Monday, December 27, 2010

Gate Valve to Flooding

Leucadia's flooding now a city management decision?
Tim Calver and Leslie Ross
To the city of Encinitas Engineering Department, Public Works Department and any other citizens concerned about dirty water going in to the ocean:

On Dec. 21, Leucadia was hit with a storm that dropped more than an inch of rain. Although the system in the Leucadia area handled the storm all though the morning hours, at about 1:50 p.m. the city decided to open a gate valve on Vulcan by RCP to release water from the east side of the railroad tracks south of Union Street. In doing so, it overtaxed the system downstream in Leucadia and caused flooding in the sump areas west of 101, coming close to flooding and endangering more than 20 homes.

The city procedure is to pump this dirty, raw, unfiltered water over the bluff to Beacon’s Beach, a local surf spot. This brings up two questions: does Leucadia have a drainage problem or is it Old Encinitas’ problem? And do we really have to pump over the bluff to solve this problem?

In 1986, five communities were incorporated as a city to become Encinitas. I have always considered it a single city. However, in dealing with the city on drainage issues, the city has consistently treated this as a community issue, insisting that the excess water is Leucadia’s problem. E-mails from the city have stated that, by law, water cannot be diverted from one area (community) to another.

In 2003 and 2004, the city paid more than $1 million for an extensive hydrology study intended to improve the drainage in Leucadia. It clearly states in that report, and is known among city employees in the Engineering and Public Works departments, that a gate valve installed to store water in the 1,300-foot channel built at Union and Vulcan would only “be opened to expedite drainage of the stored water after the storm when the downstream facility is no longer taxed.” (Rick Engineering Co.)

And yet, the city opened the valve during a storm, the system became overtaxed, the Leucadia Park and alley flooded and the city sent out employees and pumped dirty water over the bluff. Does this need to happen? We don’t believe so … the water at Union and Vulcan can be sent south instead of being diverted north to Leucadia. And there are other solutions that have been brought to the attention to the city.

In 2004, residents suggested to install a 3-foot pipe, 5,500 feet long, to send Old Encinitas’ water to Cottonwood Creek Park. This idea was shot down by the engineering department because it was stated that it could overtax the park. In 2006, a proposed new development for 35 homes and an office building in Quail Gardens was given the go-ahead and a 96-foot diameter pipe, 1,220 feet long and additional 86 inches in diameter, 8,400 feet long was installed. (The Coast News, February 2006).

A structure already exists under Leucadia Pizzeria to connect Vulcan’s water trench/pipe to Cottonwood Creek Park to Moonlight beach, yet this system has never been utilized and it would not take many funds to allow this particular piece to function along with adding infiltration to send cleaner water out to the ocean. This system would also prevent Old Encinitas’ water from flooding Leucadia.

If Old Encinitas’ water problem is fixed and solutions are found that cost in the neighborhood of $1 million, Leucadia would no longer flood, the 101 would be far safer to drive, houses could avoid flooding and dirty water would no longer be sent over the bluff at Beacon’s Beach.

Our City Manager, Phil Cotton, and engineers have the knowledge and ability to fix this problem once and for all. I’m hoping they do.

Tim Calver and Leslie Ross are Encinitas local residents.

Read more: Coast News Group - COMMUNITY COMMENTARY Is Leucadia’s flooding problem really Old Encinitas’ problem


  1. Fix the pensions to have a nice CityDecember 27, 2010 8:41 AM

    Tax the City Pensions over %60,000 a year 80% and put the money to the City's drainage project. Its that simple.

    If the City corrects the pension fiasco created by Jerome Stocks and Maggie in 2005 when they increase their own pensions 35%, the City would have money for other projects including parks.

    The other option is just to declare bankruptcy and let the lawyers handle it and get paid $300 an hour for handling the redistribution of wealth.

  2. Very informative article . . .

    Russell Levan spoke at the Dec. 15th meeting about nuisance water and flooding water along the Leucadia rail corridor. Watch the last minute and a half of this video clip for his ideas.

  3. I live in Leucadia and I'm not willing to pay for someone elses problem. They knew the problem before they brought the house in a flood prone area. That's why you were able to buy a house near the beach for such a good deal.

    SOLUTION: These flood prone areas should create assessment districts and pay for THEIR own problems or just suck it up and deal with it once or twice a year like other people do in other cities or my favorite, have new development in these effective areas pay.

  4. "In 2006, a proposed new development for 35 homes and an office building in Quail Gardens was given the go-ahead and a 96-foot diameter pipe, 1,220 feet long and additional 86 inches in diameter, 8,400 feet long was installed."
    The above public works job was probably one of the biggest if not the biggest drainage project to "help" out a development project. The pipe diameters were huge; 8 feet across. The city's explanation was that it was to solve the runoff from the Ranch.

  5. The city says "Eat cake, you Leucadian peasants! We drain from the upscale to the downscale - buy some ducks and consider it an amenity!"

    Is it retirement time yet???

  6. Who cares about your stupid drainage problem!

    I have 2 years 4 days and 4 hours left of this cake job and then I get to not even show up for work and get paid over $115,000 each year forever.

    I intend to live until I'm 100 so I can milk all you whiners as much as possible.

    see you at the park all day every day, spending your tax dollars forever!!!

  7. Once the city started monkeying around they took on the liablility for the flooding. There are many people ready for their house to flood. They can't wait to sue the city.

  8. 11:32 Quiting whining and sue the city. Your the same ole complainer that will do nothing.

    Oh don't forget, when you sue the city, your actually sueing all the citizens in Encinitas.

  9. Wait a minute - are you telling me that water is falling from the sky, touching the ground, and then being put on the beach and into the ocean?!? Outrageous!!

    I have just done some research and found that this has actually been happening for years or possibly decades. One person suggests that this water from the sky, to the ground and then the ocean scenario has actually been happening since before people lived here, but I think he was drunk.

    Water that has touched the ground clearly needs to be purified before it can touch sand or ocean water. I know that my body purifies the water I drink before I pee it into the ocean. The city of Encinitas needs to do what nature has failed to do.

  10. Andreen the butt ream in the house.

  11. Look it's simple people. This is urban runoff. The same as what goes down a storm drain on the street. It all goes to the sea untreated! Have you not heard of Surfrider? They put that cute dolphin stencil on the sidewalk to let you know that shit still runs to the sea! All they are doing is pumping run off to the sea. It is lame and a waste of time and money but not the crime some will try to claim. The city may have a problem with that valve at Union st. It should only run one way to the south. Fix Vulcan and this should go away with some cisterns as someone pointed out at a recent council meeting.

  12. We actually went 6 blogs without the "SAME BLOGGER" complaining about pensions. I think we have a record.

  13. 2:10
    Yeah Andreen alcohol purifies just about everything

  14. Encinitas could fix the drainage problems, build a huge sports complex, and buy new parks, and improve moonlight beach if all the employees didn't get a 35% increase in pension payments in 2005. In 2005, the a 14% pay increase and the huge pensions were granted so graciously by Jerome Stocks and Maggie Houlihan and the other losers on council at the time.

    Its time for some feathering.

  15. Get an amendment to rescind the pensions or give it up - it's not going away soon.

  16. Leucadia flooding has always been a Enc. city decision.
    The cities failure to provide adequate infrastructure improvements is criminal.

    You'll notice no council persons home or property is ever being flooded.

  17. Bang your pots - you've been smoking too much pot.

    Those of you that got such a great deal on the purchase of your house in a flood area should take some of that extra profit and buy some extra sandbags, quit trying to get other citizens to pay for your poor profit making decision. You sound worst then a developer trying to make a profit on a bad parcel purchase.

  18. anon10:15-
    I don't own a home in a flood zone. And if you find the actions of the city of Enc to be always noble, you are deeply disturbed.

    Now go bang your pots...against the side of your head.

  19. The simple solution was to install a 36" dia pipe from Leucadia Blvd to La Costa at the lagoon. The City spent millions and we got a
    24" pipe that is inadequate. Is anybody responsible?

  20. anon4:26- everyone responsible was promoted and give increased pay and retirement!!

  21. Pension crier. You're so fucking boring. We all get it. We can do the math. Go to a different thread or better yet... a different blog. Go find a tea party and cry in your tea. Sorry WC

  22. Rational people would agree that the city should work to solve flooding problems and not subscribe to the bizarre anger directed at homeowners who get flooded out--by preventable flooding.

  23. Blah Blah Blah. Flaming liberal or worthless city worker or both or all being Jerome Stocks.

  24. Go ask those rational people, if their willing to pay for someone elses problem - you may be surprised.

  25. Sounds like most of you are ready for: "PU".

    "Postaholics Unidentified".

  26. Are we all to pay for the rich bluff owners who are losing their property to mother nature. If you buy property in a flood zone expect flooding. If you buy bluff property expect to lose your property to mother nature. Buyer beware!

  27. You might as well go to the Home for Guiding Hands and ask the patients for help as to get the City of Encinitas involved.

  28. This city is so inept they can't prevent flooding in front of city hall.

    Fire them all.

    Oh yeah, nothing more entertaining than seeing Giles on TV referred to as "Encinitas Marine Safety Captain"!!! What a joke, anything to make govt workers feel special. I'm sure that designation comes with an increase in salary, pension and the right to drive an emergency response truck...knowing full well he is always the last person to arrive on the scene, a good 10 minutes late. I'm sure our firefighting friends laugh their asses off upon his arrival.

  29. I don't see bluff front owners getting special preference from the city. In fact, they are far more restricted in what they can do than the average home owner. It's those whiners in the Surf Riders who think one sea wall is changing the ocean wave dynamics, while the real issue is upstream development; which they don't protest. Surf the waves on your polyform board and your synthetic oil based wetsuit - go natural if you're so concerned.

  30. 854 You're an Idiot! Larry Giles has saved countless lives at our beaches. He is one of the most respected lifeguards in the state.

  31. Loser- How dare you insult Larry, he is a MARINE SAFETY CAPTAIN, not a simple lifeguard which any junior high school kid can are the idiot.

    Show Larry respect!!1


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