18 October 2014

Bacteria to the Future with Carbon Canyon Water Lines

The strange saga of bacteria-infected water lines newly laid for the forthcoming Canyon Hills housing development of 76 units in the Chino Hills portion of Carbon Canyon near Sleepy Hollow continues.

As reported in today's Champion by Marianne Napoles, the lines showed unacceptable bacterial levels back a few months ago and the City of Chino Hills ordered chlorine-laced flushing of the lines to try to remove the bacteria.  Repeated efforts, leading to the runoff of hundreds of thousands of gallons of water (this during a worsening, serious drought) into Carbon Creek, failed to address the problem.

Consequently, it is now reported that the city is targeting the four areas of the lines that were sampled for bacteria detection and that the discharged chlorinated water will be collected by a water truck, though what will be done with it was not stated.

The location on Canyon Hills Road just north of Carbon Canyon Road where some 370,000 gallons of chlorinated water used to flush bacteria-infected water lines recently laid for the 92-unit Canyon Hills tract, to be located at the left where the remnant of the concrete Ski Villa slope sits, was discharged into Carbon Creek.
Moreover, according to city engineer Steve Nix, the amount of water used for flushing will be reduced for reasons of conservation, although Nix also said that the actual number of gallons used has been overstated by the city.  Based on the reading of a meter installed at the project site, 370,000 gallons have been expended instead of a city-estimated 700,000.  It is not clear why such a variance exists between the estimated and actual numbers.

Further, Nix stated that the figure of 1.4 million gallons said to have been used in the initial flushing was probably higher than actual, though that latter figure was not provided.  Still, it was agreed by the city that 1.4 million gallons could be used for the effort to remove the bacteria.

Quoted as saying that, "we want to get through this process, everyone is anxious," Nix said that the lines would be infused with chlorine, allowed to sit for five days, and then be flushed at the four sampled spots this coming Friday, the 24th.

A detail of the above scene.  This Friday the 24th, a new flushing at four sampling locations will be conducted.
It is easy to wonder what would have been done if this issue hadn't been brought to the attention of both the city and the paper, now that there has been a change in tactic and, especially, in the reduction of water use "for conservation purposes," as expressed in the article.

It is also strange that the actual amounts of water used for flushing has been dramatically lowered--even though, given the drought conditions we face, any massive water use like this should be evaluated and scrutinized.

So, it will be interesting to see what will be reported by Napoles in next week's edition of the Champion.


Concerned for the Canyon said...

I believe 76 houses is the correct number. By the way, and on a separate note, do you believe that the other project, across the street named Hidden Oaks (107 homes) could be stopped? Is there any organized community effort and/or litigation that would be able to stop that in your opinion?

prs said...

Hello Concerned for the Canyon, thanks for the comment and correction (the post has been edited to say 76 units.) The project apparently is not entitled as stated here previously and there will soon be a plan submitted to the City of Chino Hills. Hidden Oaks also has to go through a new Environmental Impact Report (EIR). So, there can certainly be an organized effort to try and stop the project, provided that the EIR reveals significant adverse impacts that could be the basis for a council vote to deny approval. However, the city could impose Statements of Overriding Consideration (SOCs) to approve the project on the grounds that these statements would demonstrate that benefits accruing to the city overall "override" the adverse impacts from the EIR. This is what happened in Brea during the summer for the recently-approved Madrona project, in which the city council issued three SOCs, which had never been done for a housing project before and which establishes a new precedent. Other issues that are involved: fire risk. We live in a canyon that has frequently burned and will burn again (CalTrans signs on the Brea side warn of a "hazardous fire area," though these signs do not, evidently, apply to the Chino Hills side!) and the Hidden Oaks site is mainly ridge tops susceptible to high winds near wildland areas at Chino Hills State Park. Then, there is water. We are, obviously, in the middle of a serious drought and are being told increasingly to conserve water. Yet, for Canyon Hills, large amounts of water are being used for this flushing--and the landowner fully intends to sell the property once this issue is dealt with, by the way. And, homes and lots of the sizes involved use far more water than most of their type in the city. There really should be a moratorium on large-scale home construction in the state, much less the city, until water supplies are back to a reasonable level. This will likely never happen, however, because of the clout of the Building Industry Association and the prevailing view that home construction is a vital economic component. This could go on and great length, but hopefully this gives some idea of what is involved from this viewpoint.

concerned for the canyon said...

prs, thanks for your response. I check your blogg often an I think you are doing a great job.
You mention "Yet, for Canyon Hills, .............--and the landowner fully intends to sell the property .......". So the owners of Canyon Hills are not starting construction? they are selling the land? Please elaborate if you can. Thanks again.

prs said...

Hello Concerned for the Canyon, yes, Forestar, the owner of the Canyon Hills project, intends to sell the property once the issue with the bacteria-infected lines is resolved. That's all the info known so far, though.

Concerned for the canyon said...

Prs, do you know why Forestar is selling? My understanding is that they are real estate developers and their web site shows other building projects. Why would they want to give it to someone else? Maybe they see problems ahead? Your thoughts?

prs said...

Hello Concerned for the Canyon, there hasn't evidently been a listing or announcement on this, so it would be purely speculation as to why the property would be up for sale. As noted before, there isn't any further information on this. The reasons for sale could be many (market conditions, installing basic utilities to raise value, financial conditions within Forestar, a desire to focus on other company projects, etc.) Eventually, something will come out about it. As for the latest bacteria tests, conducted Friday, we'll know more presumably in the next edition of the Champion.