Letter: We Need Answers About City’s Aging Sewer System


As someone committed to a healthy ocean, I am appalled by our city’s neglect of our aging sewer system and the dire, catastrophic spill that occurred on Thanksgiving Day. I applaud J.J. Gasparotti’s column in last week’s Indy, in which he blasts the city for being preoccupied with the needs of visitors, rather than focusing on the health and safety of our lives and our ocean and for not paying closer attention to better maintenance for our deteriorating sewer system. What’s the use of promoting visitors when the water is sickly and polluted with signs that say “Beaches Closed”?

Does J.J. know more than meets the eye? Could all the hullabaloo over how David Shissler, our Director of Water Quality, and his team saved the day be a distraction to deflect from a lot more leakage prior to and during the spill, thus avoiding having to inform us how vulnerable the entire sewer system is and the likelihood of another spill? (Perish the thought).

The 1.4 million gallons (that we know of) of raw sewage spilled is more than two Olympic-size swimming pools, which equals a body of water 328 feet long, 164 feet wide and 12 feet deep. We want more definitive answers please to be sure there will never be another spill in our watershed. J.J. has some suggestions. If you haven’t read his column please read it online: www.lagunabeachindy.com/does-the-wet-suit-you-86/.

Charlotte Masarik, Laguna Beach

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  1. David Schissler could answer whether or not the $4.2 Million appropriated for the Aliso Central Treatment Plant in 2013 upgraded the valve and piping that failed in November. On 4 December I wrote him this question, no answer yet.


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