If truth is what you want, you will need to look well beyond Red Davis’ September 24 post, “Look for the Truth.” In that post, Mr. Davis challenges Betty Winholtz’ statements about the potential for continuing to use the current wastewater treatment plant until better options than the current WRF project can be developed. 

Mr. Davis refers to problems associated with the levels of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) in the existing plant’s effluent, and to the associated threat of Water Board fines.  The effluent does slightly exceed current standards for TSS and BOD.  However, Mr. Davis leaves out some very important facts:

1. TSS and BOD have been found generally harmless for open ocean discharges. The Water Board knows this, and so does your City Council. 

2.  In 2017, the SLO Board’s sister agency, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a new permit for the Point Loma wastewater treatment plant.  Yet, that plant discharges well over 100 times as much TSS as Morro Bay’s plant, and well over 300 times as much BOD.  It got a permit because the authorities know full well that the discharges are harmless.

3. Morro Bay’s own plant effluent monitoring reports state, year after year, that the plant’s discharges to the ocean are causing no harm whatsoever, and that the plant is running very efficiently with no signs of degraded performance despite its age.

Given these well documented facts, the constant hype about the potential for the Water board to levy huge fines is absolute nonsense.  If the City spent a tiny fraction of the money it is wasting on the WRF project to hire a good lawyer, the whole fine issue could be put to rest.

Your City Council doesn’t fear fines. They just want you to fear them, so that they can continue their ill-advised WRF project, which we now know, thanks to Estero Bay News, will not provide the water independence Mr. Davis claimed it would back in 2017.  State Water will continue to be the City’s primary water source for the foreseeable future.

If you want truth from your City Council, vote for Betty Winholtz, Richard Sadowski, and John Weiss.

Linda Stedjee

La Rochelle, France 

(Former Morro Bay resident)