GSD Received a Notice of Violation


GSD’s water treatment plant

After their most recent Board of Directors meeting, the following press release signed by Garbeville Sanitary District’s General Manager, Ralph Emerson was issued.  Item #3 refers to a Notice of Violation from the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Water Rights.



On Tuesday November 27th, Garberville Sanitary District Board of Directors met for their monthly Board meeting and included are the highlights of that meeting.

  1. There was discussion which requires more research about having Randalls Sand and Gravel recovery operation directly over and in close proximity to the GSD raw water intake gallery which provides the potable water for Garberville. Concern was raised about high turbidity after the recovery process takes place and the potential for destruction of the intake gallery pipes under the gravel recovery area. Staff was directed to do more research and report those findings at the next Board meeting.


  1. The water treatment plant chlorine contact chamber was discussed along with the State Water Boards investigation of its efficiency. After one year from when the contact chamber failed, we are operating with our new Highland Tank baffled chlorine contact chamber and grateful to have an above ground system which can be monitored while avoiding the disaster of last year.


  1. The Board discussed the recent emergency “bulk water” demands for fires and emergency road repairs for Cal Trans and Humboldt County. The State water Board has issued a directive which prohibits GSD from providing water for road repairs and when approached by these public agencies in the future, GSD will only provide water if approved by the State Water Board.


Garberville Sanitary District would like to thank those who participate in providing input on how to better serve our customers and the community. We are committed to providing safe potable water and efficient customer service, directed through transparent Board governance.

Ralph Emerson

General Manager

Garberville Sanitary District

You can read relevant information in the Board of Directors’ packet posted at the Garberville Sanitary District’s webpage on pages 42 through 46.  The packet includes the District’s defense and the official Notice of Violation.

The Division of Water Rights responded by email to questions about how this may impact CalFire’s needs, writing, “The CDO (Cease and Desist Order) and Notice of Violation (NOV) is not intended to prevent CalFire from doing what they need to do, including diverting water from the GSD system, to fight fires or respond to an emergency.”

And DWR staff elaborated, “The NOV we sent GSD was about airport construction. The NOV would be against planned construction projects that are not emergencies. Taking water for emergency fire situations would not fall under the NOV.”





  • way to go Ed. someone has to call people on their shit. probably even cash sales that never got recorded.

  • Lets start with your item # 2 above, e.g. “The water treatment plant chlorine contact chamber”.

    What Emerson neglected to mention, this new “chlorine contact chamber” did not meet its stated expectations or quantification when it was tested by the state. In other words it fell short and not worth the concrete slab its bolted to! Emerson did not want to disclose that information? So much for “transparent Board governance” by GSD!

    Back in February Kym posted this for me:

    It would seem, everything I stated in this letter to the editor has materialized and are now falling into place, after reading a letter sent to GSD by the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board, asking how the Park could be connected to GSD for water at the December GSD Board meeting and the only reason for this new “chlorine contact chamber”.

  • I for one would like to know why the GSD General Manager is reporting for RHBB? Its the fox guarding the hen house. Everything he stated was spin and damage control. Bottom line, GSD is pro development, they have control over who, what, why, when and where water and sewer can induce growth within their jurisdictional boundary and water rights place of use. The problem is and what most people forget, its the South Fork Eel River, including its threatened and endangered species that cannot support this development, given the scale and demand GSD is more than willing to sell you!

    • He pays me big money, Ed. I bury it with all the other big money I get for printing press releases. I’m afraid to spend it though or you might figure out I’m on the take…

      • Kym, kinda making something out of nothing here. I didn’t say anything about you being paid money, I asked why the MGR for GSD was doing the reporting? BTW, his “press release” you posted was not included in the public agenda for that meeting, nor does it appear on the “press release” link page on the GSD website. There was a MGR’s report in the agenda, but completely different than what you posted. You should have called it a propaganda release, just say’n…

        • Well, when there’s history, Ed. Then folks, or at least me, tend to be ready to see a repeat.

          As usual, we provide a public place for you to post your rebuttal to the press release.

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