Archive for June, 2013

Kia ora from New Zealand

June 26, 2013

( I recently received this email from a resident of Christchurch, NZ )

I live in Christchurch New Zealand, and I have been following your WordPress blog for the past 3 months.
Christchurch, my city of 363,200 residents, has suffered several devastating earthquakes in the past few years… my beautiful city will never be the same!-1
We currently have a gravity wastewater system and we are told by our Council that it has failed due to the earthquakes.  Wastewater still flows from my property by gravity as it did before the earthquakes with no problems.  The Council is trying to install 6000 grinder pumps throughout the city, approximately 850 surrounding my home.  The Council will install these on private property and maintain the units at no charge to the homeowner, except the homeowner will pay the electricity cost.  However, our current Council has admitted that their decisions are not binding on future Councils.  We believe that once Council realize how costly and problematic these grinders are they will simply be ‘gifted’ to the homeowner to service and maintain.  We are told that grinder pumps are more resilient than a gravity system.  They are suggesting that the grinder pump only requires maintenance every 10 years and it will last for 25 years……’Yeah, right’.  Our Council has admitted they have done no overseas research on this… we have.

Thank you for your blog site, we have found it immensely informative and helpful in trying to understand these grinder pumps.

Kindest regards,
Niki De Pina
 (p.s. we love your “Dump the pumps NO GRINDERS” yard signs )

(ed. note: Christchurch citizens file for judicial review)

According to a June 14 post on the Christchurch Concerned Citizens website, court documents have been filed seeking ‘interim relief’ to halt the installation of grinder pumps.  We should all reflect on how fortunate we are that our elected officials listened to us and acted to review the installation of grinder pumps in N3.

Thank you Sarasota County Commissioners!


Date Announced for BCC Meeting

June 18, 2013

Peter Gentile, Chairman of our N3 Committee, recently wrote to the County Commissioners asking for a progress report on our neighborhood sewers (you can read Peter’s letter and Comm. Barbetta’s reply at Commissioners Email 6/14/2013 10:06 AM).

On June 15 Lori Carroll provided the following information:

Staff presented a discussion item with the Board on February 13, 2013, regarding the three sewer technologies used in the Phillippi Creek Septic System Replacement Program (Program) and their associated costs for the N3 community.  During that discussion, the Board questioned staff on how the remaining areas of the Phillippi Creek Septic System Replacement Program will (or should) be served and requested that staff bring back a presentation to them to discuss 5 key items, including:  1) what are the remaining areas of the Program; 2) how should service be provided to those areas; 3) timing (schedule); 4) costs; and 5) should large lots be included in the Program.

The Board indicated to staff that until they have an understanding of how the utility plans to provide service to those remaining areas, they wouldn’t make a decision on how to serve the N3 community.  Initially, staff had planned to return to the Board with this discussion item on June 18, 2013.  However, on June 3, 2013, staff sent a memo to Mr. Reid requesting that the presentation be postponed for several reasons including the recent resignation of the Utilities Director and to allow additional time for the consultant to provide pertinent data to staff.

The agenda for the Board meetings on July 9 and 10 are already booked; then, the Board is in recess until August 27, 2013.   We have rescheduled the presentation for the August 28, 2013 Board meeting and booked 75 minutes.   Currently, this presentation is the final item scheduled for that day.  However, sometimes the sequencing of agenda items are changed.  If you’d like, I could contact you when the agenda is finalized.

As you know, the entire Program is very large, affecting over 15,000 properties, and is funded over multiple years.   We felt more time was needed researching the dynamics of the remaining areas of the Program, since the Board is relying on staff to provide them with the best information to make appropriate decisions in completing the Program.

On September 11, 2012, the Board directed staff to place the design of area N3 on hold and it will remain so until directed otherwise by the Board.  Please note that the Board asked staff to return to them with a discussion item on providing sewer service to the remaining areas of the Program.  Once they understand that, they indicated they would be in a better position to make a decision on serving the N3 community.  Your email stated, “staff indicated then that they would need about 90 days or more to figure out a way to provide a vacuum system for our neighborhood.”  I just want to clarify with you that the discussion item on August 28, 2013, will be regarding providing sewer service to the remaining areas of the Program.  The Board may not want to discuss how to serve the N3 community at that time, but then again, they may choose to bring this area into the discussion.  I just wanted to make sure you understand our purpose of returning to the Board on August 28, 2013.


Lori Carroll

Program Manager, Utilities