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How Can We Take the Sewage Study Seriously?

Re “Study: Sewage Stays Offshore,” Aug. 16:

The Orange County Sanitation District study focuses on exonerating the district of responsibility for the closures of beaches.

It deals with where the plume goes and not whether the contents of the plume are polluting and dangerous.

Why is it OK to dump 240 million gallons of sewage a day into the ocean at any distance? The whole issue of whether the plume comes ashore is moot if the effluent is treated to full secondary or better levels.

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One of the wealthiest counties in California should not be dumping minimally treated sewage into the ocean so the taxpayers can continue to enjoy some of the lowest sewage rates in the state.

The cost is just being shifted to loss of tourist dollars, increased water-caused illness and a general degradation of quality of life for Orange County residents.

I look forward to seeing how high-paid lobbyists, such as Scott Baugh, will convince the public that pollution of the coastal waters, one of our greatest assets, is for the public good.

The district should declare victory in proving that they did not cause the 1999 beach closures and move on to planning how they will meet the full requirements of the Clean Water Act without a waiver.

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Dennis Baker

Corona del Mar

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It is no surprise that the Orange County Sanitation District would issue a “preliminary study” that does not even test the hypothesis.

Their large public relations machine is in full gear, because most of the politicians who oversee the district’s operations are very concerned about the public perception.

They are scared. They should be, because they have failed to plan for the future operations of the sanitation district, and most have a vested interest in continuing to dump sewage in the ocean.

We need to remember that most of these board members are city council members from inland cities. These same city council members approve housing development after housing development, adding to sewage.

Then they come to the sanitation district and vote to continue to dump the added sewage in the ocean. And they collect a paycheck to do it, $190 just to show up.

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They continue to overload the sanitation infrastructure instead of following a slow-growth strategy or building sanitation plants in their city.

Since the mid-1960s the sanitation district has followed a strategy of closing inland sanitation plants and focusing operations in Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley.

Therefore they do not have to be accountable for their sprawl or their sewage.

Paul Arms

Huntington Beach

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I’m appalled at the Orange County Sanitation District spending $5.1 million to figure out why high bacteria levels are found on the public state beaches from Huntington Beach to Newport Beach when they dump 243 million gallons of human waste and bacteria into the ocean every day.

Do you think that the 7.29 billion gallons of human waste and bacteria going into our ocean waters each month will impact the quality of clean water to our coastline? That’s a real tough one.

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Forget the “High-Tide Theory” and the “Underwater-Wave Theory” charts printed in the paper. What about the natural shifting warm currents of water that occur primarily during the summer months?

And who is conducting the pollution study but the Orange County Sanitation District itself. How ludicrous is that?

You can’t change the forces of nature no matter how much money you throw at them or how long you extend sewage pipes into our ocean waters. The waste needs to be controlled on shore and on shore only.

Having clean water in our ocean is worth the expense. I support building a new sewage treatment facility.

Vince Beusan

Laguna Niguel


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