Old Newsletter from January 1975

                                                                                                                                                                     MontereyBay (2)MONTEREY BAY SECTION

by “The Bug”

Ethnic jokes are not easily told these days so we had to change things around a little: “Did you hear about the engineer’s wife who couldn’t nurse her baby? She couldn’t figure out how to boil the nipples!”

Sorry engineers, but we had to use someone.

Now, you might wonder why we started out with a little humor. Well, we have been visiting some of the treatment plants throughout the Monterey Bay area, and we find a lot of sour faces and unhappy people.

If a plant operator is not fighting with the Board, as to how to operate; or arguing with some eco-freak as to why he is not saving all of the good materials that come down the line, or that he is a big polluter and should be run out of town; or arguing with the finance officer, as to why everything is so expensive and not staying within the yearly budget … if he is not doing all of those things then he is on the phone talking to a manufacturer, asking him where the parts (that were ordered over a year ago) are.

It seems like a never-ending bag of troubles, but at the same time you have to keep going and keep smiling and laughing. It is times like these that will bring out the facts, as to whether yoti are a top-flight operator, superintendent or manager.

Without problems, we wouldn’t even be needed. As impossible as it may seem, if we keep our bosses aware of the problems, as we try to solve them, and also try to stay ahead of the ordering of parts and equipment, because of the long delays, there is nothing else to do—just be happy.

Equipment and parts are moving up in price at a rate of two (2) percent per month; treatment-plant construction costs are going up at a rate of 10% per quarter; and as far as time of delivery of parts, well, chains for clarifiers are anything from 48 to 74 weeks; and electric motors are about one year,

So cool it! It will not get better for a long while, so smile!


We heard from our old buddy Bill Hooper of Seaside fame the other day; he is looking forward to getting back into the wastewater management field, so if you know of an opening for a grade IV operator give us a call here in Monterey and we will give you his address.

With the conversion of English to metric system upon us, we would like to suggest that you spend five (5) dollars and purchase a conversion kit, which is put out by Edmund Scientific Co, 150 Edscorp Building, Barrington New Jersey 08007.

The Kit includes a book, two tapes, rulers and a slide rule. Metric Conversion Kit, Stock number 71844. $5.

Welcome aboard Mr. William McDon­ald! That’s right, the Santa Cruz Wastewater Plant has a new Supervisor. Bill reported to work on December 16. We wish him lots of luck and success in his new position.

Bill comes from the Bay Area Section and was employed at the Milpitas Plant as superintendent, until it was closed down to extend the flow into the San Jose Plant. Bill has a good record in our field, starting at East Bay MUD, then Richmond, San Rafael, Milpitas and now Santa Cruz.

He has been very active in the certification program of the CWPCA, working with Joe Higares of San Leandro on that committee. Now maybe ,we can get some classes started at Cabrillo College in the near future. Welcome aboard!

The November meeting of the Monterey Bay Section CWPCA was held in Marina and was hosted by George Sullivan. (Sullivan .. . McDonald . .. the Irish are taking over.) The meeting and dinner were held at the Marina Post of the American Legion.

Guest speaker for the evening was William A. Huckabee of George S. Nolte, San Jose, Consulting Engineers. Bill gave us the rundown on the plans for the expansion of the Marina Treatment Plant.

There are requirements coming at us from all directions, and on all phases of our operation. By now you should know that your laboratory must conform to State Health Department requirements, not only in the areas of testing and testing techniques, but also in the areas of safety within the laboratory.

No agency can, accept your test results until your laboratory is certified, by the people of Nate Moskowitz’s office in Berkeley.

If you have any questions regarding the laboratory certification program, contact Nate, State Department of Public


Health, 2151 Berkeley Way, Berkeley 94704.

It should be mentioned that you should not purchase any laboratory equipment until you have checked with the Health Department in Berkeley, because results from some pieces of equipment will not be accepted, under this new program.

Also from the Water Quality Control Board … you will have to submit to them a plan of action, which you would follow, in case of a disaster—like, which way you would run! Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the difference between a disaster at the plant and a normal everyday operation, but we’ll try.

Speaking of elephants . . . scientists have for years wondered exactly where the sex organs of the elephant are located

. well, they have found that they are located on the bottom of his foot … because if he steps on you, you’re … well you have had it!

Living on the beach in Monterey, it is not easy to know whether it is summer or winter, or just what season of the year it is.

There are no trees to turn yellow, or red; there are no mountains to turn white with snow; but there is one thing that cannot be mistaken, with the return of winter, and that is the sign of seagulls at the treatment plant’s primary clarifiers.

Yes, they return to the clarifiers every winter, for food in the form of greases and ground-up organics—like salad, etc., from the many restaurants on the peninsula. As soon as their natural foods such as bait-fish and squid disappear, they come to the plants in the area seeking food.

It is not at all unique to Monterey Bay, for this same things occurs all over the world, along coastal communities, and it is a health problem. Stringing of wire across the tanks seems to work as well as any method, but it is not the answer.

Covered tanks may possibly be the best.

So don’t look now, but it is winter, for the birds have returned. We will all be glad to see them leave, in the spring.

We used to be able to locate the boil at the end of our outfall line (800 feet off the beach), but since we have produced a secondary effluent the seagulls that sat at its terminus, eating great, are gone.

We jokingly stated many years ago, that seagulls could be used as an indicator of pollution . .. but we were really not joking. Do you have seagulls at the end of your outfall? They are not there to keep warm!

Watch out for elephants. . . .

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