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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


San Francisco is all about politics - and when you have a $6 Billion plus project in the pipe line - believe you me - all the vultures who want to make money - are lined up with plans - machinations and ploys to make the - kill.

Behind the scenes the evil consultants such as Platinum Consultants, other devious former Mayors, the so called drab Representatives in the Senate and Congress - are all lined up with ploys to fill their campaign coffers - raking in bribes to facilitate contracts.

Do not forget the mostly "useless" San Francisco Board of Supervisors - who are as we speak - whiling away their time - frolicking, and taking an "undeserved" - month long vacation - should be in the know - but lack luster as they are - they seem to be nonchalant.

I have been attending the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) workshops for years - going back to 1982.

We have had several General Plans to revamp the Waste Water and then the Clean Water projects as they were called at one time. 

We too care to analyse - all that was given to us - and more from our research - folks like Joan, Steve, Emory ( who has since passed away) - others too many to mention.

We had large bond measure passed for one thing - and some other plans were executed. To this day - this type of behavior is endorsed and that should NOT be the case.

We had some astute and worthy SFPU Commissioners - Richard Skylar, Dennis Normandy - Art Jensen from BASWA, on the wings and now in the Chair Anson B. Moran - who have and had the expertise.

We still have stellar, well informed folks - ready to be consulted such as the best know expert on our sewer line - Gregory Breswell.

As lay persons - we attend the SFPUC meetings - and speak up. Sometimes we are heard - but most of the time - the Commissioners - have their own agenda. Most of the deals are done - behind close doors - money talks - bull shit walks.

Some years ago a fancy name was arrived at - to address all Clean Water Operations and Upgrades. The acronym arrived at WSIP - Water System Improvement Project. 

All things linked to the sewer - were named the Sewer System Improvement Project. The acronyms help some - but there is more to be done.

The over $4.2 billion project is now at its tail end. 

We had had some serious issues - linked to recently done work.

Last Thanks Giving we had the valve of a large water pipe fail - causing flooding. Just yesterday another huge pipe bust - it was installed just nine months ago - at Visitation Valley.

Huge reservoirs have been upgraded in San Francisco - two very large ones - in the Portola District the University Mound.

The Sunset Reservoir in the Avenues also know as the Sunset. Other water tanks upgraded and we are all waiting for the clean water pipes some 1200 miles to be attended to - most of them over 80 years old.

The once Sewer workshops now have a new name - Sewer System Improvement Project as I said. Some of us have been attending the many meetings.

At time listening to the diatribe, some new comers who have no clue - speaking from both sides of their mouth. We are watching the shenanigans - and the time will come - when we will be forced to act with a blue print that already has been vetted.

San Francisco has been fortunate to have at the helm of affairs Ed Harrington - the current General Manager of the SFPUC. Ed  Harrington - has been working very hard - and come September 22, 2012 will be stepping down - leaving a sound legacy.

Harlan Kelly the new General Manager has extensive experience and proven leadership linked to some complicated infrastructure projects working with the City and County of San Francisco and SFPUC. We are looking forward to supporting him at this very critical - juncture.

We are looking forward to being educated on the SSIP project and we know that it is only a matter of time the project will start in earnest so they say - but sound, quality training has not been forthcoming and that is a must.

Concrete outreach with sound information detailing visually what really will be delivered - linked to the SSIP - has yet to be delivered in a digital form be it a movie, photographs worth the salt - to that folks can be educated. Human beings can be educated quickly this way - then the long drab talks and drab presentations - that take you no where.

Written description on the digesters, effulent holding tanks that are beyond repair, other pipes linked with the raw sewage operations that need critical repairs on Phelps Street - have yet to be produced in format that is simple and yet - informative.

On many occasions we have had - salt water near the critical operations and in the near future this could happen - and bring most everything to a stand still. A major Earthquake would certainly bring most things to a stand still.

We look forward to the SSIP project - and will cooperate with the authorities if given opportunities - the community can be helped - but we must not wait for the last moment - to make good things - happen.

Photographs from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission meeting held August 28, 2012 at SF City Hall in Room 400:

On the same day the SFPU Commission met - there was a rapture - a 42" water pipe burst - spewing thousands of gallons of water and causing damage to the Visitation Middle School - about 20 homes. It will take weeks to bring everything under control.

The paradox - this is a fairly new pipe installed about 6 months ago: