Saturday, September 26, 2015

Your Saturday Sierra Madre Water Crisis "It's Safe to Drink" Review

When it comes to water the troubles of our favorite town seem to be endless. One consequence being it does give us a lot of material for this blog. Always important. And now it appears that the various water woes in Sierra Madre have escalated to even higher levels of controversy. Here are a few related items that have become available in the last few days. The first of which comes to us from the latest edition of the somewhat transparent City Manager's weekly report (link):


That term "more stringent action" likely means increased levels of fining for those using too much water. A controversial item in itself as many of those on the receiving end of those fines aren't always convinced they deserve that kind of attention, or should have to pay so much. 

But is the city's inability to attain its conservation goals really the fault of those who will be the target of this increased fining stringency? Here is an exchange between a resident and Bruce Inman that we posted just the other day.


So is it possible that those additional small percentages of inappropriate water use, which have now left the city short of its 32% state mandated water reduction target, were actually caused by the recent rash of water pipe leaks? As typified by this recent article from the current incarnation of the Sierra Madre Patch (link)?


Perhaps Sierra Madre's long suffering residents have been doing exactly what they are supposed to do, saving water, and the real source of the problem lies elsewhere? Could be.

So just how widespread are the city's water leak troubles? This from yesterday's e-mail blasted "Sierra Madre Public Works Dept. - Special Message."


Triage indeed. Sometimes you have to wonder who really should be paying those "more stringent" city water fines.

This next item appears in today's edition of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:


Today's SGV Tribune report also alludes to that troubling juxtaposition of city water pipe leaks and state mandated water reduction goals. You can read the rest here.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

56 comments:

  1. The orange water doesn't constitute a health hazard, huh? May I bring a gallon jug to you, Mr. Capoccia, so you can drink and bathe in it? Does anyone remember Elaine's jolly report about fixing several leaks in one day? It was out a month or two ago. The leaks have progressed since then. We need a couple of good people to ste-up and run for the seats that will be vacant on the CC. The election will be here sooner than you think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Johns are running again.

      Delete
    2. The Taxi Maxi Twins.

      Delete
    3. John Capoccia is the Wolf! John is a true turncoat. He should step down.
      The WOLF needs to go!

      Delete
  2. Capoccia states (or is quoted as stating) that the water is treated with chlorine. I am confused. Which is it? Chlorine or Chloromine? What source is this water?

    And I suggest that the city offer free* bottled water distribution at the city hall parking lot, not too different from any other disaster area when the water is undrinkable due to contamination!

    (*not free of course, the citizen will pay for it out of some mismanaged budget!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean we could have had somebody else pay for bottled water for the family?

      Delete
    2. Purely symbolic.

      Delete
  3. As far as discolored water is concerned: I have well water at a desert cabin and the water is rust colored and drinkable, just not very appealing or tasty (naturally occuring high iron content). We are seriously spoiled when it comes to pure, drinkable and pretty water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing what some people will claim to accept in the name of being an apologist for the city.

      Delete
    2. 6:25 needs to sign up for the Volunteer Fine Payer Program.

      Delete
    3. Boy did you miss the meaning in the 6:25 post!

      Delete
    4. Great article 6:55A. Also sad. As for iodine in water, yes, you could drink it. But you have to avois the bacteria in the sediment which lines your pipes with slimy stuff and bacteria which also comes out of your tap. We are not a third world country, yet, 6:25A. In Ojai, they have a high incidence of sulphur in their water. Have you ever cooked with it? Or bathed in it?

      Delete
    5. 9:32A, If not Harabedian and Capoccia then who? They are the one's who are able to make changes in the city. Instead they vote to fund them and never criticize them or call them out for their poor decisions.Capoccia can't even run a decent meeting. Last meeting, he talked and talked instead of just being the mediator and directing the members of the council. They need to go.

      Delete
  4. Drinking water systems imperiled by failing infrastructure
    http://news.yahoo.com/drinking-water-systems-imperiled-failing-infrastructure-140117243.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. WaterWorks. How much water do they use and how much have they cut back? Are they required to cut back 30% or be fined like the rest of us?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am completely okay with piggy users being fined, as we gave up our lawn and have been living on bottled water.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Myself and all of my neighbors have been conserving successfully. Why? Because we are people who have to watch our budget! I wish I could say it was because we were so virtuous, but that's not the first reason. The first reason is the money. It is beyond unfair that we have to also pay for the city's mistakes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The city has a good thing going for them. The water damages our pipes and we not only have to pay to replace the pipes but we also have to pay for an expensive city permit to fix the problem they caused. ALL permits relating to leaks or replacing pipes should be waived.

      Delete
    2. We are the city. They are our mistakes. We can correct our mistakes next April in the election. Replace Cappocia and Harabedian.

      If we do not do that then we are the problem.

      Delete
    3. I don't think it's Capoccia and Harabedian - I think it's a long line of incompetent city managers and the director of public works who have to go.

      Delete
    4. I agree with you 9:32. Look to the previous City Councils, especially the horrid Buchanan, in his eight year term, and Nancy "We Put You In and We Can Take You Out" Walsh. Just remember in April that who you vote for makes a tremendous difference. Do your homework - they ALL say they want to preserve our small town atmosphere, are fiscally responsible, etc. Look at Noah Green, who nearly got elected but was clueless about Sierra Madre. He wanted to have some sort of Halloween Happenings. Well, Noah, watch the window painters in a few weeks, the annual Halloween parade and costume contest.

      Delete
    5. Funny how you got a problem with Noah Green who was somewhat new to town, because the problems were caused by (or allowed to be caused by) people who have live here a long time.

      Delete
    6. He took interesting pictures.

      Delete
  8. I don't know when I've see such complete, utter mismanagement of its water infrastructure by a municipality. Bordering on criminal. Years of yelling about it from the city in order to raise taxes to get funding streams used for other things, and not a single effort to set up a rolling maintenance and replacement strategy with allocated annual funding to repair this situation. If that had started 10 years ago the city would be in decent shape today, facing this drought emergency.

    At least this will keep Sierra Madre from becoming a developer target if the city infrastructure doesn't work and it's on the border of insolvency. Time to replace the miscreants on CC and on staff, cut the SMPD and Fire, figure a way out of the mess before the city faces bankruptcy. Residents must get control of the water agency and pass a bond, and a moratorium on development until the water supply is functional.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really don't see any other option than bankruptcy. Let a judge work out how much our city staff needs for the rest of their lives.

      Delete
    2. Please, 8:56 - This is the best City Council we've had in years and years, including Harabedian and Capoccia. They're trying to fix the mismanagement of previous Councils. Those two horrible houses on Camillo seem to have been sold. I wonder how they like their brown water!

      Delete
  9. This is nothing short of malfeasance on the part of our City. There should be consequences but in government there is no consequence. Government can dump toxic waste into the Colorado River and everyone keep their job. City workers can do a poor job with our water and nothing happens. All they care about is increasing their salaries and pensions. Who cares if the residents suffer with poor water and poor infrastructure. Why should the city workers care, they don't live in the town.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wonder if any of the old timers who are Tattler readers might give us some information.
    I have heard that "cash cow" nickname, and that the money that came into the Water Dept. was used any old way with no records. Who was responsible? And how could it have gone on for decades?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I find it amusing almost comical that when something goes wrong with government we separate ourselves from it. When something is lollipops and roses we gladly become part of it. We are the city,we elect people to represent us and provide for us. Any failure on the part of the city is our failure.If blame must be placed it starts and ends with the populace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with that idea 9:18, but at the same time, I have not taken money from one intended purpose in the community and shuffled it around at the cost of long term maintenance and planning. I am not responsible for the neglected infrastructure, and the people who are, are somehow immune from the consequences.

      Delete
    2. Well you may be correct in the first statement but you are wrong in the second. We are responsible for the neglected infrastructure and we will pay....

      Delete
  12. Has there been any compilation by the city of just how many people have stopped all landscape watering, or recording of proofs of the residents' actions?
    I drive through San Marino on a regular basis, and I'm willing to bet that one regular San Marino home uses five times the water the average Sierra Madrean does.
    Is the city defending us, at all?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. Just go south of Orange Grove, to see all those lush green lawns in Arcadia.

      Delete
  13. The difference is that San Marino gets its water service from a private corporation, not the municipality, so the city has no control over it at all. The water pricing in San Marino is way more than double in other areas, so that suits Cal Am Water just fine. They keep raising the rates in spite of protests to the California Public Utilities Commission Division of Water and Audits. The whole game is rigged between the MWD and the water suppliers, money extraction scheme. Has nothing to do with the amount of water used.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I heard you were not suppose to eat the yellow snow, now it's yellow water? What is the city coming to? wait and see next month of October will really be interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 6:25, your right, we are spoiled and thought we were paying to continue to be spoiled with good drinking water. It is a cities responsibility to provide the residents with life and safety protection. This city has not been doing it's job. Now it may seem fine for new comers but those of us who have fought over the years to preserve what we have, including our X fine water are very unhappy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have been wondering how the MWD has been able to give Sierra Madre all these loans. They must be making a pile of money. Who can afford to lend a city 1,000,000 with interest only payments. What a good deal for them and really bad for us!

    ReplyDelete
  17. "CASH COW" ,,, that term was used a lot through out the years. If was mentioned by past employees and volunteers from city hall. This has been mentioned at council many times over the years and always was dismissed. Mr. Capoccia told me we can't keep bringing up the past as that will not help our situation today. I say ,,,, we need to learn from the past so we don't keep making the same mistakes. The political groups with the Nancy Walsh like attitude are whats killing this town. This group has a lot of innocent followers that believe whats coming out of city hall and special interests groups.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about our water bonds from the past?
      Capoccia nothing but as posted earlier a Wolf

      Delete
  18. If we the people / residents of Sierra Madre would all write the Governor of the fine State of California explaining our problems as residents would that help?? I will write one and maybe others of you might do the same, we have a right to be heard and for sure not fined for City Hall's mistakes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our elected representatives represent us.We can write all the letters we want maybe we secede from the city?

      Delete
    2. 1:28P-You see nothing similar between city and federal governments? I don't believe Hillary needed to be brought into it, but 11:39A has the right to voice his opinion. You need to look up some of the infrastructure the feds are responsible for. The problem is that city guys think they're playing in the big leagues. 11:59A-nice quote from Shaw. Too bad he was such a mysoginist and wouldn't allow women make their own circumstances.

      Delete
  19. I do not think that many residents have woken up to the fact that

    1) the city council manages this city

    2) Elaine , Bruce , SPD, SMFD, SMP, and all employees are the puppets of the city council

    3) Sierra Madre City Council and its city mgr. & public works directors are failures and continue to make bad decisions at the cost of all city residents

    4) It is no different than Hillary and her deleted emails

    5) The year is 2015, the city hall needs to grow up and reduce its employees. their salaries & health benefits, their spending and credit card spending habits. OR THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY NEW IN-FER - STRUCTURE!

    6) I believe where this city could be going, is to class action law suit against city hall. ALL of these broken pipes, leaking pipes, are being eaten from inside out.
    a) city hall choose not to fix the water infrastructure
    b) city hall chose not to re work the water tunnels to produce more water
    c) city hall chose not to re work or drill new water wells
    d) city hall chose to purchase the yellow water
    e) city hall has choosen to increase its salares - health benefits & death benefits at the cost of failure to repair its water enterprise interests
    f) Is everyone aware that the "Sierra Madre Water Enterprise directors" are Elaine, Bruce & the old finance director?
    1) these are not water enterprise experts
    2) but these city hall employees are being paid from the water enterprise Cash Register Plus the General Fund

    THIS CITY NEEDS WATER ENTERPRISE EXPERTS, We need to fire the presents water enterprise management & directors, they have clearly shown that they do not have the ability to turn this fiasco around.

    If there is any statement un true,

    I am requesting comments from the people and all city council members, please do not hesitate to write your name as the author!

    Drought or no drought, city hall decied to keep raising residents water prices, feed the cash cow bad food and now the residents get to pay for it based on bad city hall decisions.

    We need a new city council and need to stricke all presidential orders for the past 20 years.

    Other wise this city will fail, its just a matter of time!

    I am tiered of feed city management!

    from a long time city resident

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You forgot to mention the kitchen sink.

      Delete
    2. 11.39
      Excellent summary.Hope you get even more involved in the debate. Sadly Capocia could not have written down all that you did. And Harabedian would not agree with any of it. Guess who needs to go?
      Please ignore prior pathetic attempt at humor.

      Delete
  20. "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."
    ~ George Bernard Shaw

    ReplyDelete
  21. 11:39,,, get a hold of yourself, down boy, your all over the road. First, we have a few good people on the council, we just need to get out the old regime and get more preservationist on the existing. That whole email thing should not be brought up with local politics and beside you obviously don't understand it. We can handle our own water, we dont need an outside company running it, we just need to have better managers of what we have.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anon @ 11:39 "I am requesting comments from the people and all city council members, please do not hesitate to write your name as the author!" An anon. asking for names jajaja...........

    ReplyDelete
  23. "We need a new city council and need to stricke all presidential orders for the past 20 years." WT* is that? Too much Seroquel maybe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see any link whatsover between national politics and what happens here. I wish this person what shaddup about it.

      Delete
  24. What a bunch of crry babbbies!

    Get a life,

    all you need to do is show up at a city council meeting and bring a jar of Rolaids!

    I believe you got the message with intended spelling errors or not!

    Its great to hear again from you, the city employees!

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Portions of the City's water distribution system are 90 years old..."

    What? Wasn't the money from the Prop 218 water rate increase supposed to be used for INFRASTRUCTURE?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Cash Cow refers to the income from the sale of water and rental of water meters to the Sierra Madre water customer without ever reinvesting it into the running of the 'business' of producing water. Water deparment income went to fund other city projects then (and now?) There was no appreciation of how bad the old pipes were until they started to fail (remember the big water hammer that ripped up Sierra Madre Blvd. to the east side of town) or until the imported water started the corrosive red/yellow water results. In the 1980s Woodland was repaved and before they went ahead with the project they discovered a mess with the pipes and spent several weeks waiting for replacement parts because the junctions were so old parts were hard to find. Canyon residents were pretty well fed up with the wait and held a protest march on city hall. Then City Administrator Jim MacRae decided to hold a community meeting to 'splain' the situation at Nature Friends. I was there and will see if I can run down a newspaper article and photo in a file somewhere. There were always so many digs and repairs it was pointed out that the idea to use recycled rubber tires for pavement was not a good idea, as there would not be the same material for repairs but a patchwork of asphalt in the middle of Woodland's rubber tire pavement...but MacRae forged ahead with the recycled rubber tire repairs and it is a mess.

    ReplyDelete
  27. We should discuss the chamber of commerce. This organization is always trying to increase business in town. At night and on the week ends the town is busy with more and more people using the facilities at a time we are trying to conserve water. The Kensington, there must be an increase of over a hundred people a day now utilizing that facility. The movie shoot this last week, how many did that bring into town using our facilities, and who did that benefit? We have the Sacramento business attitude passing laws to make us increase our population all the time as were running out of water. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what has gone wrong here, how about the council discard their special interests groups and start doing what's right for the town and it's residents, not the building influence from Sacramento. Please, everyone who hears of these problems and reads the Tattler go tell all your friends and neighbors. Raising more money by taxing us is not the answer, we can make a difference if we all let City Hall know how unhappy we are and that we are not voting ourselves another TAX INCREASE.

    ReplyDelete