Public Comment

An honest error, arrogant neglect, or a just a random slap in the face?

By John Herbert
Friday May 24, 2013 - 06:44:00 PM

Last weekend folks managing BUSD/Tim Mollering Memorial Field left irrigation systems running for what appears to have been 72 hours. It is still running at the time of this writing I believe. At a rate of what appears to be nearly 200 gals a minute down into the storm drains.

I observed a twenty-four hour cycle of this by virtue of the park being on my route for walking my dogs.

I observed water running Sunday 7 am, Sunday 7 pm and Monday 6 am.

In comments made by city representatives, this problem may have started as early as Friday May 17.

Calls to BPD, City 311, EBMUD, and BUSD resulted in no correction of this wasteful happenstance. 

In conversations with reps from all of these agencies, (except BUSD which apparently has no answering service unless one knows an extension)I learned that Police, City, and Utility Services have NO ACCESS to this facility, even in an emergency. 

This is a ridiculous set of circumstances. 

I honestly don't understand why EBMUD could not have simply cut the fence with cutters to access the shut off valves to turn off this shameful waste of water. 

Why are shutoff valves not situated on the street curb like residential parcels? 

This happenstance is even more shameful by virtue of the fact that EBMUD will be raising our utility rates by almost a factor of 20% in the next year or two. 

Not only will Berkeley residents pay for BUSD's wasteful "accident", we probably subsidize a preferred water rate for them... 

All the while, residents will suffer __punitive__ rate hikes for what also appears to be egregious mismanagement of resources by all agencies concerned.