Sunday, October 18, 2015

How Much Of Sierra Madre's Failure To Reach Its State Water Use Reduction Goal Is Due To Water Main Failure?


There is a Special Meeting of the City Council tomorrow evening at City Hall, and it deals with one agenda item only (link). The Agenda Report goes by this rather ominous sounding title:


As you can imagine, this leads to a quite long and somewhat detailed report dealing with the issue of Sierra Madre's at risk water conservation efforts. According to the State of California, these have not been all they could be, and Sierra Madre has failed to reach its mandated goals. There could be consequences, and should things not improve quickly these would almost certainly be in the form of some pretty draconian fines.

Here is how all of that is initially detailed in the report:


So why has the City of Sierra Madre failed to reach its conservation goals? Is it solely because the residents have not conserved water in the amounts that they should have? Have people been ignoring the things that they need to do in order to help the city avoid being heavily fined by the state for using too much water? Is this really a city of scofflaws?

The answer to that question is not clearly determined in this Agenda Report. But here is one distinct possibility for the City's failure:


It would seem to me that before the blame is laid exclusively at the feet of Sierra Madre's residents, and certainly before they are forced to endure any additional fines and penalties designed to correct their behavior, shouldn't it be determined exactly how big a factor all of the water system leaks have played in this matter?

So here is the question that needs to be answered. Exactly what percentage of Sierra Madre's failed water reduction number was caused by all of those water main and pipe leaks? And if the apparently systemic failure of this city's water infrastructure were to be somehow factored out, would the results show that Sierra Madre's residents actually have done what they were asked to do? Cut their water usage in the amounts required?

That would seem to me to be an essential answer to have. Unfortunately that data has not been shared with us yet.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

43 comments:

  1. Douglas C. Berkshire, was a manager for A.T. & T., Doug had been a Sierra Madre resident since 1941 where he had been City Treasurer for 25 years, on the Planning Commission for 12, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Sierra Madre, Masonic Lodge #405, and active with the Historical Society and in numerous other community organizations. Mr. Berkshire had said on more than one occasion that he would never vote for any more taxes in Sierra Madre. He said that City Hall had treated the water department like a "CASH COW" and had not put the money back into the water system. More than 20 years ago Doug had talked of the need for replacing leaky pipes and other infrastructures in the system that had been ignored for years. Mr. Berkshire was upset about the way the city spent this money and became very verbal about it to council and his circle of friends. The city had ignored his concerns and now come to the residents for more money because of their past misuse of resources, our water. We surely need better management at city hall and the right leadership from council.

    R.I.P. Douglas C. Berkshire you and your wisdom are not forgotten.

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    1. we need to reelect John Buchanan

      he'll take care of this

      oh wait, he did - he was one of those that lied to us about it and spent the money

      John Buchanan - A Candidate for SoCal Edision

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    2. John Buchanan for PRISON

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    3. I can't believe that guy is thinking of running again. Does he really think everyone has forgotten all the bad things he did?

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    4. Buchanan is obnoxiously narcissistic. Hopefully it's just a bad rumor that he wants to run again. His reasons are all self indulgent.

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  2. Will the city fine itself for wasting water?

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    1. Remember Bruce told us we met our reduction numbers some months back, now all of a sudden we don't meet them. Seems strange that the flow is now the resident's problem. Aside from the mains leaking, there are streets all over town that have had many, many leaks in just the last few months. Where has all the water gone? Not to the many dying trees, or brown lawns...
      Raising fines, raising fees will not solve leaks. Don't see too many dead lawns at the park, baseball park, cemetery...Bruce come up with a new one but don't blame the public for your shortsighted errors...take the blame like a man...

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    2. Isn't this a case of "misappropriation of Funds" ?
      Taxes were spent on bloated salaries and benefits instead of urgent needs for infrastructure replacement.
      Who decided to waste the money on fat salaries for City employees instead of replacing water pipes?
      Who objected when funds were misappropriated?
      Aguilar and Inman are perpetuating this fraud. When will the CC act to stop this?

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  3. The city should fire itself, we need new management now more than ever. We need someone with the intelligence to lead us out of this mess, we need someone who can NOW talk to Sacramento of our problems here.

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  4. You need only drive down Orange Grove and see the contrast of the lawns on the Sierra Madre side vs the Arcadia side. Any time day or night, the Arcadia sprinklers are on and running trails down the street. Yet they seem to meet their quota. That Sierra Madre doesn't means it is due to the leaks that are counted against us. Should be interesting to hear the spin tomorrow evening. Take the time to go to the meeting and see how are questions are answered.

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    1. They don't meet their quota.

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    2. Arcadia's water company is backed by amber mines.

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  5. How about we contact whoever the person was that had the foresight and intelligence to get us hooked up to MWD, they seem to care about the future of SM.

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    1. Yes. That water has been pure gold. Literally.

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  6. How about we contact whoever the person was that had the foresight and intelligence to get us hooked up to MWD, they seem to care about the future of SM.

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    1. Is there an echo in here?

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    2. We would, except he resigned from the city council and left the country.

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    3. If you are talking about Mosca he now lives in Encinitas and relaunched his political career there recently. Got a position on Parks & Recreation where I am sure he tells everyone how much he loves that city's small town charm.

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  7. 6:35, if the city had been doing it's job we never would need to hook up to MWD's system. If you check you will see that a % of Arcadia's water usage is coming from water that Sierra Madre lost due to miss management. A little hindsight here may prevent us from making the same mistakes over again. Our only personal agenda here should be getting us our good water back.

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    1. Miss Management has grown up. We call her Ms Management, now.

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  8. It appears that better salaries and greater benefits for city management has not produced better decisions that would make for a smoother operation and fewer legal costs.

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  9. It was that misspent "CASH COW" money that is hurting us now. A lot of people need to wise up to these past mistakes and take the bull by the horns.

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    1. and start by voting NO on the UUT

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    2. Starve the beast.

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  10. Concerning WATER this seemly over abundant commodity has reared it's ugly head to declared it has slipped to the level of rare as hens teeth in some cases. Municipalities treated this nearly free commodity as their own to do with or not with but so many used WATER as another money generating enterprise the goal was to create a CASH COW for each cities coffers, they took and took but didn't give back to repairing the system no matter how much was lost it was covered up by increasing the price to the paying residents. California laws protects the Cities from anyone who wants documents concerning how much and who is using any amount of water in most if not all cases it is the CITY it's self that is the major water user so for lazy politicians it's easy to sell the increased price of water to the basic consumer by saying through public opinion propaganda how this excessive water usage is really needed and any complaints are Anti-City progress and you have become a target for being un-civic minded.

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  11. 6:31, I live in Arcadia and received a letter stating that the city had not met the State mandated goal even though our particular household had cut by over the 36 % that was required. The City council is still approving demolition of 3 bed 2 bath homes to build 7 bed 8.5 bath behemoths. They, like the powers that be in Sierra Madre are clueless.They are puzzled that an initiative is being proposed for the ballot in April.

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    1. I drive through Arcadia on a regular basis, and San Marino also. Both cities have an endless amount of well manicured lawns, still. For the most part, the drought does not exist in private homes in both towns.

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    2. And neither of them are meeting their conservation targets. On the other hand, they can afford the fines they will have to pay.

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  12. How much of our expensive water leaks through the pipes that have been neglected for decades?
    The estimate used to be that 30% of the total consumption was water main leakage. I believe Inman may be the source of that number .
    The amount wasted with flushing to reduce discoloration is unspecified .The City is still wasting flushing water.I have seen it going straight down the storm drains.
    In addition the chloramine will cause leakage between the main and the homes in galvanized pipe and could go undetected for years.
    The leaks that chloramine causes in copper pipe laid under a concrete slab would also go undetected for years.
    It is a total mess.The CC needs to roll heads for this.It is NOT a surprise.

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  13. Why not add water meters to the water hydrants that are used to "clear the system"? That would be one way to measure how much water is actually dumped!

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  14. Whats with the fire departments water tanker being driven by all sorts of people at the fire hydrants and through the dirt, it sure looks a mess now, this can't be proper use of emergency equipment.

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  15. It isn't all bad news.
    The 30%+ of our drinking water that leaks through neglected water mains and all that water used for flushing eventually moves through the aquifer to bolster the underground supply that Arcadia pumps from.Arcadia needs this water for their big green lawns.

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    1. Fountains are nice, too!

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  16. We're sick of government screwing everything up either by corruption or incompetence or both .....and then blaming us.....the taxpayers. Everything is just one big scam to get more taxes for the benefit of politicians!
    Politicians are the root of all evil.

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  17. By cash cow, everyone needs to realize that the water department income was going to pay for the rest of the city functions and not banked for infrastructure improvements. Also, for years, even decades, the cost for the water was never realistically priced. We have added staff positions because the long-term replacement was a "nice" person, creating a position that did not exist before. This did start years ago under another City Administrator and was ignored by many City Councils, but it has to stop. Now! Half the city was put on smart meters for water and then that budget item was dropped and the company who provided those meters was no longer in production and the citywide project was dropped. Egad people? At some point the City Council, this one preferable, has to act responsibly. If the City Manager and the Department Heads cannot present a reasonable solution then it is time to find someone with sharper thinking skills who is not waiting for retirement but who would actually like to do something for our city while polishing their career star.

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    1. There was a considerable amound of water that fed into the settling basins via the Sierra Madre Canyon canel last night. A crew arrived about 9 p.m. and worked several hours to crimp the leak. This was a few yards uphill from the work they are doing (again waiting for some "part" as the steel plates for that "Fix" is ???)! This is the location that was the big holdup when the city repaved Woodland 25 years ago. Who knows where they have to go to locate the parts for this. It is too old for it to be from China. What plumbing parts rack in the rust belt, I don't know.

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  18. Please plan to go to the meeting tomorrow! It really is important.

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  19. Sierra Madre's water use problems are from pipe leaks and shoddy infrastructure. Blaming the residents is BS.

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    1. The people who will pay for the cost of the added infrastructure needed to supply water over and above the rationing level are the ones who need it for whatever reason. If we are the ones who need it, then we as a community will have to figure out how to pay for it. Doesn't really matter how we got here. We're going to get stuck with a robust fine if we can't find a solution. I sincerely doubt "But we have a unique problem" is going to work with the state.

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    2. The city never admits it might be at fault. Or at least share in the creation of a problem. If city hall wants to cooperation from the residents it has to drop its guise of infallibility. Especially in a situation like this where they are by far the larger part of the problem.

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  20. 9:34, you are talking about taking the high road and that is fine. In the process of taking care of our problems let us learn from the past and not make the same mistakes that got us into this mess. These problems weren't fixed with more tax money and if we don't start working smarter no amount of tax money is going to fix our problems. Looking at our police, fire and water problems you can't want to continue down this road of tax me more, give me less.

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