Logo 152x60 Sewage Overflow at 6120 Oakdale


Staff Report (pdf file)    

NN (NANCY NADEL) You said something about you were successful in getting the project - what in relation to the Alameda County Flood Control? Is it on their radar screen?

GA (GUS AMIRZHENI) This is on their radar screen.

NN On their radar screen? Is this as far as we've gotten?

GA Yes, it is on their tentative CIP list, yes.

NN CIP list... and what does that mean in terms of really getting this done?

GA They have committed to dealing with this in a future time, but they haven't committed to anything at this moment.

NN When do they fund their CIP list?

GA I'm sorry, what?

NN When do they fund their CIP list? Is that an annual budget process, and that would come up on the same July to June kind of schedule?

GA yes...

NN So they might, so they're starting to look at, but they are on a annual budget rather than a two year budget?

GA Yes...

NN So, are they starting to put that together now? for next year?

GA I don't think they have scheduled for the next year. This is a long term capital improvement list ... it's not for the next year.

NN But they are preparing a budget for next year. And I am trying to find out how we can get this on their upcoming budget. What's their process? Does somebody know what their process is for getting on their upcoming budget?

MN Michael Neary, Assistant Director, Public Works. I believe that the County has a 7-year capital improvement plan .. and then they fund it on an annual basis. At this point in time, I think the Grand Ave. project is their next project they have planned in Oakland. This project is on their tentative list, but isn't budgeted at this time. We meet with them annually, usually in October to collaborate on their CIP -- they present the projects to us and we give them feedback. At this point in time, we have been successful in getting them to acknowlege this as a potential project in the future but it isn't currently budgeted and we are continuing to work with them to get them to put this on -- to fund this project.

NN In terms of the -- how many projects do we have in Oakland that we would like them to fund, besides this one?

GA ... About five or six...

NN And where does this one sit in terms of the urgency?
GA On our list, it has high priority.

NN ... high priority. What about Measure DD? How are we deciding which creek projects get dealt with under DD? ... Because I noticed one of the next items is funded for a creek project - Lions Creek.

LE (LESLEY ESTES) Lesley Estes, Public Works Agency. With regards to Measure double-D funds, the criteria for creek restoration projects using Measure double-D funds includes public access and public property. The Chimes Creek is private property and not publicly accessible.

NN So, the entire aspect of this stretch of this creek is all on private property?

LE It's all on private property and it's all not publicly accessible - it's basically people's back yards.

NN And what is the City's responsibility in the case of a creek being entirely on private property?

GA We have two sewer lines that run along the banks of the creek and we have easements for the sewer lines, and our responsibility lie within the easements only.

NN And when you met with the residents about this issue, and you've explained to them that because it's all on private property that DD doesn't cover that ... is that something that they know?

MN Yes, we have had ongoing discussions with the residents out there and we did make clear that there is not funding currently available of any kind that we know of for ...

NN And how many people actually live along this stretch? How many separate households?

GA .... One of the sewers on the northerly side of the creek serves about 12 residences, and maybe 6 additional houses live beyond that, and on the southerly side - probably an equal amount-- altogether about two dozen or so...

NN Have you presented to them the possibility of all chipping in to fund this .. rehabilitation study?

GA I don't think ....one group of residents ... but as far as that question ... not sure ...

NN I mean we have to figure out -- as you say it's an urgent problem that needs to be addressed and I just want to make sure that we are exploring all the possibilities. If Alameda Flood Control is not going to be able to do this quickly and they are seeing their back yards eroding rapidly, they might be interested in funding at least the first stages themselves and at least that should be put out to them as a possibility. Perhaps Ms. Brooks knows more about whether they would be interested in that.

DB (DESLEY BROOKS)     Well, I think I appreciate your interest in this project, we've been working on it ongoing and that's why we've gotten it on the tentative CIP list. We have met on a number of occasions with the residents out there, and as you know, they are very .... in the erosion and the like issues and so, I'm sure that they can appreciate that if they want to spend their own money they could do that to address some of the erosion problems. We are responsible for the easement portion, and we are moving forward on that portion.  The County did do the Nairobi Project a while back – we have a project that anticipates to start next month?

GA      We have three projects.  One is anticipated to start at the end of this month, the other one is on the agenda today, and the third one is …. soon

DB      So, we are not sitting on our hands we are moving forward.

NN      No, I was not even implying that you were sitting on your hands.  I think it is great that staff has now at least put together a scope of work for a proposal and you have a sense of how much that might cost and that certainly helps too in people deciding whether or not they can – they want to try and move on their own or wait until County deals with it or what.  But I feel like there is an urgency I’d like to see us help the community with in whatever way we can.

DB      I think they are equally concerned about the urgency and to that extent they’ve addressed it … and one of the things that we’ve done with this project – with the sewer project – is we are making available for the residents to hook up their line while we have it open so that there is no cost to them.  So we are looking at ways of partnering with the residents to try and assist them as we move forward with this project.

RG (RALPH GANZ)      Good afternoon, my name is Ralph Ganz.  I would just like to point out that this is all a direct result of the Leona Quarry project and this is DeSilva’s responsibility.  The City should not be footing the bill for the damage caused by an upstream project … It’s time to bring the responsible party forward on this.  And this goes back to the whole problem at Leona Quarry where DeSilva was given a Creek Permit in violation of the Creek Ordinance in that they did not perform CEQA review on that permit…The Permit was not issued until after the work had commenced.  And the City has done nothing to investigate all this.  In fact, I’ve been trying to get all the documents related to all this Creek Permit and I keep getting stonewalled on it.  The plain fact of the matter is you got a big mess up there on the hill, you got a mitigation monitoring program that’s never been fully enforced, you’ve never done anything to audit that to see that it is properly enforced. 
And meanwhile the City is sitting here going how much money can we spend to pay for the damage DeSilva is doing downstream.  It’s about time to end that.  Let’s put DeSilva up there and make them pay for the damage they’re doing.  Thank you.

NN      Anybody want to comment on that?

RGJ (RAUL GODINEZ, JR. )    Madame Chair, we obviously disagree with that.  The Leona Quarry project was not to make anything worse than it already has, you know, and I think it, the project and the development meet that standard. 
You know, there is ongoing erosion … and there will continue to be ongoing erosion .. but the Leona Quarry project is not making that any worse. (shrug) 
We feel very comfortable with that.

JQ (JEAN QUAN)      I just have a quick question.  My understanding of what we are talking about here is about replacing some aging sewage lines along Chimes… is that these existed whether or not the Quarry project was there or not.  These are the existing sewer lines for the existing community along Chimes.

RGJ    That is correct

 JQ       Right.  So is there any way that the Quarry project would make this sewage worse?  I mean, I could see possibly the issues of more … silt… or deposits in the creek itself but not necessarily on the sewage lines themselves since those run through the houses on Chimes …

 RGJ    That is correct.  I think staff made it clear that damage is through root intrusion which is due to the age of the infrastructure out there.

JQ       What about the issue of, although this is not what is on the agenda, I’ve been watching the reports of – I know that you are monitoring the health of the creek itself – but at least your report seemed to say that our old sewage lines are more damaging at this point than any other factor.  Is that correct? 

GA      Because of the aging condition of the sewer system, like I said in my presentation, yes, they cause --- the roots cause blockages and cause the stormwater which gets into the sewer system to back up and … and get into the creek.

 JQ       And we’ve had extraordinary rains this year, so has that made it even worse this year?

GA      Of course,  this is, like I said, this is a rain dependent overflows.  During dry weather season we don’t have this problem.  The capacity of the sewer pipe is supposed to handle base flow which is dry weather flow and up ..uh.. wet weather flow… this is only a problem during rainy season because excess water from the rain gets into the sewer system.

 JQ       OK, thank you

NN      And you have historic data on the flows in this creek that you can compare to the current flows in the creek to prove that there is no worse problems from the current development?  How do you make that determination that things are not getting worse?  How do you base that?  What do you base it on?

MN      To answer your first question- we do not have historical data on this, or I don’t know that we have historical data on any of the creeks in Oakland.  Maybe … uh, I am not aware of any creeks that have historical data, flow data.  The calculations were based on hydrology studies that were done by consultants and they were peer reviewed and we’re comfortable with the conclusions of the preconstruction conditions and the post construction conditions and the analysis that was done.

NN      Without historic data of what the flows were in the creek before … it would be difficult to make that statement …. I’ll have to talk to you offline about that.

DB      … through the Chair… Is that an accurate statement?  Because I thought that there were some baseline figures that we … had.
MN      I am not aware of any stream gage data for this creek that goes back any length of time.

DB      What does the Water Quality Control Board … is monitoring the site as well, is that correct?
MN      That is correct.

DB      What have the reports been thus far, from the Board?
MN      We have a few letters, I don’t remember the last one that we had.  The Water Quality Control Board is interested in the mitigation and management plan for the construction conditions and whatnot, and they are satisfied with the work the contractor has done up to date.

DB      And a part of that would be … impacts on the creek, correct?
MN      That’s correct.

 DB      And so with respect to erosion, they have actually been pleased with the turnarounds since … what? a year and a half ago? 
 MN      That’s correct, that’s what their letters indicate and our conversations with staff. 

DB      With respect to the sewer project that we’re going to do, aren’t we planting to address some of the erosion issues on that stretch?
MN      Yes, we are.  One of the areas on the left hand side of the creek, one of the sewer pipes that has pulled apart a couple of times due to erosion, I think Gus alluded to the tree that had fallen over and diverted the water – that part of the bank is going to be reconstructed and protected with some riprap and some plantings.

DB      Thank you.

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