The incident prompted Schissler to orchestrate a program that puts city building and water quality staffs on the same page, with open lines of communication on water quality and erosion issues.
Clean Water Now! founder Roger Butow reported the June 3 flow. In an e-mail to the Coastline Pilot, Butow said he saw the flow at about 7:30 a.m. and reported it to the city. Butow said police officers arrived about 5 minutes later and expertly handled the situation.
City staff followed up Butow’s report with a field review of the situation.
“We went out and took a look,” Schissler said. “We determined that the sediment settled in the parking lot before reaching the storm drain. It was not construction-related sediment.
“It was not an egregious issue. It didn’t cause a catastrophic landslide. It was just ugly.”
The water main has been turned off and will remain off until the exact site of the leak in located and it is fixed, according to Julia Kelly, speaking on behalf of the school construction committee
However, Butow alleged that the contractor for the school project, Illig Construction Co., flushed the sediment into the storm drain, rather than vacuuming it as he demanded.
“The contractor assured us that nothing was flushed down the storm drain,” Kelly said. “The sediment was hauled out in buckets.”
A city water quality analyst also was told that no sediment went down the drain.
Violations of the city’s water policies are progressively enforced, starting with a warning and then escalating fines of $100, $300 and $500 for additional infractions.
BARBARA DIAMOND can be reached at (949) 494-4321 or email@example.com.