Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Potential Problem to Ponder Concerning the Clearwater Program

A potentially significant issue dealing with the Clearwater Program of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LACSD) came to light during the most recent Scoping meeting, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Here are the basic details. If you reside in San Pedro, which is in the city of Los Angeles, along with Wilminton and parts of Harbor City, your sewage does NOT travel to the Carson treatment plant.

You sewage travels to a city of Los Angeles facility on Terminal Island for treatment. The treated sewage water is then piped out to between the end of Pier 400 and the breakwater, all in the outer harbor area.

The Clearwater Program seeks to provide a new Outfall System from the treatment plant located in Carson and out to the Pacific Ocean, up to seven miles beyond the breakwater.

There are fourteen "Identified Potential Shaft Site Locations" that will be looked at for the placement of the Outfall Shaft and the ground-level site dealing with the tunnel and debris excavated from the tunnel.

Of the fourteen sites, only TWO actually are located in areas where the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts provide service.

One site is Number 3 on the list of potential sites is Eastview Park, illustrated in the photo below.

The park is owned by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts and is operated as a park for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. The park is located on Westmont just east of Western Avenue.

The other site that is within the LACSD area is the actual treatment plant in Carson.

Now please consider the illustration below.

Click over image to enlarge.

I am stopping here right now to confirm that, according to managers within the LACSD, the overwhelming number of people who have commented on where the Outfall Shaft must be located is at Site Number 6, on Terminal Island, the old LAXT site.

That site is also within the area utilizing the Los Angeles City treatment plant on Terminal Island.

Here is where I think residents of San Pedro, Wilmington, and Harbor City may find concern.

Since eleven of the fourteen sites can be considered as being in residential areas or areas of great traffic, and those areas are NOT within the LACSD boundaries, it is perhaps an unnecessary imposition on these residents to have disruptions considered in the areas for which no benefit may actually occur.

In essence, LACSD is considering sites in areas outside their boundaries for placement of the Outfall Shaft and the ground-level area.

I can imagine that if and when San Pedrans and others learn they could have their lives disrupted for about eight years on a project they will receive no direct benefit, they might get a bit testy.

I did not realize the situation until I asked individuals conducting the Scoping Meeting that San Pedro is not really part of the LACSD and they confirmed it. One of the gentleman answering my direct questions commented that he thought there could be some benefit to residents of San Pedro and the city of Los Angeles, but I didn't really understand his answer very well.

Here are the "Identified Potential Shaft Site Locations and whether they lie within an area served by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.

1. JWPCP is the actual treatment plant in Carson and it IS within the area of LACSD.

2. U.S. Navy Fuel Depot, northwest San Pedro, is NOT within the area of LACSD.

3. Eastview Park, Operated by the city of R.P.V. on LACSD land IS within the area of LACSD.

4. Field of Dreams, along Gaffey Street in San Pedro, is NOT within the area of LACSD.

5, Peck Park, San Pedro, is NOT within the area of LACSD.

6. Port of L.A. (LAXT) is NOT within the area of LACSD and is NOT considered to be in a residential area.

7. Averill Park, San Pedro, is NOT within the area of LACSD.

8. Friendship Park, in San Pedro MAY or MAY not be within the area of LACSD and is the only site west of any existing tunnel.

9. Fort MacArthur, Middle Reservation, San Pedro, is NOT within the area of LACSD.

10. White Point Nature Preserve, San Pedro, is NOT within the area of LACSD. There IS an LACSD pumping station near the end of Western Avenue that pumps treated sewage water to the existing Outfall locations AND pumps untreated sewage back towards the treatment plant in Carson. This site can be considered to be in a residential area.

11. Royal Palms State Beach, San Pedro, is NOT within the area of LACSD but it is the location where the existing Outfall System tunnels leave the land area and go out into the ocean.

12. Angels Gate Park, San Pedro, Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur is NOT within the area of LACSD.

13. Cabrillo Beach, Pacific Ocean side, San Pedro is NOT within the area of LACSD.

14. Point Fermin Park, San Pedro is NOT within the area of LACSD.

Below are the two illustrations I used to create the overlay that appears higher on this post.

Now that I have learned something that may be very important to residents of areas who do not wish to see about 150 dump truck trips per day traveling through their neighborhoods, for about eight years, I will keep looking deeper into the Clearwater Program.
We can expect the Draft Environmental Impact Report and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to come out closer to the fourth quarter of 2009.
We have until November 14, 2008 to get our written comments concerning the Notice of Preparation and Initial Study created and sent in.
I think my comments will deal with stating the obvious; The Outfall Shaft must be sunk on Terminal Island and there is no way I can consider having any areas of San Pedro considered for placement of a shaft that would not benefit the residents who live in the residential areas.


M Richards said...

I don't think there is any real need to put up a tough fight with this issue.

The managers of the Program have heard for about two years now that the Terminal Island site is really the ONLY site to consider.

My comments to the NOP/IS will be positive and welcoming for placement of the Outfall Shaft on Terminal Island.

I don't think I would hesitate one bit to strongly suggest to LACSD that placing an Outfall Shaft in an area not served by LACSD would be a very BAD idea, though.

As for Eastview Park, I doubt anyone would be that ignorant to seriously consider that site, compared to Terminal Island,
even though it is on LACSD owned land and is along a four-lane road, no that far from one freeway.

Western Avenue already has two Outfall Shafts under it, we have done our duty in these parts.

Russell Jeans said...

It's not entirely true that all San Pedro sewage goes to the city's TI plant. When my father was a civil engineer for the city, early in his career he did work on the side for the developer of the South Shores subdivision. My father laid out the street arrangement for the development.

He told me the sewage that would be generated from the development was beyond the existing capacity of the sewage system piping. There was talk about routing the sewage through the Palisades neighborhood. Many living there objected and the Palisades association grew out of that.

What ended up happening was the construction of a pumping plant at the corner of Western and Paseo del Mar. It is fenced in. The raw sewage from South Shores is pumped through a separate pipe parallel to the outfall tunnels back to the JWPCP to be processed.

Likewise, the county area around 3rd and Bandini is under the LACSD control, but their raw sewage is pumped to TI because of the convenience of the sewage system already in place for the surrounding city neighborhood.

M Richards said...

Thanks Russell.

By the way, now I remember is was your brother who showed me how to state I attended "Harvard".

Another person at the meeting seemed amazed that pumping was done in both directions from the pumping station at White Point Park.

Thank you for letting all of us learn that South Shores uses LACSD and that the unincorporated area surrounded by San Pedro uses the City facility on Terminal Island.

What struck me last night was learning now many of the potential shaft site locations were in areas not served by LACSD.

I am still a big proponent for the need for a new Outfall System and everything I learned last night further suggests that Outfall Shaft site must be on Terminal Island.

Another thing I commented on last night was that perhaps it is now a good time to think about connecting Terminal Island to the mainland, for transportation purposes.

There are three bridges connecting Terminal Island for rubber-tired vehicles. There is one bridge that utilizes trains.

There seems to be a lowering of the amount of cargo going through the ports right now and that may last for a while.

This might be a good time to consider creating more transit routes between the Terminal Island area and to an increasing number of areas in and out of the L.A. Basin.

There would be a great number of issues in closing off part of the harbor in Wilmington and there may be some new technology that is put in use to keep the ports waters flowing all around.

Should there be a new bridge built? Could there be tunnels built for rubber-tired vehicles and/or trains?

I think I have another post to ponder.

At the meeting last night, we were informed that the proposed Outfall Tunnel would have the capacity equal to or greater than the combined tunnels that are in use today.

The old tunnels have not been inspected for over 50 years and when the new Outfall Tunnel is built, LACSD will get chances to inspect, repair, or even retire one or both tunnels.

The Sanitation Districts seem to be doing a much better job at dealing with their project than just about every other developer.

It is wonderful to meet folks willing to discuss things and be very willing to accept comments and keep everyone informed.

km said...

Since this is treated watewater, has Sanitation even considered reusing it rather than dumping it into the ocean. We do have a water shortage and this outfall would fill the Rose Bowl many times each day. That's a lot of water going to waste