John Moore: MOW Policies Made Spill Inevitable

Most of you may have read reporter Jim Johnson’s piece in today’s Herald about the massive sewage spill caused by human and equipment failure by the Monterey One Water (MOW) district. MOW is the agency responsible for recycling our sewage and will be the agency that attempts to recycle sewage and agricultural waste and deposit the treated water into the Seaside Basin for sale to Cal Am. Cal Am will sell the water to its customers for potable and drinking water purposes.

There is not a rational human in this district who would not have voted for a deep water desalination plant to supply Cal Am with its needs and using recycled sewage and agriculture waste for safe non potable water uses. But we were never even consulted or allowed a vote on this critical decision. Every expert on the subject of attempting to recycle sewage wastewater for drinking water cautions that it is premature and should always be a last and desperate choice. Experts have barely discussed recycling of agriculture waste except to say that it requires serious study and testing criteria.

I am not an expert on water treatment, but after forty years as a trial lawyer, I am an expert on experts, and have hired and opposed them hundreds of times. There are no experts who have provided studies, prototypes, proven tests etc. or facts to support this recycle project. It is a dangerous experiment by an agency that just failed massively in its current recycling of mere sewage. Agricultural waste contains thousands of contaminants other than sewage components and has NEVER been recycled for drinking water and potable water purposes.

It is time for some of you to run for the seats of the governing bodies of MOW and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, the two agencies that have joined to foist this experimental recycle project upon us. Run on the platform that the recycled stuff will not enter the Seaside Basin and will only be used for safe non potable purposes. Support a larger deep water desalination project for our water needs.

John M. Moore
Pacific Grove

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