I have officially shamed three people into deleting their comments or posts that are wholly inaccurate and ignorant rants. Being located in a small rural area, I understand that the rumor mill runs like wild fire. That is still no excuse for not doing your due diligence in getting the facts. Which usually means going straight to the source.
The first was in April, shortly after I started at the water company. Some guy on Facebook tried stirring the pot by saying that the reason our water company has to issue a Boil Advisory is because we're out of water.
Not true - one has nothing to do with the other. Our Boil Advisory is due to the age of our system (60 years) and no longer meets the current California Dept. of Public Health regulations in two ways: 1) Our surface water treatment plant doesn't meet current state regulations regarding how long our water sits at the treatment plant in contact with the disinfectant and 2) the cloudiness of our water; our treatment plant puts out like .5NTU where a modern plant will put out .1NTU (please don't ask me what NTU means because I have no idea lol), and the state's concern is that bacteria can potentially hide in that cloudiness. Therefore a Boil Advisory is issued as required by state law as long as we're using water from the river. Water from our wells does not need to go through the treatment plant, therefore, in winter, we can issue a "stop boil" notice to our customers. This year, the Boil Advisory started in mid-March and we dated it through the end of October. We don't run the river every day, but every two or three days as needed and it would be such a pain the buttocks to issue notices all the time. I'd never get anything else done.
The second and third were just tonight.
On Monday evening, we had what turned out to be a water main break in our little subdivision which is our service area (we only have about 167 connections). We had to turn the main off the entire street for about 16 hours or so. When they built our system 60 years ago, they used an odd size pipe that, today, is difficult to find things like repair clamps that fit our size pipe. I went and notified people twice - the first time to tell them that it was a service line that broke (which we thought at the time) and the water would be off for 3-4 hours, and a second time to tell them the bad news that it was a main that broke and we'd have to run to Redding in the morning to get the special clamps that fit our pipes. When I got into the office this morning, there was a message from KRCR News Channel 7 (at 3am!) saying they were getting reports that the residents were without water. I finally caved and talked with one gal who really wanted to come up and have someone speak on camera. Well, Boyfriend was like "No way!" because he was grubbed out from working on the main. Plus, that's not really his thing. Soooo, I agreed to it. The gal came up, put a microphone on me and sat in front of me with a scary video camera and asked me maybe a dozen questions about the drought and how it's affecting us. I told her honestly what our situation is and what the worst case scenario is. I showed her around the treatment plant and one of our wells. Well, my parents said they saw the clip on the news (which I am SOOOOOOOOO mortified about being on the local news! ACK!!!) and they said I "looked so cute!!" To which I replied that I probably had food in my teeth and that my bangs were standing straight up. lol
This afternoon I saw a story on KRCR's Facebook page about a water main break in Happy Valley, just a half mile-ish from my parents house. Some gal commented that "the city needs to focus on pipes but instead they build juvenile centers and stuff." I totally paraphrased but that's the gist. I commented on the story with, "The city (I think you mean Redding or Anderson) isn't paying for CCCSD's water main repair. The money comes from the water district itself, from funds they have set aside for upgrades and/or repairs. That money is generated from their customers." This evening, her comment no longer existed.
The third was this evening. Our neighbor (who is also our Operator-in-Training), called us saying that they had just seen a comment on KRCR's Facebook posting of the story - a comment that was plain mean and completely ignorant. The comment read: "Don't believe the lies. They're not even mentioning the 2.9 million dollars they have because they want to spend on themselves. And they're installing meters before they do anything to the pipes or the system. Fishy fishy fishy." Again, I'm paraphrasing because I can't remember everything verbatim. There were also comments like, "they're surrounded by water", "pull it from the river", "they probably don't even have water rights", and "they have two lakes and a river and they're running out of water?"
Oh. It's. On. As for the main comment and I addressed everyone else, too, I wrote a very long comment explaining everything. Firstly, the 2.9 million dollars was awarded to the Community Services District, which is the other water company in town - which is a completely separate company. And when awarded grant funding, it's public funds, which means you have to account for every single dime that's spent - especially because it's typically awarded for a specific project. I also explained that while, yes, we have two lakes and a river - we can only pull a certain amount out of the river - BY LAW. The two lakes/dams are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and are part of the Central Valley Project. We do not draw water from the lakes. You can read my Facebook comment and others here. Or you can read some additional comments on the actual story here.
Within the hour, the dumbass who started it all deleted his comment. HA!! Take that.
Look, I hate being a bitch and I hate writing what I had to write. Literally, my heart was pounding while I wrote my response to that person. It makes me so angry that people just assume they know more about our water company, how it operates, how it should operate and what our situation is. It's entirely possible the person I was responding to lived in the nearest town, Weaverville and has nothing to do with our system. I put it in my response that if they have concerns about our system that they are welcome to come our Board of Director's meetings, which are open to the public, and to refer to our Facebook page, they can email us or give us a call.
There's absolutely no excuse to be so rude and accusatory.
Also? You accuse me, Boyfriend, our staff and/or Board Members of lying - BOOM!! - it's on. I will shame your dumbass for being an asshat.
I absolutely DO NOT stand for being called a liar and/or a thief.