Clearing Muddy Waters

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Objective reporting is a rarity nowadays. Therefore, I am so indebted to and would like to sincerely thank Tim J. Randall and the LB Indy for its Dec. 24 article, “City Settles Suit Over Water Violations.”

Being a water activist both here and in the East for many years, I so appreciate the in-depth fact-finding that went into this story and its convoluted chain of events. Educating people on the history, the status, and the necessary costs and improvements now sorely needed and demanded for our antiquated and overburdened sewer system is both brave and necessary. We are way-past “maintenance” and into survival mode while still taxing it with new building and chronic repair patches. If we want to be a high quality of living city, getting to the point of monitoring and preventive maintenance becomes essential.

As a former corporate budgeter, I know how difficult it is to allocate funds for any new program. Other items have to be cut back, deferred or eliminated. Add a rate hike to people, and it becomes very touchy.

The Indy article, however, explains very succinctly and clearly the eight-year struggle our city has had in coming to terms with and moving forward in properly correcting the critical situation. It is tough in dollars and cents, but absolutely essential for the preservation of our ocean, our ecosystem and, ultimately for our health. As a “green” city committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and to providing a high quality of life for our community, this is the only right and true way to proceed.

Our sewer systems are antiquated, and I, admittedly, am one of the South Laguna people calling about and questioning both the foul toxic smells emitting from various sewer locations (very noxious in the early mornings) and the brown foam often tingeing our beautiful ocean and tainting it with pollutants.

Now, thanks to the settlement with California River Watch and Roger Butow, we actually have a plan with committed capital and operating expense dollars, and can move forward into a happier and healthier future for us all. As we all know, if we do not have our clean and healthy waters, we have nothing.


Joanne Sutch, Laguna Beach


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