Just Add Water?
I am not a trained firefighter but I am a skilled waterman. Strategically applied, water puts out fire.
Sometimes we can combine a few problems and synergistically develop a creative solution. What happens if we take the 1.6 million gallons of secondary sewage discharged by Laguna Beach into the ocean each day just over a mile offshore and upcycle this wasted wastewater to provide a citywide perimeter “new water” wildfire pipeline?
Our biosolids and sludge in wastewater can be harvested as bio-coal to feed thermal oxidation of wastewater contaminates like pharmaceuticals, microbead plastics and similar guck that otherwise ends up in the ocean. Heat generated feeds a steam turbine to power wastewater filtration. Alternatively, fuel cells can operate from our natural biogas.
By combining the problem of expensive utility undergrounding to include a space in the trench for a new water line in Laguna Canyon, trenching costs can be supplemented with generous State recycle water grants.
Laguna would have an independent source of “green” energy and new high purity water for wildfire prevention and suppression as long as we continue to flush our toilets daily.
The estimated cost of a new water system for Laguna is $30 million over the 30-year pipeline life cycle or $1 million per year. Less secondary sewage offshore, more new water for wildfire protection and State funds for Laguna Canyon utility undergrounding is possible when we combine multiple problems to create new, smart, sustainable solutions.
When do we get started?
Mike Beanan, Laguna Beach