Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

An EID success

By
From page A4 | October 16, 2013 | 40 Comments

It was good to see former Congressman John Doolittle at Sly Park again. Ten years ago the congressman completed a 10-year wrestling match with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to finalize the sale of Jenkinson Lake, its water rights, the Sly Park recreation area and various reservoir appurtenances to the El Dorado Irrigation District.

The price for the 41,000 acre-foot reservoir was $8.6 million for what was originally opened in 1956 as part of the Central Valley Project. The bonds for that will be paid off in about five years. Getting complete local control of that facility is invaluable. Having a congressman who actually got things done for his district — instead of spending all his time making floor speeches like our current representative — was also invaluable.

At the Oct. 7 function it was also pointed out by EID Board President George Osborne that the district has been able to keep Jenkinson Lake at a high level through most of the summer by supplementing it with Project 184 water.

Project 184, so designated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is a system of four alpine reservoirs in three counties, 22 miles of canals, flumes and tunnels fed by a diversion dam on the South Fork of the American River and a eventually running a 21-megawatt powerhouse. The delivery system was completed in 1876 and the powerhouse in 1924. Project 184, which generates an average of $8 million in revenue from the powerhouse, provides EID customers with 15,080 acre-feet of water and another 17,000 acre-feet of water rights.

Project 184 water can be shunted into Jenkinson Lake via the Hazel Creek Tunnel, which was the brainchild of the late Mark Nielsen when he was on the EID board. Also probably forgotten was that Nielsen also got the EID board to declare a water hookup moratorium when he first got on the board. That prompted EID to thoroughly assess its water resources and encouraged Serrano to use recycled water for landscaping.

EID acquired Project 184 from PG&E in 1999, followed by Sly Park in 2003. Owning its own water facilities and associated water rights is invaluable and an insurance policy for future generations. It’s a real success story.

Mountain Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 40 comments

  • Phil VeerkampOctober 15, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Thank you Mountain Democrat for the POSITIVE write-up. In view of the upcoming EID Board election it may be instructive to look back to a time when these issues were not at all positive, and the outcome was in doubt. This article from the Sacramento Business Journal deals with Project 184 and Board dysfunction (Jul 16, 2000). ~~~ LINK - Turbulence hits El Dorado water district over power plant effort ~~~ from the article "The two newcomers, Al Vargas and Bergmeister, have occasionally joined forces with incumbent Howard Kastan to battle with incumbent directors Akin and Dirk Gillmeister. Now Bergmeister is the target of a recall effort by El Dorado Citizens for Water, a group that apparently includes development and farming interests who see him as an obstructionist. " Our upcoming election has the potential to reintroduce similar dysfunction into the EID Board. Project 184 continues to be an extraordinarily expensive BUT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY element of El Dorado County's water supply, transmission, treatment and delivery infrastructure. I hope that the above quote from July 2000 does not reappear in this form, "The two newcomers, Jake Flesher and Greg Prada, have occasionally joined forces with incumbent Alan Day to battle with incumbent directors George Osborne and Bill George. Now Prada is the target of a recall effort by El Dorado Citizens for Water, a group that apparently includes development and farming interests who see him as an obstructionist. " Resist the sirin calls of lower rates, house cleaning, GOB ouster and other electioneering claptrap. By and large EID is well run and is ahead of the curve of financial reform. EID has challenges, but Board dysfunction is not the solution.

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  • Go get 'em, Phil!October 15, 2013 - 8:18 pm

    Phil, your medication refills are ready. Go get 'em before the guys in the white coats, to protect your brain from exploding, have to take you away for a lobotomy.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 15, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    Thank you, Greg.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 15, 2013 - 8:36 pm

    Phil--I have read the Life of PI--I loved it. I have not seen the movie.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 15, 2013 - 8:46 pm

    The move was a cute couple of hours, Fran.

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  • Jack PodsedlyOctober 16, 2013 - 6:18 am

    Positive write up with spoiled by comment I keep reading senseless garbage in this paper from a ridiculous EID fanatic... called Phil, who seems to have nothing better to do than spew false allegations against Greg Prada and Jake Flesher. I read all of the comments that Phil writes and he never points out FACTS. He just sends you to a web page. It is okay to have different opinions than others. But it is not OK, and simply wrong, for this Phil to continuously and childishly call names, twist the facts, and make false allegations. I know I am saying what many Mountain Democrat readers already know about the self-appointed EID attack dog. But I am writing this letter to let other readers know not to believe the unfounded and devious garbage coming from this Phil guy. Learn the true facts, and vote accordingly. This election is an important one, know the facts, it is YOUR water company.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 7:02 am

    You want fact, Jack? OK. I am EID Sr. Distribution Operator, Retired (Dec. 2009) There is a transmission main that delivers water from Sly Park Water Treatment Plant to Reservoir 7 east of Diamond. It used to fail regularly. It was during one of those failures that I proposed a radical pressure management strategy for the Gold Hill Intertie which IS THE ONLY OTHER transmission main delivering water to Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills. During one of those failures Reservoir 7 went empty. The outlet pipe was exposed on Reservoir 12 east of Cameron Park. This was over 10 years ago. In the meantime my "radical pressure management" strategy for operating the Gold Hill Intertie has become SOP. Both the GHI AND the Diamond Spring Main operate beyond design specifications during summertime peak demand. A couple of years ago I first began to follow Greg Prada's information that he was passing out to the public. From the public's perspective here was a man "speaking truth to power". Greg was on the Cost of Services Committee. Greg spoke of debt being built up creating "excess capacity". From my "under the hood" vantage point I knew that not to be true. Greg and I have been going at each other ever since. Prada wants to raise agriculture rates. What???? "Keep EDC rural" by raising ag rates????? Greg asserts that Ag rates are 17 times cheaper than residential. This is untrue. And since, by Prada's own assertion, he is deeply and intimately familiar with EID financial and rate structure one of two things is true. 1) Either Prada is unqualified to understand how a water bill is calculated, or 2)Prada consciously and deliberately misrepresents the truth. Some call that lying, Jack.

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  • Jack PodsedlyOctober 16, 2013 - 7:10 am

    Your handlers need to let you know when and where to attack

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 7:14 am

    You mean my wife, kids, grand kids and great grand kids? Yes, Jack. They are my greatest resource.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 7:27 am

    Jack, my handlers have given the green light to me to pass on this inconvenient truth. Diamond Spring, Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills NEED A THIRD TRANSMISSION LINE NOW, TODAY, YESTERDAY . . . FOR YEARS NOW HAVE NEEDED A THIRD TRANSMISSION LINE. The El Dorado Hills Raw water pumps are unreliable due to a design flaw. They can fail at any time. Considering the "MURPHY FACTOR" (anything that can go wrong will go wrong) it is just a matter of time before a pump failure will combine with a transmission line break and a staffing failure and EDH's faucets will be sucking air. The third line is not for future growth. The third line is needed for reliability TODAY. Rates are not going down, Jack. And without new development rates are really, really not going down, Jack.

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  • Jack PodsedlyOctober 16, 2013 - 8:15 am

    As for excess capacity, the source is an August 2010 report from EID's. Finance Director to the EID board in which he valued 5,400 available water hookups and 10,300 available sewer hookups at $137 million. Since EID's recorded debt for infrastructure is $370 million, this means that more than one third of EID's total available infrastructure is excess capacity...especially for wastewater excess capacity which is nearly 50 percent excess capacity. If you are a better financial expert than EID's financial director, you should apply for the job. Maybe you should make a recommendation that EID spend more money where it needs to be rather than try to anticipate where the future development will be at a very high cost to ratepayers.

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  • not on EIDOctober 16, 2013 - 10:21 am

    Jack says "Since EID's recorded debt for infrastructure is $370 million, this means that more than one third of EID's total available infrastructure is excess capacity." Where is that excess capacity?

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 11:21 am

    Jack, consider substituting the word "surplus" for the work "excess". There ARE areas of surplus capacity. Unfortunately transmission capacity IS NOT in surplus. Transmission capacity is in deficit.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 11:24 am

    . . . for the word "excess". . .

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 8:31 am

    Jack, in this instance the defining constraint with respect to capacity is transmission capacity. The two transmission lines supplying the west are running beyond design specifications. The finance wizard gave insufficient deference to "Murphy". EID has produced a water reliability report that is too rosy. Sorry, Mr. Parker and Mr. Bone.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 8:46 am

    In short, Jack, if pressures are lowered to design specifications on the Gold Hill Intertie and the Diamond Spring Main people will be experiencing outages . . . NOW.

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  • not on EIDOctober 16, 2013 - 8:49 am

    Maybe the design specs are excessive? (Or, why do they matter?)

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 8:59 am

    not on EID asks, "why do they matter?". Because line failure tends to ruin one's day. And when a lawyer shows that a home was damaged in a line failure resulting from knowingly operating a system beyond design specifications it's a REALLY BAD DAY. EID has segments of the system operating beyond design specifications. Just wait.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 8:51 am

    We need to start now . . . LINK - •2013 Integrated Water Resources Master Plan

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 10:37 am

    not on EID asks, " Where is that (Jack's) excess capacity?" I cannot speak for Jack. Ask Jack. But he may be referring to EID's "excess water rights". (Westlands is waiting . . .) He may be referring to elements of EID's distribution that ARE CAPABLE of delivering more water than present demand. But RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT requires an ability to deliver quantities greater than demand. Just as a football quarterback leads the receiver. The pass is not aimed where the receiver is. Rather the pass is aimed ahead and where the receiver will be.

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  • Dee#1October 16, 2013 - 10:45 am

    Dear Editor: today's front page was the best ever!

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    Dee, yes. This was a timely front page article, Mountain Democrat. Thank you.

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  • Little RickyOctober 16, 2013 - 1:00 pm

    Woof..... Sit.....

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  • Little RickyOctober 16, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    CIALIS is indicated for the treatment of men with erectile dysfunction (ED), men with the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and men with both ED and the signs and symptoms of BPH. CIALIS is not indicated for women or children.

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  • sunshineOctober 16, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    This article must have been written by Mike Raffety, a very good friend of Mark Nielsen. Mark helped Cherie Raffety when she was investigated by the Grand Jury. The attorney, Mark Neilson managed to convince the Board of Supervisors to over- look her incompetency. The credit for the idea for a moratorium in El Dorado Hills is NOT Nielson, it goes to Senator John Briggs. The Hazel Creek Tunnel was a disaster well over $7 million 25 years ago. It was then a tunnel to nowhere. By the way Mike, what has been the accumulated cost to the ratepayer since we bought Project 184. You proudly state the revenue, but give no cost to revenue ratio. Not good reporting. But Abercrombie has the same problem

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 16, 2013 - 4:25 pm

    And a question to you, sunshine - In 300 words or less, how would you have done it?

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  • sunshineOctober 17, 2013 - 6:54 am

    Phil, with full disclosure.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 17, 2013 - 7:05 am

    Fascinating, sunshine. I'm assuming here- correct me if I'm wrong - but I'm assuming that you have the new whizbang flux capacitor powered crystal ball available. Favor please. Can you schedule me in for 30 minutes. I'd like to run a Wall Street script through it.

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  • sunshineOctober 17, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    Sure Phil, right after I shine-up my crystal ball.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 17, 2013 - 2:58 pm

    email driving directions to my portfolio manager - jethromcswift@yahoo.com - Is tomorrow AM ok? 10:00 ish?

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  • rodOctober 17, 2013 - 8:58 pm

    This all sounds well and good... debate is healthy... but what about water QUALITY? Seriously, Why can't I drink the water anymore? I get really sick from it. Is the joke on me, no one drinks it or is it actually potable water. I live in Pollock, thanks

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 17, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    Rod, serious question. . . Do you have a home filtering system? Improperly maintained home filters can introduce "crud".

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  • James E.October 17, 2013 - 9:13 pm

    Consumer report: The water in Pville is good.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 17, 2013 - 9:17 pm

    That's because Rod is upstream of you and all the "bad water" is going to him? Rod's taking all the "bad water"?

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  • Dee#1October 17, 2013 - 9:21 pm

    Rod, are you serious? The h2o in Pollack is undrinkable? I think it will be awhile before I attend a restaurant there,naw, I'll chance it. I haven't gotten sick yet but I sincerely hope you can resolve the issue that you are having with your h2o. A safe and plentiful h2o supply should be one of blessing of life. You should as Phil if there is an EID service to check your h2o. I hope you find a solution soon.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 17, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    Dee, Pollock Pines' water AND Placerville water come from the same treatment plant on Gilmore in Pollock. He gets the "freshest" - but in reality the water through his meter is virtually identical to the water through James'.

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  • James E.October 17, 2013 - 9:45 pm

    When I drink my water, I think of the disease that must have killed many in Pville back in the 1850s when they had to drink out of polluted streams (including Hangtown Creek).

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  • James E.October 17, 2013 - 10:34 pm

    It appears the chat well has dried up. Tomorrow.

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  • rodOctober 17, 2013 - 11:32 pm

    Late answering, sorry YEH in the last year doc says drink more water... have been drinking tap here for 20 years, now when I drink it I get dizzy when mountain biking, running chainsaw yada yada. Got really serious dizzy early August.. then quit drinking water here and at airport where I spend a lot of time and ride bike. Have been FINE since I quit the tap water????

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  • Dee#1October 18, 2013 - 6:20 am

    Phil, thank you. That is what I thought. I am sorry to hear that his h2o makes him I'll.I hope he finds the cause soon.

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