Did you know that Pacifica is responsible for over 3 million gallons in sewer spills over the last five years? That accounts for more than 49 percent of the total spills attributable to San Mateo County wastewater systems.

There are legal fees, fines and cleanup costs attributed to each spill. So, on top of the premium we are paying for the service, we pay some more for the costs related to the leak.

I wrote a public information request for the cost of the cleanup late last year. The request was vague, so they could have pulled any one event (there was more than one). They closed the ticket with no information on cost. Their response:

“City staff responded to the emergency, and efforts related to the incident were managed in-house by city staff. The city does not have a breakout of cleanup costs related to the incident specified in your request.”

My questions to your readers:

1. What do you think about this response?

2. What exactly is the real cost of owning this sewer system?  

3. At what point do we think Pacifica can get a handle on it?

We need a lot more accountability and transparency! Oppose the rate hike today. 

— Vicki Sundstrom, Pacifica

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