Re "DWP Shaping New Free Market Survival Skills," March 21:

I work at the newly reconstructed Badger Avenue railroad bridge over the Cerritos Channel. On Jan. 20, my office was told by the mighty Department of Water and Power that because of a necessary repair to a water pipe, we would be without water for one week. One full week without a toilet, drinking fountain or running water at an isolated 24-hour, fully manned facility? This was unacceptable! This was unacceptable, but not quite as unacceptable as what ended up happening: six weeks without water!

I remember thinking one day as I fought my way through the pouring rain and wailing wind to the portable toilet 300 feet away that the DWP would never survive as a real business. The DWP is not ready to compete, and ordinances designed to make sure the DWP doesn't lose customers the minute doors are opened to competition are incredibly insightful.


Long Beach

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