Open Forum This Wednesday.
The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) dumps approximately 240 million gallons a day of partially treated sewage wastewater into the ocean in Huntington Beach every day, enough to fill up Anaheim Stadium three times. This sewage comes from the toilets of 2.35 million people from 24 cities in a 470 square mile area of central and north Orange County. It is discharged into the ocean through a mile long diffuser pipe from a 10-foot diameter outfall pipe extending 4.5 miles out into the ocean and 200 feet deep off Huntington Beach, California. The plume created by this sewage discharge is estimated to be 6 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 100 feet thick, and meanders away from the discharge pipe according to local currents. Only 50% of the sewage gets treated to the required minimum standards, the other 50% gets minimal treatment. Secondary treatment is the minimum standard established by the 1972 federal Clean Water Act, and is the standard of nearly 16,000 other sewage treatment agencies in the United States for sewage water that gets discharged into a water body.
Currently, only 36 out of 16,000 sanitation districts have a 301(h) waiver. These waivers allow the treatment facilities to treat waste to less than minimum standards. 301 (h) waivers have been decreasing. Ten years ago, there were 60 agencies that held 301(h) waivers, now only 36 waivers still exist. Orange County is the largest agency in the nation to still have a waiver. The OCSD may be asking for a waiver extension in July. We need your help to get rid of the waiver!
What You Can Do…
Fax the letter below opposing the waiver and the rights of the OCSD to dump partially treated sewage into local waters.
Attend the rally at the next OCSD Board Meeting. This is the final opportunity for you to show your support. The OCSD Board will be voting after the public comment period.
When: Wednesday, July 17, 2002. Public comments from 6 PM – 7 PM
Where: Orange County Sanitation District Offices,10844 Ellis Ave., Fountain Valley
Orange County Sanitation District Board of Directors c/o Lisa Murphy, Communications Manager10844 Ellis AvenueFountain Valley, California 92708-7018
Dear Board Members:
I understand that you will be voting on the waiver extension in the near future. I am writing to urge each of you to vote against renewing the 301(h) waiver held by the Orange County Sanitation District.
This waiver allows for less than full secondary treatment of the sewage being discharged into the ocean off Huntington Beach. This discharge has potentially harmful effects to the marine environment and may be causing beach closures thereby exposing the beach going public to a health risk. I request that you immediately direct the staff of the sanitation district to develop and implement plans to treat the sewage to full secondary standards.
As an ocean enthusiast, I demand that our ocean and beaches get the protection they deserve. I do not want to get sick from sewage that is discharged into the ocean and is not treated to the minimum of full secondary treatment and disinfection. I want a clean and safe ocean. The waiver prevents a clean and safe ocean. Please “Do us a favor and get rid of the waiver.”
(Your name & address here)
Fax to OCSD: (714) 962-0356