State Water Quality Control Board Continues to Protect Beaumont’s Corruption
Emails Between State Water Board Members and Kurt Bertold Expose Why Beaumont is Continuing their Recycled Water & Sewer Scams
California Water Quality Control Board Santa Ana Division
The Santa Ana Division of the State Water Quality Control Board governs the Beaumont Sewer Plant. It is the Water Board’s duty to ensure Water Supply, Water Quality, Sewer Capacity, and Wastewater Reclamation. The Water Board has Aided and Abet Beaumont’s corruption by allowing violations of State and Federal Water Quality and NPDES Laws, neglecting to enforce Board Orders, faked an Investigative Order Issued on August 25, 2016, and continues to collude with the City’s Sewer Scam.
Although I and many others have attempted to demand the State do their job and regulate the City, the State continues to commit Fraud and Perjury to cover up Beaumont’s sewer scam.
On February 22nd the State Board declared that I was ‘wrong’ after conducting a ‘complete investigation’ that was nothing more than a couple emails to the Santa Ana Regional Officer Kurt Bertold in November, 2016. The Water Board has made it clear that they will continue violate their duties and our State and Federal Laws to perpetuate the City’s Sewer Scam.
Below are some of the topics the Water Board continues to spin:
Beaumont’s Sewer Plant was built in 1929 and was in disrepair by 1990. In a letter dated April 8, 1993, the State Water Board stated “The City is violating a number of effluent limitations..” and required a new sewer plant constructed to replace old sewer plant:
“For each phase, a portion (0.25 mgd) of the existing capacity at the treatment plant will be replaced by new facilities and an increment of (0.25 ‘mgd) of new capacity will be added.”
On August 31,1993, Beaumont received an $8,500,000 Sewer Bond for construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. The 1993 Series A Bond states: “The Sewer Enterprise will construct new waste water treatment facilities. Of the facilities total capacity, 1.0 MGD will be reserved for existing users, and the excess capacity of up to .4 MGD will be reserved for new development and is planned to be sold to CFD 93-1.”
Beaumont never closed down the old sewer plant, they just added more Capacity and continued to have sewage spill violations. In 2007 the State Board Issued Compliant No. R8-2007-0032 after “37 Reported Violations between September 2003 and July 2006.”
NPDES PERMIT FOR COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL USE
Regional Water Board Complaint No. R8-2007-0032 references a NPDES Permit for Commercial and Industrial, but the City currently has no NPDES Permit for Commercial and Industrial use nor is the State Water Board requiring the City or any Commercial and Industrial Businesses in Beaumont to have a Federal NPDES Permit.
It is unknown when the State Board allowed the City to stop requiring an NPDES Permit for Commercial and Industrial use. The State admitted the City has no NPDES Permit for Commercial and Industrial use in August, 2016, but still allows the City to operate without the proper permits nor is there any Order requiring the City to comply with State and Federal NPDES Laws.
In an email dated November 16, 2016 Francis Spivy-Weber of the Water Board writes to Kurt Berchtold: “As you may have heard it was alleged (with a memo to back it up) that a local tribe had been promised recycled water for their golf courses. Did any of you folks hear about this?”
Berchtold writes: “We are aware of that issue and we met with the tribe a while back. As part of our Maximum Benefit program, the City of Beaumont has a future obligation to supply recycled water but we don’t specify users. I have also heard that it is possible that Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District may supply recycled water to the golf courses, so it appears options are still under discussion.”
The users of Beaumont’s Recycled Water are specified in the Cooperative Agreement between the City of Beaumont and the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District dated March 8, 1993. The Agreement for ‘unlimited Will-Serve Letters’ required the City to and District to negotiate and prepare a Reclaimed Water Purchase Agreement within 18 months and: “in accordance with Santa Ana State Regional Water Quality Control Board directives.”
The Water Board has had multiple deadlines for Recycled Water Compliance. In November 19,1998, the SWRCB Awarded Beaumont a $75,000 Grant for a “Stage I Wastewater Recycling Project facilities planning study” with an original deadline of 08/01/1999 extended to 08/01/2000 and 06/01/2002 before deadline and accountability disappear.
Beaumont has never been Title 22 Compliant because the City has never built a Recycled Water Facility, yet Beaumont’s 2001 Wastewater Bond states: “The tertiary treatment wastewater generated by the facility complies with all Title 22 and State Regional Water Quality Control Board discharge requirements.”
Up until 2016 both the City of Beaumont and the State Water Quality Control Board claimed to have a ‘state of the art’ Recycled Water Facility.
On July 7, 2015 Mike Adackapara, an Engineer from the Santa Ana Water Board continued to give ‘the runaround’ to the Beaumont City Council.
On July 24, 2015 Beaumont Staff and Councilmen stated to the Santa Ana Board that they had sent their samples off and would have Title 22 Compliant Recycled Water by September, 2015. The State Board ‘Approved’.
TITLE 22 COMPLIANCE
The City and State Water Board continue to dance around Title 22 Compliance. On November 16, 2016, Berchtold stated: “The City is required to have a Title 22 Engineering Report approved by DDW [Division of Drinking Water] before they supply recycled water, and they don’t have approval yet although they are working with DDW.”
First of all; the City of Beaumont has two (2) Title 22 Compliant Engineering Reports: one submitted by Wildermuth Environmental on May 29, 2007 and one submitted by Albert Webb and Associates dated July 19, 2016. Although submitted a decade apart, both Reports say the same thing; the City has to build a Recycled Water Facility BEFORE they produce Title 22 Compliant Recycled Water.
“Working on” Title 22 Compliance without building the Recycled Water Facility is the equivalent of ‘working on’ passing a Smog Check when a Catalytic Converter has never been installed in the vehicle. Berchtold is the Executive Officer and has worked for the State Water Board for over a decade.
The City hasn’t attempted to acquire Title 22 Compliance for the last decade because up until a couple years ago Title 22 Compliance was approved by another Agency; the California Department of Health. Now the State Water Quality Control Board Issues Title 22 Compliance and is proclaiming that the City is ‘working on it’.
Berchtold also stated: “She seems to be under the impression that the City is required to construct an entirely new treatment plant before they can supply recycled water, which is not the case.”
No, the City doesn’t have to ‘construct an entirely new treatment plant’ because the City has never constructed a treatment plant in 1993 as required by the State Board, but that isn’t the issue.
Berchtold is spinning the statement made by Brian Knoll from Webb and Associates at Beaumont’s December 20, 2016 Sewer Workshop regarding building the Recycled Water Facility:
2:18:00 Knoll: “Then the burden comes to you guys as a decision making body as to whether or not to move forward with those improvements in the interim, before the plant gets upgraded and expanded – what we’re doing for the salt mitigation. I will tell you; some of these improvements may not be beneficial to the ultimate plant. What we should probably do is give you that information as a cost breakdown, and we can provide that to your staff. What would be beneficial long-term and what would be, and I hate to use this term, but a ‘throwaway’, you know, in the long-term, when the ultimate plant in constructed. I will tell you that some of the most significant upgrades would be able to be incorporated into the long-term plant. We feel there is a good path forward for you guys to produce recycled water, it’s now just a matter of whether or not that’s the best use of your resources.
2:19:00 Knoll: “From a Basin Plan Compliance standpoint; it helps a little bit because recycled water, if you used it, you get – you can discharge it at at 330 TDS instead of 400 and that’s just a little bit less salt that you have to mitigate on the backend when your plant gets upgraded and expanded. You also show good faith that you’re in compliance and good steps forward in complying with the Maximum Benefit Program that the Regional Board has laid out. There’s probably some really good reasons to do it, but there’s some cost there that may not be recovered.”
The City has no money to build a $95 Million Sewer Facility, but if the City could build a Title 22 Compliant Recycled Water Facility I think they would for no other reason than to shut everyone up and to comply with State Laws. But the City and State Water Board continue to disregard constructing the Facility because the City never built a new Sewer Facility in 1993 and can not hook up new technology to a Sewer Plant constructed in 1929.
OWNER OF BEAUMONT’S RECYCLED WATER IS RATE PAYERS
Berchtold also wrote on November 16th: “I have also heard that it is possible that Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District may supply recycled water to the golf courses, so it appears options are still under discussion.”
BCVWD Board Member John Covington is also the Morongo Tribe Sewer Plant Manager, which is a Conflict of Interest. The Morongo Tribe’s Sewer Plant is also the only other employer of ‘Utility Partners’. As Berchtold stated; the State Water Board is aware that the City and Covington are making back room deals to the detriment of the Citizens of the Pass Area and to the Tribe who is being lied to about Beaumont’s Recycled Water.
Covington is in a position to know the true condition of Beaumont’s Sewer Plant and to know the responsibilities and agreements made between the City and Water District. Covington is not working in the best interest of the BCVWD Rate Payers or the Tribe, which begs the question; who is Covington serving?
DUMPING SEWAGE INTO COOPER’S CREEK
The State Water Quality Control Board has allowed the City to discharge wastewater into Cooper’s Creek. The TDS levels are supposed to be below a specific level, but the Water Board has allowed the City to forge their Reports for 20 years.
Dr. Blair Ball, who is a former Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District Board Member who currently sits on the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency Board stated at the Water District Board Meeting on October 08, 2014:
“The City says that the current water from the sewer plant meets State and Federal quality standards.’ My question is; does the the current water reach the Regional Water Quality Board base and objectives. The answer is no. Finally, 700 gallons per day that goes into the ground for storage with the Regional Water Board’s permission. It’s been long a contention that they are interfering with the quality of water by putting in this type of water that they’re putting in and it’s got to come to a head at some point at making sure that it’s proper for the Basin.”
Everyone knows that Beaumont is falsifying their TDS levels because #1) Beaumont lies about EVERYTHING, and #2) The City never built the facility to produce lower TDS levels. The City knows they don’t have to build the facility because the State Water Board continues to cover up for them.
The City of Beaumont had not allowed anyone into the Sewer Plant for well over a decade, but they became so comfortable with their own scam that on May 14, 2015 the City attempted to fake a Public Bid Contract for the Sewer Plant’s maintenance and operations. The City allowed outside Engineers and Sewer Specialists to tour Beaumont’s Sewer Plant.
Mark Wippler’s email sums up what everyone already knew; Beaumont’s Sewer Plant is deteriorated beyond repair and the ‘Public Bid Contract’ was just a scam. TO THIS DAY the City continues to use ‘Utility Partners’, which is a front for ‘Aquarion’, which was a front for ‘Urban Logic’.
Beaumont City Council Agenda Item 17 for March 7, 2017 is another Contract for Utility Partners: https://beaumont.civicweb.net/document/5283/Item%2017.pdf?handle=ACD9D1B7B4A44DFCB5D3AC832FDE3F26
The City of Beaumont could not continue the Sewer Scam without the assurance of the State Water Quality Control Board that the State will continue to Aide and Abet the corruption.
From: Mark Wippler <[email protected]>
Subject: Tour of the City of Beaumont’s WWTP 5/14/15
Date: May 14, 2015 at 4:11:42 PM PDT
Today the City of Beaumont provided a pre-bid walk through of their “state of the art” wastewater treatment facility to potential Operational and Maintenance contractors. The current contract operators “Utility Partners” contract is due to expire soon and it is time to rebid these services.
As part of due diligence for the Operations and Maintenance company I work for it brought me to some of your articles.
I do not know your experience regarding wastewater treatment processes but your insight into Beaumont not having a “state of the art” wastewater treatment facility is correct.
I have been in the water/wastewater treatment career field for 35 years. I possess a CA Grade V Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator license, CWEA Maintenance Technologist Grade IV, and CWEA Laboratory Analyst Grade I.
It is not likely that the company I work for will waste their time bidding for this contract.
Certain clues from the city staff indicate that the city is not willing to conduct due diligence on their part in actually looking for an operation and maintenance contractor for their facilities.
1.) Short timelines from the pre-bid walk through which was today (May 14, 10:00 am), to when the sealed bid is due (two weeks)(May 28,2015)
At a minimum it should be 30 to 60 days.
2) NO Pictures to be taken of the facility. (Of course IF your a terrorist and plan to sabotage the facility I could see their point 😉 However you would not have been able to capture the dead bird floating in the effluent stream of their filters, the chipping paint on their clarifiers, or other operation and maintenance issues that you figure would have been corrected BEFORE allowing a tour.
3) In the Pre-Bid documents the City is requiring specific CA grade certifications that do not match facility requirements. From my experiences these requests could be “current contractor” specific items that limit other outside contractors from the bidding process.
4) One item requesting the new contractor to have experience operating a “Biolac” treatment system is absurd. Their process is considered conventional activated sludge and is no different to operate than any other activated sludge process. The only reason communities go with this type system is price. It is cheap to install but can become expensive to operate over time.
If you would like further information regarding wastewater treatment do not hesistate to call.
Thanks for your time 🙂
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men… (Galatians 6:10a)