I was unable to attend the South Coast Water District’s public tour of the sewer tunnel stabilization project in the ocean side cliffs between Three Arch Bay and Aliso Beach. This initiative is a five-year, $100 million project that will widen the sewer tunnel and lay new pipeline. According to news reports, 40 people attended the tour that began at the Sands Café at Aliso Beach. The tour guide began by pointing out to participants the 200 homes above the bluff that dump sewage into the tunnel through 82 connector pipes. Could each house have a $500,000 dollar plumbing problem before interest payments? I can hear one of the 200 homeowners now, “Wow. Sorry kids, the bathroom is now off limits. Why did you guys have to become potty trained? You’ve flushed away your college funds. My parental advice to you is to learn a trade, like plumbing, or better yet marry a plumber. Your bathroom usage has landed us in the poor house. I did the best I could. Here’s a list of foster parents that have good plumbing. I’ll miss you guys. I’ll be sure to visit on weekends. Tell the foster parents to drop you off at the public restrooms Exit 245 on the I-5.”
Oops. I got that wrong. These 200 homes are just a few of the many houses that have been contributing about 1 million gallons of sewage a day since 1974 through downhill gravitational flow. For non-scientists out there, the experts are saying that “s___ runs downhill.” Well at least until it reaches Aliso Beach, where an electric power lift station built by Tesla pumps the sewage 260 miles uphill before the station has to be airlifted and recharged at any one of four Tesla Supercharging Stations located throughout LA. The full service islands are attended by battery-operated Elon Musk clones. These supercharged Geniuses require no bathroom breaks and will clean power station windows, check sewage pressure, and doom GM to the buggy whip scrap heap. On lunch breaks that the Musk attendants don’t require, they promise to make the Dyson vacuum cleaner look like its sucking wind.
The experts claim that age and usage require that the old pipe be replaced by new pipe in order to carry safely the same amount of sewage. My personal plumbing can relate. For the sake of a second opinion, I reached out to a Washington think tank called, “Concerned Citizens for Safe Flow.” According to spokesperson, Clare Flush, age and usage are only two factors contributing to failing sewer infrastructure. “Surprisingly, children are the number one cause of clogged pipes,” explains Flush. “Washington is reluctant to blame children,” continues Flush. “Studies show that 83% of Happy Meal toys are flushed down the toilet. However, 99% of these children will work at McDonald’s by 2028 and need the employment. It would be counter productive to play the blame game. And don’t forget these children will have their social security and Medicare benefits go the same way as their Happy Meal toys,” sighs Flush.
Hot diggity, but all is not lost. Another study shows that Weebles wobble, but they do flush down and then go safely through the South Coast Wastewater Authority coastal treatment plant. The plant cleans the Weebles to meet state discharge standards and then releases them through and outfall pipe into the sea a mile from shore, where the toys have created an enchanting toy reef for Nemo and his friends.
Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.