Friday, April 10, 2015

Correcting Bever's Effluent On Handling Effluent

Last week former Costa Mesa Mayor Eric Bever published a commentary in the Daily Pilot, HERE, that was very critical of the recently-announced plan in Bradley Zint's Daily Pilot articles, HERE, and HERE,  to replace the aging and pump-driven sewer system on part of Costa Mesa's Westside, in a segment of Talbert Regional Park and a little chunk of Newport Beach with a gravity-flow system.

In his critical mini-tome Bever got it wrong in many ways, which didn't really surprise some of us longtime Bever watchers, so we were not surprised when Scott Carroll,  General Manager of the Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) - one of the three signatories on the plan, along with the City of Newport Beach and the Orange County Sanitary District (OCSD) - produced a rebuttal.  That commentary appears online in the Daily Pilot, HERE, and will likely appear in print on Sunday.  Unfortunately, apparently space constraints caused a very heavy hand at the editing desk, because the punch line of Carroll's piece was omitted. NOTE: Friday morning the missing segment has been added to the Daily Pilot version and will appear in print Sunday, too.   You can read the agreement approved by the CMSD Board on March 26th HERE.  And, you can read the more than 300 pages of the Environmental Impact Report, from which this image showing the project was lifted, HERE.
(click on image for easier reading)
So, in the interest of continuity and clarity - but certainly not brevity - I have reproduced the entire text of Carroll's submission to the Daily Pilot.  I could have just provided the missing piece, but this way you can read straight through it.  Basically, the last half of the piece - the reason WHY this long-considered project is necessary, beginning with the paragraph that starts, "Finally..." - was not included in the Daily Pilot.  Here is Carroll's piece verbatim:

Commentary: Getting the facts right about Canyon Drive pipeline
By Scott Carroll
April 7, 2015

I want to take this opportunity to clear up the misstated facts made by Eric Bever’s commentary titled, “Railroaded over the Canyon Drive pipeline action” dated April 6, 2015.  On March 26, 2015 the Board of Directors approved a Cooperative Agreement, which is a three party agreement between the Costa Mesa Sanitary District (District), Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) and the City of Newport Beach that describes each agency’s role in the project.  The District did not award contracts for engineering designs and/or construction because the cooperative agreement has not been approved by all three parties, permits have not been issued by regulatory agencies and bid documents need to be prepared.  The District has every intention of completing its fiduciary responsibility to our ratepayers by soliciting bids from qualified contractors, evaluating bids received and then approving a contract to the responsible low bidder. 

In regards to Mr. Bever’s transparency claim, the District has always discussed this project in an open public forum since 2007.  In addition to March 26, the District has discussed this project on February 10, 2015, July 22, 2014 and July 31, 2013 and by subscribing to the District’s E-mail subscription residents will always be made aware of this project.  Also, Mr. Bever believes the District did not listen to concerned residents, but the truth is the District did meet several times with concerned residents regarding Talbert Regional Park and the District even considered adopting the residents preferred alternative identified in the Environmental Impact Report, Victoria Street Gravity Alternative, but it was determined that the impacts and disruption to Victoria Street would be too great.  However, the District did agree to reduce the project scope to protect Talbert Park and save nearly $1 million.

The District has always acknowledged that residents on or near Canyon Drive will be temporarily disrupted during construction, but the disruption will be no way near the two year timeframe that was once reported in the newspaper.    Disruption on Canyon Drive could be as long as three weeks in any one location, which is why the District is going to schedule open meetings with residents.  The District wants to show residents the proposed designs, traffic plan, mitigation measures including dust control, noise abatement and other factors, but to accomplish this we need a set of detailed plans and those plans are not prepared yet because the District still has to solicit bids and award a contract for engineering design.

Finally, I want to reiterate why the Board of Directors believes this project is very important to Costa Mesa. This project, when complete, will decommission force main pipes and seven lift stations (five stations belong to the District).  Force main pipes and lift stations are the number one concern in the wastewater industry because if the pipe fails wastewater would spray like a geyser and contaminate anything it comes in contact with.   Lift stations require an enormous amount of energy to push the wastewater.  When lift stations fail due to power outages the wastewater will rise in the station and overflow into storm drains and contaminate beaches and waterways.

This project will eliminate the risk to the public’s health and the environment, which is the District’s overall mission, “Protecting our community’s health and the environment by providing solid waste and sewer collection services.”  If this project does not proceed, the District will have to reconstruct all the force mains, lift stations, and install gravity sewers on Wilson Street and Hamilton Street, all of which is more expensive and would lead to substantially more disruption than the decommission option.  The same holds true for OCSD, if they do not construct their portion of the decommissioned network, they will have to upsize their existing trunk sewer in Fairview Road, which would also lead to far more disruption than constructing their portion of the abandonment sewers.

Yes, Mr. Bever is correct that this project will be a temporary disruption in some neighborhoods but we believe maintaining the health and safety of the public and the environment significantly outweighs a temporary disruption.   The District will do everything within our means to ensure the public’s quality of life is not disrupted during construction and we will make sure the public is well informed about the construction timeline and scope of work. 

SCOTT CARROLL is General Manager of the Costa Mesa Sanitary District

I spoke with Carroll about this issue.  He advised me that we are a long way from this project commencing.  The two other signatories must still go through their approval process.  All the engineering and design work is still pending.  Several public outreach meetings will be held, probably not until next year, since this project is not anticipated to begin until late in 2016 or early 2017.

He confirmed that some residents on Canyon Drive will be inconvenienced for short times as the new pipe is installed.  He also confirmed that the OCSD will be doing the work in Talbert Park, and will be laying the pipe there beneath the existing service road.  And, he told me that each of the seven (7) pump stations will be removed once the new gravity-flow infrastructure is in place and operating, although one article indicates that one of the pumping stations will remain.  The final engineering details have not been completed.

Based on what I know at this time - the actual facts of the issue presented by Carroll and a cursory pass through the EIR - this complex and expensive project, estimated at over $23 million, of which the CMSD segment will cost around $7 million, certainly seems to be a proactive solution to the problem of expensive and aging pipes and pumps in that part of our city and another example of the CMSD Board and management getting out ahead of a problem.

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Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

When did the Beve ever put citizens' interests above his own or that of his masters at ocgop?

The real beef here is probably something like a Riggy/Mensy/Baugh crony didn't get a fat contract for the project.

Beve needs to stick to his used furniture business and just fade away.

4/10/2015 06:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Every time Eric Bever opens his mouth, he makes a complete fool of himself.

Our sewer system is fractured and aging badly. I know its a pain to replace, but its now or when it breaks and disaster strikes. It makes more sense and probably more cost effective to do it now. Mini repairs have been going on for too long.

4/10/2015 06:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Eric saw it as an opportunity to attack CM4FG. Just like he and his cohorts attack Wendy Leece for no reason at all.

4/10/2015 07:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Casual, yes, and that is one of the reasons he has become irrelevant.

4/10/2015 07:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Actually, I'm not sure who is the bigger dunce, Bever or Monahan. Burlesque at Vanguard University? Really? Even Gary can't be that drunk or loaded.

4/10/2015 07:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Atlas Shrunk said...

This project is a no-brainer. Replacing pumped sewage with gravity flow is so obviously beneficial that I was astonished that anyone could oppose it, let alone an experienced former council member and mayor. Safe, secure, well maintained infrastructure is a prime responsibility of government. Fortunately, we have focused special districts that keep the water and sewer out of the hands of people not dedicated to the subject. The project has been discussed for 30+ years.

4/10/2015 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous breaking bad said...

Oh yeah Eric Bever. What a joke. The same Erik Bever who made the motion to increase general city employees pension in 2008 to 2.5 @ 55 and praised them for their offer to pay for it. Of course Erik to cover his gaffe says he was duped. Yet his excuses he was duped and the unfunded costs weren't explained is completely proved false when you look at the staff report and the unfunded at the time increase of $4,000,000 was clearly in the report. Also note that increase was a 5 to 0 vote with Mansoor also voting to increase the general city employees pension. Yet this council Mensinger and Righemer claim these increases were done by past Union backed councils. Of course the Mayor lied and said it was also done during the consent calendar while residents were asleep. That's a complete lie. 3 meetings it was presented not as a consent calendar items. Disgusting what the OCGOP has becone. Makes me want to switch parties with all the falsifiers in control.

4/10/2015 08:28:00 PM  
Anonymous breaking bad said...

Monaghan exhibited the disgusting lengths these guys will go to scam residents. A miusical can contain sex and nudity while other musicals contain no sex and nudity. Yet if you google musical. What a total tool Monaghan has become. Sad and pathetic.

4/10/2015 08:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Breaking, I could not agree with you more, on both comments.

4/11/2015 04:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Volo pro Veritas said...

We live in an age of sound bites, wherein the average person is too lazy to actually research a topic and be informed. Instead, they listen to the bites of information fed to them by their candidate du jour and swallow it as if it was gospel.

In fact if the CM electorate as a whole; including those who blindly follow the council majority actually studied the very issues as pointed out by Breaking Bad, they would see what a web of deceit, misinformation and outright lies this regime has weaved to get their followers motivated.

They have oft argued that "the other side" needs to take the "emotion" out of their argument. They in fact use emotion and, rhetoric and propaganda as many, many, many failed regimes have done in not so distant history. Partisan politics IS about emotion and speaking the the visceral places of those that would follow.

I suspect that in the end, history will not judge these men favorably. They will eventually be shown to be exactly what they are, and the neighbors that have gone against neighbors because of the words and actions of these men will be left to pick up the pieces and mend fences.

4/12/2015 11:40:00 AM  

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