Saturday, May 30, 2015

Has This Been Your Experience With Water Waste Enforcement?

Hog Heaven
(Mod: I received the following letter yesterday. After hearing a lot of talk from the city about just how serious they planned on getting about overuse of water during the millennial drought, apparently out there where the rubber hose meets the lawn not a whole lot of enforcement is going on. Or at least according to the following account. Is this anything at all like your experiences?)

Hey John: Something rather entertaining has gone in my neighborhood today. The people across the street have had their sprinklers on over 5 hours now. They aren't home. This is not the first time they have had this happen. The Fire Department came before.

I have no idea whether a message was passed to the Water Department, or if they were warned or whatever. I know the city is closed Friday, but I called anyway. I was referred to a number to report a water emergency. Turns out it's the Police Department. The dispatcher had no clue what to do but she would ask around.

So, I wrote to John Capoccia; no answer. I wrote to Bruce Inman; no answer; I wrote to the City Hall e-mail address that says report water waste; no answer. Over an hour goes by. The sprinklers are still going strong.

So, since no phone numbers are given on the City Hall site to any department, calling is futile. The hours for the water people cut off at 2:00 PM and no one is in on Friday. How very quaint.

So I write Elaine Aguilar. She actually wrote back. She advised me that there is nothing they can do. They can't go on the property. They will be given a notice or a fine if this happened before and was reported. I have no idea if these people are out of town.

I know they aren't home. I resorted to calling their alarm company and they said they can only leave a message for them. They aren't always at the house, but usually they are there on Friday nights by 8:00 PM as they usually have a rip roarin' gambling event going on.

So, here we are in this drought and the city has no provision for this. This can't be the only house that has problems with their timers in the whole city. How many times has this happened and nothing has been done? No on-call staff? SMPD all checked out on water, too?

I just thought I would share my day with you, as I'm sure you have nothing better to do.

Signed, Concerned Resident

(Mod: A few hours later I received the following follow up email from our friend Concerned Resident.)

At 3:45 PM the son showed up. He had to drive all the way from USC. The parents are out of town, and the son did not seem to know what to do.

The police finally showed up as well, as did someone from the water department (I've never seen him before) and shut down the sprinkler system. Apparently there was a broken valve. Mr. Capoccia returned my call and wanted to know if it was a leak. I wrote him back and explained. End of story.

(Mod: Great letters, thanks Concerned Resident. You see how hard it is going to be to get a handle on water waste in Sierra Madre? And that doesn't include all the leakage from all of those old pipes, which in my opinion accounts for a lot of it.)

One of California's biggest sources of water just disappeared

Interesting article from Business Insider. Click here to check it out.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

45 comments:

  1. I would like to applaud this guy who tried to solve the problem rather than gutlessly turn water rat on his neighbor.

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    1. The water rat is the guy who lets his water run for hours. There is nothing noble or good in that. The community has the right to defend itself against those who harm it.

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    2. Jimmy, I think you have missed the point. There was nobody around to rat the water hog out to.

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    3. His valve was stuck. The neighbor tried to get it fixed. He didn't simply gripe and pose as did you 6:44. Boob.

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    4. Quit horsing around with all this bull about rats and hogs. You're watering down the quality of this blog.

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    5. The hogs versus rats question is a wash as far as I'm concerned.

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    6. It's all water under the bridge at this point.

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    7. I read your comment 7:43 and my spirits sank.

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    8. Yes, he's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

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    9. I find this conversation to be emotionally draining.

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    10. On our street there's a contentious guy who has had fights with everybody. Yesterday I saw him washing a car. I'm going to report him, rather than have a hostile encounter.

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    11. Didn't Flim Flam Inman have a problem with a stuck valve that led to the leaky pipe issue?

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  2. I don't think the reporter was trying to rat anyone out. It seems obvious something was wrong with the sprinklers and the owner was unavailable.

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  3. Why is reporting someone for being a water hog being considered "ratting out?" The real rat, Jerry Brown, is going to fine cities $10,000 a day for not meeting his ridiculous goals. While at the ams time giving huge breaks to agriculture and frackers. This town can;t even afford to keep its library, much less pay fines like that!

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  4. Sometimes subtlety is a flaw. My point is we are neighbors sharing a community. Instead of name calling and complaining to city hall over issues (dogs, broken water valves, etc), we should take the time to help fix them on our own. We don't need authorities. This guy went the extra until the problem - a broken valve- got fixed. he didn't rat out his neighbor and watch through the curtains like a sissy while the Man dealt with the problem - which the Man failed to do.. He's a goodfella!

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    1. Jerry Brown made and offer he couldn't refuse.

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  5. Just a bunch of cry babies! 1) ciy hall is violation the state law, city hall is is in violation of its own city Ordinance 2) it is illegal for city hall to turn fire hydrants on for 30 - 45 minutes through out the city and let A Water which the city ball fails to pay run right on down the street 3) I call the police dept ment and was told that Bruce Inman had a letter signed by our governor jerry brown which stated it was OK. I offered to buy handcuffs and have ci guy hall arrested for knowly violating the law! If city hall can not abide by their Ordinance why should any resident be disciplined. City and state laws are for all !

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    1. So I guess you would rather drink yellow smelly water then flush hydrants? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black (cry babies)

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    2. We need to make sure the city is fined for this. Oh wait we are the city we must fine ourselves? Another day older and deeper in debt...........

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    3. Drinking yellow water is about as pleasant as reading your stupid posts.

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    4. I know you are but what am I?

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    5. Trust me, you aren't.

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    6. I are not stupid? Where are the grammar police?

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    7. The point about flushing hydrants was never about the need to do that. Most recognize that this is the right thing to do. The issue was about allowing that water to merely run down storm drains. Once this issue was raised those in charge saw the light and have now begun to collect that water and use it for other purposes. Which means the pipes are not only flushed, the water is also used for good things. Saving both water and money.

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    8. Yes instead of allowing it to percolate back into the aquifer naturally through the ground they now collect it waste time and money and dump it into the spreading grounds. Nice P.R. move.

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    9. Storm sewers are made of cement. Please explain how water percolates through that.

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    10. There is no such thing as a storm sewer.

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    11. Item C, first page.
      http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/rwqcb4/water_issues/programs/stormwater/municipal/lid_and_greenst/doc/lid/sierramadre_lid.pdf

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    12. No answer to that one, I guess. Looks like this conversation is now over.

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    13. One more
      SEWER & STORM DRAINS
      Connections to the public sewer system are provided to customers
      without a private septic system for a monthly fee. Storm drains are
      provided solely as a method to control surplus rain water. It is illegal
      to dispose of liquid or solid waste through storm drains. Customers
      with private septic systems for the disposal of liquid household waste
      are subject to regulation and fees imposed by the State of California.

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    14. According to 9:53's logic watering lawns is OK because that would percolate back into the aquifers. Where do these people come from?

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    15. Better to recycle your water for irrigation than flush it down the toilet or sink where it does go into the sewer and not back to the Raymond basin.Although it will not reduce you water consumption it will be recirculated and you will not need to use fresh water.I come from a place called Sierra Madre where most people are aware of this simple fact. Where are you from Arcadia?

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    16. Trust me, your sprinkler water does not reach any aquifers. Go out in your front yard and dig about 6 inches down. Dry as dust.

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    17. I'll try one more to get through your thick skull with a direct question. If you don't water plants they will die. If you reuse the water that you normally send to Long Beach through the sewer system where it is minimally processed and sent into the ocean your plants will live. Do you think it is better to dump your water into the ocean,where it will take 1,000's of years to recirculate or to water your plants with it? Where do you think water in a basin comes from? I'll answer that for you. It does not magically appear it comes from rain and snow and is absorbed through the earth. The earth is not discretionary it will take any water and absorb it.And yes you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know the ground is dry. We are in a drought

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    18. Do you strain out the extraneous matter first?

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    19. If you read the bulletins on our water, when water goes into the storm drains above Grandview, it goes into our spreading ponds, if it goes below Grandview, then it heads downstream to the San Gabriel recycling plants where it is captured. We receive credits for this water as well. It's part of the SGVMWD.

      The only outstanding question is if that water counts as part of our overall usage.

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    20. I got rid of my toilets. I just crap and piss on my lawn. Kills two birds with one stone.

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    21. Time to bring back the outhouse. R1 limits their construction to 12 square feet.

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  6. The city takes its three day weekends very seriously.

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  7. Many times you see sprinkers on at the wrong time of day. Even before the drought prohibitions it was known that mid-day watering was wasteful (evaporation higher with higher day-time temperatures) and harmful (sunlight magnification through droplets burn the leaf structure). Sometimes the automatic sprinkler timers go off cycle with a power outrage or when the homeowner has electric work done and the power is turned off for a while and forgets to reset the sprinklers.

    In this case an observant neighbor knew something was way off but ran full on into an endess maze of "no plan in place." Many years ago we had a broken valve that ran for 2 days while we were on vacation. A neighbor finally took the initiative to walk onto our property, found the break and turned off the water.

    Maybe this is a topic for the Neighborhood Watch captains and the PD. Maybe this could be a wellness check on the part of the PD. If the homeowners were home and not incapacitated they would not let this endless sprinklering go on.

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    1. Great post. Thank you.

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    2. Yeah, SCE has been doing crazy things with the power and it's thrown mine off a few times. It might be smart for all of us to organize a sprinkler plan along with our neighborhood watch. I'd be happy to turn off my neighbor's sprinklers and reset the timer if they would be happy for me to do so. And I'd be happy for my neighbors to do the same with my own sprinkler.

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  8. If the people were out of town, their sprinklers would still be going if someone hadn't made the attempt to fix it. I would think any neighbor would try to fix the matter if they had access to the equipment. Some places are gated and ya have to look for the equipment. I would want someone to help if I were out of town and this happened to me.

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  9. During previous attempts to make people aware of safety for their property for earthquake events it was suggested that people post where the fire sprinklers/emergency valves were located. We have a red plastic sign with an arrow pointing down the side of the house to our house water inlet valve and a wrench sitting along side it. This is of course for inside water emergency. Now that we are in a drought situation we might all want to be better neighbors and share turn-off valve locations.
    What do the Tattler readers think about becoming involved in their Neighborhood Watch/CERT? Neighbors helping neighbors. Even knowing where the local recluse, don't bother me neighbor lives, will help in an emergency.

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  10. I believe the Building Dept. has that info. If your house was built or up-dated in the last 20 years all that info should be there. That's a lot of work but doable.

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