I am the John Moore referenced in Mr. Evans article (Quenching the Peninsula’s thirst with recycled water). I am a licensed, but retired California lawyer (JD Stanford School of Law, Preeminent Rating-highest). I was a trial lawyer for over forty years. I am not an expert in the toxicology of recycled wastewater, but over the years I have hired, examined and cross-examined hundreds of experts. I am an expert on who is a qualified expert, or not.
I am fully aware of the Orange County Water District recycle system that treats human effluent which then leeches through sand, soils, the Santa Ana river for five years and is then sold for potable purposes. Recently, one of its three basins has become polluted, and the county has one of the highest cancer rates in the country, but like cigarettes for a long time, a causal connection has not been made. Otherwise, it works for them.
The PWM project described in Mr. Evan’s article is revolutionary because, first, it will treat agriculture waste water, and second, it will mix agriculture waste water with human effluent. Neither the use or the mixing has ever been performed, even in a beta test concept.
The article quotes Mehul Patel, a civil engineer for the Orange project whereby he says that advanced treatment of agriculture waste should be ok. Orange does not recycle it and does not plan to. Mr. Patel has a BS in engineering and has no training in the toxicological analysis of the safety of recycled water. No entity has ever treated agriculture waste or a mix of it with effluent for drinking purposes. It is this type of anecdotal type of evidence that scared me into investing over 350 hours of solid research(the EIR is 4400 pp) into the scientific basis, or not, of the water from the PWM project. There is no scientific basis that the PWM water will be safe to drink, cook with, or even to give to your pets.
Notice that in the article, when listing the four sources of water for treatment, instead of describing a main source as “human effluent” it is called water “from local households.”
PWM and other news sources have been vigilant in not describing sources adequately for fear that the public will learn of the project and object. We were prohibited from voting on the project.
I researched fully in an attempt to discover whether any expert in the toxicology of recycled waste water for potable purposes had scientifically analyzed the project to determine that it would produce water that was safe for potable purposes. Not a single such expert had. Instead, it was approved by Engineers like the aforementioned Randy Barnhart, who has no toxicology training at all. The Division of Drinking Water approved the concept, again with no toxicology analysis, but the final permit was approved by five civilians, mom and pops, who set on the Central Valley Water Resources Bd.
If you go to the Letters portion of this site, you will find some of my writings about this project. But here is the bottom line: All that I, as a human, has requested is that the judge in the Seaside Basin Watermaster lawsuit on file in our Superior Court hire a panel of toxicologist experts in diseases and deaths caused by impure recycled water to advise if the PWM water will be safe for potable purposes. If not, can the water be made safe by additional procedures and tests? PWM has refused to agree to that request. I rest my case.
John M. Moore