Chairman McNelly introduced guest speaker Ken Theisen of the Regional Water Quality Control Board. He also welcomed Maintenance Service Director Bob Savage, Water Superintendent Don Boyles, Water System Manager John Carlson, and guest Keith Linker with the City of Anaheim.
Associate Planner Viado informed the committee that the 2002 Goals and Objectives had been revised according to the discussion and recommendations of the committee and upon approval the document would go directly to the City Council reading file along with the 2001 Accomplishments document. There being no further discussion, Committee member Hoover made a motion to accept the item as revised with Committee member Mitchell seconding the motion. The committee unanimously agreed.
Chairman McNelly moved this item forward to accommodate for presentation on the Waste Discharge Requirements. He mentioned a recent news article discussing the deterioration of older sewer lateral lines and how this has affected some City of Fullerton residents.
After some discussion regarding the definition of sewer lateral lines, Maintenance Services Director Savage informed the committee about the sewer line repair and maintenance process used by the City. Water Superintendent Boyles also explained to the committee his role in the maintenance and repair of City sewer pipes.
Committee members questioned the roles and responsibilities of the City with regards to sewer line repair and maintenance. Committee member Adamson suggested the city should take a more active role in assisting local residents with the repair and replacement of older lateral lines. Maintenance Services Director Savage suggested the committee could review the issues and suggest appropriate policies to the City Council.
Following an additional question and answer session, Chairman McNelly suggested that the committee examine other options and continue discussions on this topic at future meetings.
Mr. Theisen with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) spoke to the committee on the Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for Sewage Collection Agencies in Orange County and utilized a power point presentation to emphasize the information.
In April of 2001, Mr. Theisen began investigating the causes for many of Orange County's beach closures. From 1991 to 2001 there was an increase in beach closures along the Orange County coastline which was believed to be caused by sewage spills entering storm drain channels. RWQCB research indicated a majority of the spills were due to grease blockages in the sewer line system. Mr. Thiesen explained the impacts of beach closures by explaining the concept of 'Beach Mile Days'. Orange County has 124 miles of beaches available to the public 365 days a year. This amounts to 45,260 beach mile days per year, of which 41 days were closed in 2001.
Mr. Thiesen indicated one of the responsibilities of the Santa Ana RWQCB is to enforce sewage waste discharge requirements within the Orange County water basin, including reducing and eliminating sewage spills. Many agencies are willing to work with the RWQCB to resolve issues rather than to be fined. Mr. Theisen explained a previous incident in the City of Fullerton where a 6,000-ton spill occurred, which resulted in a beach closure and a potential fine of $70,000. However, since the city had been cooperating with the RWQCB, Mr. Theisen instituted WDRs for the city to follow.
According to Mr. Theisen, The RWQCB will be reviewing and recommending approval of regulations for the Santa Ana Region's sewer collection agencies through Tentative Order No. R8-2002-0014. The Board has tentatively scheduled a meeting on April 23, 2002 to review the order.
Chairman McNelly thanked Mr. Theisen for the informative introduction to WDRs. Committee member Mitchell suggested further investigation of the sewer lateral lines issue and that the committee continue discussions at future meetings.