Thursday, February 25, 2010



Persistent Pollutant Shuts Down Groundwater Wells

POSTED: 4:41 pm PST February 24, 2010
UPDATED: 6:26 pm PST February 24, 2010

SAN DIEGO -- A deep water monitoring well is being drilled this month in Chula Vista. When it is complete, it will tell us more about a water resource we've ignored for years: groundwater. Even though San Diego does not have a lot of groundwater, spending millions to find it and map it is now considered a high priority and an important investment.

"We'll be able to develop concepts of what the geology looks like, how the layers of geology are structured, how the groundwater flows through those layers, where is the groundwater fresh, where is the groundwater saline," said Wes Danskin, a research hydrologist with the United States Geological Survey.

Danskin hopes to finish up the groundwater research project in San Diego within a couple years. But finding the water is only half the battle. Making it drinkable is the other challenge.

"Some is contaminated by human products of one sort or another. MTBE is particularly difficult," said Danskin.

MTBE was added to gasoline in 1979 to make it burn cleaner. Before it was banned in California in 2004, it seeped into soil and groundwater. The sources of the leaks are the thousands of fuel storage tanks in the state. Once the chemical moves into the ground, it's hard to remove.

"And because it's a health hazard, it has shut down wells across the state," said Danskin.

Your gasoline taxes -- two cents per gallon -- fund millions of dollars for the cleanup of sites contaminated by leaking tanks. However, it's painfully slow. Of the 11,000 active clean up sites in california, 7,000 still haven't been cleaned up after 10 years.

10News researched MTBE cleanup projects around the county and found 327 contaminated sites. Most had fuel leaks discovered over a decade ago. The leaks are a problem not just at these sites, but also for any new wells nearby.

"As time goes on, the material spreads out and unlike surface water, you can't observe where it's going. It's not just a problem of left or right, but of how deep because it can go down into deeper levels of groundwater," said John Robertus, recently retired from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board after serving 14 years as executive officer.

In addition to the migration problem, the suction created by a groundwater well could draw a nearby MTBE plume to it.

For example, in Lakeside, four wells that supplied 19 percent of that district's water supply had to be shut down when they were contaminated with MTBE that came from of a gas station's leaking underground storage tank.

In Santa Ysabel, no new wells are allowed to be constructed because of an existing MTBE plume from a gas station's underground fuel tank leak, first discovered in 1997. The cleanup costs at the site have reached the $1.5 million limit and additional funds will come from an emergency account.

In Oceanside, that city is investing millions of dollars for two brand new wells on Mission Avenue. The hope is that these wells will triple the city's groundwater output. However, there is MTBE in the ground underneath a gas station just across the street.

A state task force recently criticized cleanups of underground storage tank leaks. They cited a lack of sufficient incentives to cleanup quickly and cost-effectively, and recommended actions that other states already use. For example, one suggestion was to refund cleanup costs only upon the completion of key substantial project activities. However, they admitted that such changes would require legislative action and they predicted that stakeholders would fight it.

Previous Stories:
February 23, 2010: Water Resource Under Qualcomm Stadium Untapped

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Billy Frank Jr. featured on state poster

Billy Frank Jr. featured on state poster
By Richard Walker, Today correspondent

Story Published: Feb 19, 2010

Story Updated: Feb 19, 2010

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Billy Frank Jr., chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, is featured on a Washington State Library poster that promotes reading.

The poster is part of the state library’s “Washington Reads” poster series. Other posters have featured NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant, and fans of “Twilight.”

In his poster, Frank is backdropped by a Coast Salish salmon design and is holding the book, “Messages from Frank’s Landing: A Story of Salmon, Treaties, and the Indian Way,” by Charles Wilkinson.

In past years, “Washington Reads” posters were made available for free to libraries and schools. Because of budget constraints, the poster has been published online and is available for a free download or online purchase. You can download the Billy Frank Jr. poster at Download sizes are 8 1/2 by 11 inches or 11 by 17 inches.

Frank, Nisqually, is the longtime chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and is commissioner of the Medicine Creek Treaty Area. He is a longtime trustee of the Washington State Historical Society. Among the awards he has received: The 1991 Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the 2004 Indian Country Today Inaugural American Visionary Award.

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010


Howka sisters and brothers, I found a website that might help our people on the rez get internet service. For those that can afford it you might want to look at a site like

HughesNet is America's #1 Choice for High Speed Satellite Internet
HughesNet® is a high speed internet connection available across the continental United States - all you need is a clear view of the southern sky. Hughes Net is up to 50x faster than any dial-up provider and available where cable and DSL are not. HughesNet is very fast and always-on - no dialing in, no phone line needed, no waiting! Hughes Net is compatible with both Windows and Apple computers, so everyone can get high speed internet via satellite!

Monday, February 1, 2010

San Diego County office of Emergency Services is trying to get our residents to register their cell or home numbers. The reason for this, is if there is a county wide emergency they will notify you immediantly. This applies to our fire season and flood season, as well as any other emergencies that might arise.

About AlertSanDiego
AlertSanDiego is for registering your cell phone, VoIP phone, and email address only. Listed and unlisted land line phones are already included in the database and do not need to be registered. Please contact us or view the Frequently Asked Questions for more information. Difficulties viewing the form below? Click here to open a new window.
Papa John's Pizza Promotional Offer
Papa John's Pizza and the County Office of Emergency Services want all San Diego County residents to stay informed during a disaster.
The first 500 new registrants will be mailed a coupon for ONE FREE MEDIUM 1 TOPPING PIZZA. One coupon per address or phone number.

Upon registration, all registrants will be able to print an exclusive Papa John’s AlertSanDiego Special Offer. Promotional offers are available through the month of February, 2010.

The County of San Diego, in partnership with Twenty First Century Communications, Inc., has instituted a regional notification system that will be able to send telephone notifications to residents and businesses within San Diego County impacted by, or in danger of being impacted by, an emergency or disaster. This system, called AlertSanDiego, will be used by emergency response personnel to notify those homes and businesses at risk with information on the event and/or actions (such as evacuation) we are asking them to take. The system utilizes the region's 9-1-1 database, provided by the local telephone company(ies), and thus is able to contact land-line telephones whether listed or unlisted. It is TTY/TDD capable.

Because the system uses the 9-1-1 database, only land-line numbers are in the system. If you have a Voice over IP (VoIP) or cellular telephone and would like to be notified over that device, or if you would like an email notification, you must register those telephone numbers and/or email address for use by the system.

To register your VoIP, cellular telephone or email address, please fill out the registration form below. Each number and/or email provided will be added to the regional database. You will receive a confirming email message to the address entered below once you have successfully registered with AlertSanDiego.

The telephone number you register below will be called only when the address it is associated with is impacted by a disaster or emergency.