Letters to the Editor
August 7th, 2008

To the Editor:
The Fillmore Chloride Control Volunteers formed as a response to the City of Fillmore's July 7th Memorial Building meeting which alerted Fillmore residents to the major water issues facing Fillmore. One of these issues is Fillmore's chloride pollution problem. We presently discharge 140 mg of chloride/liter of water, daily, into the Santa Clara River. The State of California has put us under the gun to decrease the 140 mg chloride/liter of water down to less than 100 mg chloride/liter of water. Fillmore's main source of chloride comes from approximately 400 to 500 salt (brine) discharging water softeners. Each of these softeners dump 1 pound of salt into our sewer system each day. If we do not get our chloride out put to under 100 mg/liter, then the State will begin to fine Fillmore. Our water bills will go up from $20 to $35 a month. We are already reeling from our sewer bills increasing over 200% in the past year, and still to increase to over 300% next year. We cannot afford to pay more for water or sewer fees! And, we don't want to keep destroying the Santa Clara River. The River supports our county's agriculture which forms a stable work base for us. The River also supports a rich aquatic and riparian ecosystem which we also do not want to destroy. We can Lick The Salt Problem!
The Fillmore Chloride Control Volunteers had a successful 2nd meeting on July 31st.
20 people attended this meeting, 9 of them new. The work of the Fillmore Chloride Control
Volunteers will focus on 4 things:
a) Finding the location of the current brine (salt) discharging water softeners in Fillmore.
b) Inform the owners of these water softeners why they must be un-plugged; the up coming
city buy-back program; alternatives to using brine water softeners.
c) Support passage of Assembly Bill 2270. This bill, when passed, will make it illegal to use
brine discharging water softeners. Right now, it is illegal to install them in Fillmore, but technically still legal to use. Assembly Bill 2270 will remedy this and thus help with the reduction of our chloride pollution.
d) Informing all residents of Fillmore about the need to stop using brine discharging water softeners.
We need more volunteers. Join us! Please attend our next meeting:
When: Thursday, August 7th at 7PM
Where: Fillmore Senior Center, 533 Santa Clara Ave.
Mary Farkas,

To the Editor:
Our Public Works Director seems to be a little defensive about the decision to spend $80 million on the new sewer plant. If I were in his shoes I guess I would be too. If he bought a new car for $80 thousand and his neighbor bought two similar cars and paid only $58 thousand for both he would probably tell his wife and kids that their car must be better because it was more expensive.
Although simplistic, the comparison gives you an idea of the difference between the costs of Fillmore’s and our neighbor Santa Paula’s new sewer plants - just change the dollar values from thousands to millions.
The initial estimates for Santa Paula’s plant were also very high but unlike Fillmore their city council refused to move forward and in an attempt to ease the burden on their citizens started the process over and ultimately saved their people tens of millions of dollars. Ventura County Supervisors also rejected bids for the Piru plant and started over. Despite receiving hundreds of letters from Fillmore citizens requesting the City look for a less expensive alternative, our city council chose to proceed with the $80 million plan.
Yes, I suppose Bert Rapp, Steve Conaway and Cecilia Cuevas are feeling a bit defensive but no amount of spin justifying their decision to ignore the concerns and needs of the people can ease the pain many are feeling from the cost of their sewer bill.
Bob Stroh,

To the Editor:
Brian Sipes' Response to Bert Rapp's Letter
This letter is in response to Bert Rapp’s letter on 31 July 2008. I found the 2002 PERC proposal on a Fillmore website and it reveals that they did make a guaranteed proposal to meet California Title 22 water quality for $13 Million.
Also, in talking to PERC, their 2002 proposal was in response to a City of Fillmore request (Bert Rapp), which specified the location of the plant. I am also concerned about assertions that somehow the quality of some PERC plants are now suspect when up until now these plants have always been described as award winning. I wonder if Bert Rapp has shared this information with PERC?
Also, investigation into the negotiations in Santa Paula reveals that the original $35 Million PERC proposed plant was never increased, but there are Santa Paula City requested add-ons that now cause the total to be higher. Furthermore, Berts admission that the City of Fillmore is spending $60 Million to save the ratepayers $3.50 a month is as much instructive as it is unbelievable. Our town is drowning in debt from this ill-conceived, ill managed sewer plant.
Based on all of the above misinformation, I am suggesting a public investigation of costs associated with our plant. We will need PERC participation plus knowledgeable, credible experts in this technology, plus the press.
Brian N. Sipes,