosphorous - less than 0.05 ppm, Coliform - non detect.

"The cost of this system would be approximately $150,000,000 installed and commissioned. An additional benefit is that during storm events where flow can triple through the plant, this filtration system can handle the added flow. The system is called DualSand and piloting is available.

"Currently in California we are piloting at the Los Galinas Waste Water Treatment Plant in Northern California.

"This system is the pre filter of choice for the largest desalination plant being built in the world - Tampa Bay, and is currently being installed in most of the waste water facilities that discharge into the New York City Watershed..."

-----------------------------------------END FORWARDED MESSAGE---------------------------------------

Contact information forwarded on request.

So the entire GWRS may be bloated, misdirected, and obsolete, a step in the wrong direction. When informed that replacing the filters alone in GWRS would be $24m each 3 years, the reply was "...yeah, but the water district has to pay that"! As if that
makes it OK.

Blake seems to want to continue the obsolete idea of using the Ocean as a dumping ground for sewage solids, instead of eventual re-use and reclamation of all wastewater and the biosolids dissolved in it.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
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An appeal will be filed to the chlorination order, by several groups. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED to sign a petition to the State Water Quality Control Board, to do the following:

1. APPEAL THE CHLORINATION ORDER;
2. EMERGENCY STAY OF THE CHLORINATION ORDER;
3. MODIFY THE ORDER, EXPEDITIOUS MOVE TO FULL SECONDARY.

Paper copies of the appeal will be made available for you to sign, or you can print them off from the website and FAX them in to the State Board.

Unless this is done, OCSD staff under Blake Anderson will, in the opinion of many, continue to foot-drag, delay and obfuscate, hoping to befuddle the Board of Directors which has taken the correct decision to clean up this embarrassing problem:

OC the largest, most egregious sewage waiver in the USA.

The waiver is not our only problem, but we can't move on to fix the many other issues until we at least deal with this easy one of coming up to normal water treatment standards. It seems to be Blake Anderson, leading the charge for business-as-usual and the status quo, fighting against the habitat, the forces of history, and the decision of the elected representatives of the entire County of Orange.

/Doug

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