Garberville Sanitary District Working to Replace Chlorine Contact Chamber Before Summer Water Demand Hits Hard

Press release from the Garberville Sanitary District:
Garberville Sanitary District

Garberville Sanitary District has been working hard to replace the chlorine contact chamber at our water treatment plant that failed the day after Thanksgiving in 2017 and are optimistic that we will have a contact chamber installed before July of this year so that we can meet the water demands of our customers during the hot months of summer.

A chlorine contact chamber is where chlorine is mixed with the water before it leaves the treatment facility. The State Water Board requires a calculated amount of contact time with chlorine before they consider water safe to drink, so we are working with them to provide sufficient disinfection and contact time to meet safe drinking water standards.

Part of the problem with the contact chamber which failed, is that it was underground and we were unable to visually know if a problem was occurring. The new contact chamber will be above ground, so that this type of event will not happen again and if a malfunction occurs, we will be able to make repairs prior to complete failure of the system.

Currently we are providing water by bypassing the failed contact chamber and using our existing 8” water transmission pipe from the treatment facility to Garberville for contact time before it reaches human consumption. The State agrees that this meets the required detention time for safe potable water but we can only operate at one third of the gpm our treatment plant is capable of and this is not enough water to meet the summer demands.

Contrary to statements in social media, we have no alternative motive for replacing the contact chamber, we are not increasing District boundaries nor are we attempting to provide water to any other entity.

Our only objective is to repair or replace what was damaged as inexpensively as possible and provide safe drinking water to our customers while meeting their water demands.

Respectively, Ralph Emerson

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5 comments

  • Ralph Emerson; maybe you can answer question(s) about what you said in the “Press release from the Garberville Sanitary District”:

    Since the old underground chlorine contact chamber (CCC) was operated at between 30-35 PSI and the 30 inch pipe that made up the underground CCC was rated at 100 PSI (30 DR41); how did that CCC exceed 100 PSI and only the CCC?

    What difference would it make if the chlorine chamber was below or above ground, if this failure was caused by human error?

    Back on March 14, 2018; I called the GSD office to obtain some information and while talking with Mary Nieto, she gave the phone to Dan Arreguin (GSD Operator) so I could ask him a couple questions. I asked Dan about a comment he made about the Chlorine Contact Chamber that failed over Thanksgiving 2017. Dan did confirm he did state in public (during a GSD Board meeting on Nov 28, 2017) something to the effect:

    “When the plant was built, the contact chamber was installed to accommodate potential water needs for the Community Park. All other customers can be served without having a contact chamber.”

    With that being said, Dan told me he may have “misspoke”, in hindsight he said he regretted saying the Community Park and meant the general area down at the Water treatment plant, not just the Park.

    Here’s my thought; maybe you, as GSD GM, could clear all this up at the next GSD Board meeting and talk about what Dan did or didn’t mean?

    If you recall, its not just the Park that has potential water needs down near the Water Treatment Plant, it’s also Goldeen/McKee who owns the 80 acres the Water Treatment Plant is built-on and does have a will service/contract/Deed of Easement for three new 3/4 inch metered water connections to his property and many other perks (click the link, page 5, item 12).

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1qo2HxQu2KXAyRpB8cc0gN-5CyC1hAXZ0

    I hope you have had a chance to read the link above (Deed of Easement), because my next question has to do with item # 2 and 3 (page 3) of the Deed of Easement (link above) and the proposed installation of a new 20,000 gallon ~ 10′ X 34′ above ground CCC that was proposed to replace the underground CCC that failed over Thanksgiving 2017.

    Since the failed CCC was out of sight and underground vs the new CCC is proposed to be visible above ground, will you need to get approval and authorization from either the property owner (Grantor) or the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board (SHCP) as stated in the Deed of Easement (link above Item # 2-3 page 3)?

    The reason I ask this question; 1) make sure all negotiations, correspondence and agreements between GSD, Grantor and SHCP are open, transparent and very public, during publicly noticed meetings. 2) make sure the Grantor or SHCP does not hold this proposed project hostage, i.e. concessions in the form of more or new metered water service/connection(s). and 3) does not create an undo bourden on the GSD ratepayers or the South Fork Eel River.

    So as far as your statement is concerned:

    “Contrary to statements in social media, we have no alternative motive for replacing the contact chamber, we are not increasing District boundaries nor are we attempting to provide water to any other entity.”

    Would you like to change your statement?

    • Bottom line Ralph; GSD would not be able to comply with the terms of the Water Treatment Plant “Deed of Easement” or provide potable metered water service/connections directly from the Water Treatment Plant to the property owner (Grantor) for his PUD (Planned Unit Development) without a new onsite chlorine contact chamber, right? If you have forgotten, that property (80 acres) was included into the GSD District Boundary and Place of Use annexation in 2014. So those 3 new 3/4 inch metered water connections were never taken into account during the CEQA process and would be considered inducing growth.

      Sure you don’t want to change your statement?

  • If you as a GSD ratepayer are disturbed by this, maybe you should read what the GSD attorney said about this “deal”. Its seems the powers to be at GSD were not worried about the “deal”. Let me also remind you. This “deal” was voted on outside of a publicly noticed meeting, during the 2010 Christmas Holiday. Full disclosure; GSD did post this non-scheduled meeting @ the GSD office front door, 24 hours before the meeting…

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kGYPrBBNgB2AueWN3yjs_rSdIhVDHVOH

  • Here was the deal with the Southern Humboldt Community Park and GSD:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1P25gUMFwOzggsQuOtcw5aQbvi3DrwlkG

  • “The State agrees that this meets the required detention time for safe potable water but we can only operate at one third of the gpm our treatment plant is capable of and this is not enough water to meet the summer demands.”

    Can you please provide some numbers?

    Here is what was reported in January:

    “However, if things remain as they are into summer, Operator Dan Arreguin said during the Board meeting, that without a contact chamber, he can safely produce a maximum of 187,000 gallons a day. However, according to General Manager Ralph Emerson, Garberville uses 100,000 gallons more than that on the high daily average over the summer. Garberville has its auxiliary supply, but Tobyn Well’s production drops in the summer to about 20,000 gallons a day, so that leaves the town short by 80,000 gallons. However, Barry Sutter of California’s Division of Drinking Water (DDW) says the District to increase the amount of chlorine residuals it uses.”

    http://kymkemp.com/2018/01/26/garberville-faces-possible-water-shortage-wants-to-develop-a-connecting-water-system-with-redway-and-wrestles-with-cannabis-policy/

    So who is using all this water demand? Is this coming from Cannabis? or the proposed new “Life Style” hotel and spa on hippy hill?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think GSD is allowed to divert the maximum amount of water from the South Fork Eel River with your Water Board licence and permit on a regular and daily basis just because of seasonal demand.

    Bottom line, GSD is inducing growth without addressing it with CEQA…

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