Political letters during election season are paid at 10 cents per word. No letters will be accepted the week before the Aug. 25 election. This year’s races include Idyllwild and Pine Cove water districts candidates. 

Idyllwild Water District is at it again

Spending money on a project that sounds good in essence but has not been thoroughly analyzed: This $2.05 million recycled water pilot project is just an idea at the moment, without any hard plans. The district could not tell me how it’s going to operate, its operational costs, long-term benefits or long-term financial impact. All the details, I’ve been told, will be worked out as time goes on. If you don’t believe what I’m telling you, ask for yourself. Ask to see the details, not just hear verbal answers.

This project started out about seven years ago differently than it is right now. It started out originally as an idea to recycle the water from the waste-water treatment plant, transmit it up to Foster Lake, recharge the well field there, then use the water pumped out of the wells to go right into the potable water system. The state would not allow this because the ground around Foster Lake area is fractured rock.

The state, at that time, had never approved a system like that. So the district changed the idea to what it is right now to treat the waste water for irrigation purposes to offset the potable water usage.

All this sounds good and I am for good ideas but if this was a private company, I am sure they would have a long list of questions getting answered before they would spend their money.

I have heard from a couple of board directors that they are willing to push ahead with the project even if it does not work just to get the district’s foot in the door, to hopefully later get permission from the state to transport the treated water up to Foster Lake to recharge the well field there.

I am hoping that the district board members reconsider this project until more questions are answered and search if there is newer, affordable technology to treat the waste water at the source to a point where it could be put right into the potable water system.

Looking at past history of district projects, the chances are high this one will be over budget and be plagued with problems, thus costing the rate payers more money. If you didn’t like the rate increases in 2014, just wait until this one gets off the ground.

Steven Kunkle