Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"Better, Cheaper, Faster?" No.
"Better, Cheaper?" Yes.
The Los Osos CSD's Alternative Sewer Plan

"Faster?" No.

But does the Los Osos Community Services District have a "better, cheaper" and viable sewer alternative to their current $150 million controversial plan? You bet. And it's sitting in a file cabinet in their office.

The "better, cheaper" alternative sewer plan developed by CSD engineers includes cost estimates down to the hundreds of dollars and specific details on the scope of the project. It would move the sewer plant out of downtown and save multi-millions of dollars, according to the LOCSD. However, that plan was not pursued by the initial CSD Board (that included recall targets Stan Gustafson and Gordon Hensley) because it did not accomplish the "project objective" of "centrally located community amenities."

The "better, cheaper" plan can be found in the form of this document:
MWH Memo comparing costs of TriW with Andre.


Everything you need to know about a "better, cheaper" viable alternative sewer project in Los Osos is detailed in that document -- down to the electricity costs -- and it was developed by CSD engineers.

In a nutshell, the CSD's alternative sewer plan keeps the same collection system as the current project (which is, by far, the bulk of the project), but instead of locating the sewer plant in the middle of town at the Tri-W site, the plan moves the facility to one of the two Andre sites east of town, about two miles downwind. The plan calls for a small pumping station at the Tri-W site, and a 14-inch sewer main that carries everything to the Andre2 site, as SewerWatch has termed it.

CSD officials are correct when they say that the larger of the two Andre parcels includes deed restrictions from PG&E that prevents any buildings on the property due to power transmission lines. However, according to PG&E sources contacted by SewerWatch, those deed restrictions do not apply to the smaller, adjacent, Andre2 property -- a site that CSD engineers have already said could accommodate a sewer treatment facility.

The Andre2 site was "rejected" in 2000 by the initial CSD Board because it did not meet the "project objective" of "centrally located community amenities." (Straight from the Project Report: "[The Andre site] is 1.5 miles from the edge of the community and would not be able to provide the community with a readily accessible recreational area.")

Interestingly, the CSD's alternative project -- a project that would save millions of dollars and move the treatment facility out of town, according to the LOCSD -- is Los Osos' worse case sewer alternative scenario.

For example, one scenario is that a realigned CSD Board could immediately pursue the alternative project developed by CSD engineers, while concurrently and quickly (and I want to emphasize the word "quickly") examining treatment facility alternatives. If there's a treatment alternative that's technically viable (and I want to emphasize the word "viable"), then that could be used at the Andre2 site, or another property about two miles downwind of town (there are several).

"Better?"

If your definition of "better" is not having a sewer plant in the middle of Los Osos, then, yes, the CSD's alternative plan is much "better."

"Cheaper?"

According to CSD documents, yes.

"Faster?"

No. It would take about an additional two years, according to CSD engineers, to rework the treatment facility plans and secure the required permits and documents. The collection system, which makes up most of the project, would remain the same.

"Better, Cheaper, Two Years."

Sewers are forever.

###

[10/2/09: Quick note: Now that I'm linking back to these stories, I want to clarify something... On some of the posts here at SewerWatch, especially back in the 2005 days, you'll see (below) how it says "0 comments" in the comments section.

That's not because no one was readingSewerWatch back then. In fact, it's just the opposite.

The reason some of these posts have "0 comments," is because, on rare occasions, I would intentionally turn off the ability to leave comments, and this story is one of them.

You see, a HUGE part of SewerWatch is showing that Los Osos AND regulators were tricked by something called "behavior based marketing," and part of that marketing strategy involves USING the media as "tools."

So, back in 2005, during the run-up to the LOCSD recall election, SewerWatch was so widely read that the people that practice "behavior based marketing" were USING me as one of their "tools," and would leave blatantly misleading, and deliberately confusing comments, and it was awful. I was giving the "behavior based marketers" a venue to operate.

Put yourself in my shoes... here I was exposing the fact that the reason there's such a gigantic train wreck in Los Osos is because the town, AND state regulators, are all victims of a "behavior based marketing" campaign, yet, here I was allowing that exact "behavior based marketing" to occur on my own blog. Me, being used as a "tool," and I just couldn't allow that.

So, when it got down to crunch time, like the lead-up to an election, I'd shut down the comments section entirely. No one could leave a comment.

Can you blame me?]

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