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Monrovia Has Been Draining Unclean Water into Soil Above Drinking Water Pump


Map key: The green line encloses the French drain; the red area is for trash containers with a pipe leading to the French drain, and the blue area is where vehicles are washed.

Note: I sent the following article to Monrovia City Manager Oliver Chi and Public Works Director Tina Cherry for comment, and received the response directly below my article.

My Article ...

Is Monrovia draining dirty water from trash and sewer-truck clean-outs directly into the ground above its water well at the corner of Peck Road and Jeffries Avenue?

According to a source, a city supervisor was placed on administrative leave last Thursday as a result of what is apparently a continuing investigation.

I am told that apparently all the drinking water coming from the well is still clean, but will it remain so as wash-water slowly percolates down to the point where it would be pumped out?

According to my source, water from leaky trash containers goes down a pipe which leads to a "French drain," a perforated underground pipe surrounded by gravel. The water goes out through the holes in the pipe, through the gravel, and sinks into the soil.

I'm told that the sewage truck - which I occasionally see pumping out the septic tanks at the rest rooms in Monrovia Canyon Park because the sewer line from the park does not work - is emptied into a main line of the sewer system, then is rinsed and again drained into the sewer system. But then it is rinsed a second time, and the water from this second rinsing is dumped on the ground near the French drain. Definitely better than dumping raw sewage there, but still not clean water.

My source said this water is supposed to be drained into the sewer system (a sewer line runs along the north side of the property) and not leached into the ground, and that elected officials have not been aware of this issue.


The City's Response ...

On Thursday, February 26, 2015, Monrovia City officials were made aware of alleged unlawful disposal of wastewater at the City’s main water well field located at 2265 South Myrtle Avenue. Upon discovery of this information, the City immediately initiated a comprehensive review of the overall situation to ensure that stringent water quality and safety standards are maintained. This review included the retention of a third-party contractor to perform additional testing of the City’s water and the hiring of a third party investigator to perform a comprehensive investigation into the allegation. That same day, one supervisor was placed on paid administrative leave, pending the completion of the review.

It is important to emphasize that ongoing monthly testing shows that Monrovia’s water supply consistently meets or exceeds State and Federal drinking water standards. Our most recent monthly report attests to the fact that the City’s water is safe for consumption, and the alleged unlawful disposal of wastewater has not impacted the safety of Monrovia’s water.

Furthermore, the City employs multiple additional layers of water testing to ensure that Monrovia’s water is safe for human consumption. In addition to monthly testing, the City performs Annual Water Reports, tests water nitrogen levels monthly, and conducts additional daily monitoring of our water production operation. These ongoing efforts help to ensure that the water provided to Monrovia customers is not only safe, but meets or exceeds every State and Federal drinking water standard. Moving forward, to ensure that the City is taking proactive measures regarding the safety of our water, the City will be implementing bi-weekly testing to ensure that our water continues to meet or exceed every State and Federal drinking water standard. Internally, the Water Utilities Operation in the City will be preparing an overall water report on a quarterly basis, rather than on an annual basis, as an added layer of public communication.

Furthermore, the City has made plans to hire a third party contractor to perform immediate environmental testing of our water facility site where the alleged disposal occurred. The tests will include taking samples from the City’s water and the soils surrounding the water facility site. Also, the City will be contacting the Regional Water Quality Control Board to make them aware of the situation and the details of all actions being taken to address the issue. Additionally, the investigator will also look deeper into the situation and ensure that all proper mitigation measures are being taken.

In an effort to distribute information to the public, the City will also continue to make all reports available to the public. Current water testing information, including our Annual Water Reports, can be found on our city website at www.cityofmonrovia.org. Finally, in an effort to enhance all services provided to the community, the City has been working on a proposed reorganization. This proposed plan includes the addition of a Utility General Manager to ensure additional attention and oversight of all utility functions.

The City of Monrovia is taking this matter very seriously and we are implementing robust response measures to ensure the safety and quality of our community’s water source. We will continue to have updates on the city website (www.cityofmonrovia.org) to keep the public apprised of the situation.

25 comments:

  1. Is anyone being held accountable for this.

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  2. Only the "supervisor" who will be on PAID administrative leave ie paid vacation for several months until somebody gets to the 'bottom' of this. He'LL get fired and just walk onto his next gig and probably get a bigger pay check in the he will be considered an experienced,skilled and seasoned professional. In the meantime I would advise our neighbors on the south side of town to smell the water before drinking it.

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  3. UNBELIEVABLE! ..... at least should be...........criminal offense, I hope

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  4. Monrovia water is disgusting and this adds bacteria to the "mix"
    please post what action can be taken..thank you

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  5. This is a direct result of Monrovia being poorly managed for the last 5 years. Monrovia has had 7 different changes in the City Manager Position. Four of those changes were for an Interim Part Time Manager. Prior to voting against this and on each occasion I stated that Monrovia could not be managed on a part time basis and that something would fail, we are starting to see the results of poor decisions by some on the council. There will be more, I am certain of it.

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  6. This is a terrible situation for our community. First and foremost I want to assure everyone that our water supply is safe and that we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that it remains that way. Apparently this has been happening for a number of years and until now there was no indication of any malfeasance. The entire City Council has been apprised of the situation and we are in full support of measures to ensure this never happens again and that the parties who perpetrated these acts are dealt with swiftly. Now is not the time for finger pointing; rather it is the time for the entire Council to act as one for the good of the community.

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    Replies
    1. It's not about finger pointing but finding out who was responsible and being held accountable.

      Your message doesn't seem to want to find that out.

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    2. Dear Anonymous,
      To the contrary if you read the article and the press release that I approved, you will see that there are many steps being taken. Steps to ensure the public health, and steps to hold accountable the bad actors. We are still in the middle of this investigation but I can assure you that everyone that acted in an illegal manner will be identified and held accountable!

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    3. Mayor Lutz ... Our eyes and pointed fingers are on each member of our city council. At least 8 pairs of eyes have failed to properly oversee this very important responsibility. We will indeed require that "everyone that acted in an illegal manner be ID'ed and held accountable" as you've stated. We will also require an accounting/ reckoning of those whom have once again taken their eyes off this valuable price we call 'The Gem City Of The Foothills'.

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  7. This is the outcome when City Leadership is more interested in transforming Monrovia into a "mini-Pasadena" than keeping it a small quiet town where it's fun, safe, and healthy, to live.

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  8. Nice copy-and-paste to/from the Monrovia Facebook Community page, Ms Lutz. Typical politician response...

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. It is election season and sludge stories surface to character assassinate good citizens who volunteer to uphold council seats. Five or so years ago a similar story was tacked onto previous mayor, unfairly so. Consider the source and check the motives.

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  11. Hey tom this was under your watch he was hired before Mary Ann and if you and your other predecessors didnt concentrate on redevelopment so your real estate office made money on those listing. These people were hired prior to Mary Ann during the Dave Fike and Ron Bo era These are the guys that when your buddy on normbega( former constituencies) backyard was flooded you called Dave and Ron to go pump it out and use city equipment and man power was used to take care of it was the city ever reimbursed for that oh yea don't bring that up the things u have done as a concilman just blame Mary Ann Lutz oh yea she didn't know.

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    1. Look like another investigation is needed Mr. Chi. Using City resources to pump out a friend backyard, wow Tom please comment?

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  12. Rember tom you are only as good as the friends you keep

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  13. I find the politicking here to be offensive and inappropriate. A problem was identified and the city is addressing it. It has nothing to do with interim city managers, unless, Mr. Adams, you are suggesting that a full-time city manager spends his time driving around looking for problems to solve, and interim city managers don't. Furthermore, you seem to imply that it's the job of the city council members and the mayor to do the same thing. Is this really how you think a city government works?

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  14. Thanks for getting this info out Brad! Will look forward to the follow up conversations. You are a valuable resource to this community!

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  15. McMama, when you look at the $4,500,000 in lost grant funds, when you look at the raw sewage dumping, when you look at the fact that Monrovia stopped reporting on our ground water contamination in 2010, when you look at a budget that does not address out failing streets, when you see all of these issues it points to bad management. When some on the council voted 4 times for part time management when full time management was available, you get poor management. Remember that old saying, you get what you pay for.

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    1. Tom I have always been a supporter and voted for you the last few elections. What bothers me is how you portray missing funds. Staff screwed up and its being fixed, move on. I believe if you be yourself and stop whining, pull your britches up and be a man you could possible pull this off. As long as you continue to complain how do you expect people to get to know you. Have your friends got from you what they paid for?

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    2. I am sorry if you feel that this is somehow negative, I feel it is honest. This is so much more than "staff screwed up". What you see here is just indicative of an underlying problem. I am sorry if you think my looking out for your $4,500,000 is whining. Really? Over $ 4 Million Dollars gone and you say lets move on.

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    3. 4,500,000 could do a lot for Teacher bonus or reward programs for all their hard work. The Standard of Education should be corrected and Pass only students with an A or B Average. Education makes for a better future with people who have the skill and knowledge to handle the situation (Learning and understanding City, State, and Federal Law).

      I hope you notify the city when you do find where the error was when neither of you are running for election.

      I have notice no city Manager for sometime and that is a red flag of there is a problem with Management.

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  16. I took that long drive from Duarte Rd. going south down Peck Road to take a look at our water works. Why do our CITY residences on the south end put up with such neglect of their neighborhoods by the city? Peck Rd. is in a disgraceful condition. That area reminds me of Lower Upton. I beg these fine people to speak up and demand improvements to your streets and parkways. Start your demanding now ... city elections are pending. Do not allow this city to forget that you are Monrovians.

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