Knox: IRWD Clear Choice For North Tustin Sewer Service

As a North Tustin Resident, I agree with the LAFCO staff recommendation that Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) is the logical choice for providing reliable maintenance repair and replacement of Area 7 Sewers. I also wonder why FCA (Foothill Community Association) and several local politicians have pushed so hard to award this local sewer contract to East Orange County Water District (EOCWD).

The Local Agency Formation Commission Orange County (LAFCO) Staff Report is out regarding the proposed annexation of Orange County Sewer District (OCSD) Area 7!

Congratulations and thank you to the LAFCO staff for doing a professional review and analysis of all the issues.

The staff report states, “after a thorough analysis of both proposals … [our] conclusion and recommendations remain unchanged: Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) is the most logical, efficient and accountable agency to assume local sewer service to OCSD Service area 7…IRWD’s experience, resource capabilities and strong financial condition provide the basis for staff’s recommendation that the Commission approve the actions necessary to implement that District’s proposal…IRWD has 50 years of experience providing sewer service, and as an existing provider, has demonstrated its ability to provide enhanced services at reduced costs, increasing the efficiency of sewer service to Service Area 7 residents. The District has managed its sewer system in accordance with state regulations in a manner that has reduced sewer spills throughout its service territory. IRWD’s proactive approach to sewer system management has also resulted in significant improvements to the infrastructure and service levels of territory transferred to the District through prior annexations and consolidations approved by the Commission.”

Selecting the best company for the sewer job should have been a simple decision based on industry qualifications. The EOCWD employs only five staff, owns no equipment to provide sewer maintenance, and has no experience with sewers. This would seem to disqualify them from consideration. Instead of addressing these inadequacies, however, powerful city politicians and other influential residents submitted letters in favor of selecting EOCWD to influence the decision. All of these letters are available for review in the LAFCO Staff Report, Appendix 1. This false PR campaign is in complete disregard for the community’s wellbeing. Interestingly, there is a $34M dollar transfer that accompanies the annexation award for Service Area 7. This sum is intended for the maintenance and replacement of our aging sewer pipes, not for expanding a local water company’s infrastructure.

If you are a resident of OCSD Service Area 7, please read the LAFCO’s Staff Report analyses and recommendations. Then, join us at the meeting Wednesday, April 13th, to support the LAFCO recommendation to award the annexation of Service area 7 to IRWD.

There will be a vote taken at Wednesday’s LAFCO meeting. We urgently need members of the community who are in favor of our sewers being managed and maintained by an experienced company. IRWD has been maintaining sewers for 50 years and is financially sound.

The LAFCO Meeting is Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. Orange County Transportation Authority. First Floor – Boardroom, 600 South Main Street, Orange CA 92868.

Deborah Knox is a North Tustin Resident and member of Neighbors United, established in 1997, with a mission to protect the North Tustin Specific Plan.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org

  • Roger Butow

    Area 7 sounds more like Area 51: The aliens are the Roman Imperial Water District Board and cronies…must be a lot of IOUs being called in, how else to explain that the pertinent city councils + plus overwhelming majority of ratepayers want EOCWD to manage their system yet LAFCO is deaf?

    VoOC posted the results of the independent poll, read it for yourselves:
    http://voiceofoc.org/2016/03/sewer-area-7-voters-in-north-tustin-favor-eocwd-over-irwd-by-a-15-to-1-margin/

    The only ones who want IRWD are obviously biased—Even a hint, a whiff of conflict of interest should be a foul enough odor (little wastewater joke there) to provoke recusal.

    Less cleaning of sewer laterals==More Sewage Spill Overflows (SSOs), we learned that the hard way here in Laguna Beach and got litigated, fined significantly by Cal EPA for it.

    “The welfare of the people is the ultimate law.” Cicero

    The people affected have spoken, loud and clear!