From: Chiye Azuma
To: ;
Cc: ; ; Nathan G. Alley ; ; ; Julie Gantenbein ; ; ; ; ; ; Nancy Nadel ; ; ; Tricia Caspers ;
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 11:29 PM
Subject: Sewer leak update

To:  SF Regional Water Quality Control Board
        Keith Lichten
         Laurie Taul

I truly do not relish spending my weekends monitoring the state of my local sewer line, but that is where the stormwater management problems at Leona Quarry and Chimes Creek are coming down to.  Literally.  I've already talked to you last week about discovering the broken sewer main two weekends ago on Dec 4.  To the City''s sewer maintenance crew's credit, the broken pipe was promptly patched up with fresh wires and rope and readjusted to compensate for the upstream pipe that continues to sag down from the weight of the eroding banks.

I am attaching pictures from this past Sunday, December 12, 2004, and one from just before the pipe break.  I hope the panorama clarifies the relationship between the oak tree that is balanced over the creek like a huge mushroom and the sewer main and the creek. 

The second picture shows the lateral pipe hooked in from 6311 Hillmont Dr .  When the City crew adjusted the flow angle of the sewer main, they had to add another connector piece to the lateral pipe for it to reach the main.  Not only did the main pipe shift downwards but also laterally, so that the connector piece is barely connecting at an angle.  If it's not clear what I am trying to describe to you, examine the before and after pictures of the lateral connection to the main pipe.  Despite a steady stream of runoff in the creek, the area reeks worse than a NY city subway at 4 am. (I think raw sewage is saturating the soil)  

The contamination of this creek and the bay waters has been going on for the past 16 years, and we still cannot get the City engineers to come up with a practical and realistic plan to deal with this mess.

Marcel Uzegbu and Allen Law showed us some preliminary plans of how they intend to replace this pipe by "bursting" through with minimal loss of pipe diameter, but the details on how they intend to support the pipe in thin air remains sketchy.  Since that meeting in August, we have been asking for updates on these plans, but we have yet to hear from Marcel or from Alen. 

I agree with the Leona Quarry developer that this is not their problem.  It remains the responsibility of the City of Oakland to maintain these pipes without endangering our health and safety. 

What is the volume of sewage that will be coming through when the project hooks into this pipeline?  Does the City truly believe they can manage the runoff from the Quarry without further exposing and damaging the pipes? 

That beautiful oak tree at the far right of the picture looks like it will tear off a large chunk of the creek bank when it tips over, and it would not surprise me if its roots are firmly entangled in the clay pipe.  It seems logical that the City come up with a REAL plan to deal with the runoff, the erosion, and the sewage leaks before they make plans to add 400 plus units' worth of toilet flushes to this pipe. 

This creek deserves more protection than just ropes and wires and creative wood crutches.

Chiye Azuma