LETTER: CSO questions

In reference to, “Cleanup continues after heavy rainfall,” Dec. 27, it’s no small disaster that 1.49 million gallons of CSO … spilled into Port Angeles Harbor.

This is a large amount of contamination, adversely affecting our area’s water quality.

Why is this combined sewer overflow into our harbor happening? Could this be the result of another boondoggle?

Perhaps the $47 million combined sewer overflow (CSO) project, defined as the largest public works project in the city’s history, was poorly conceived?

Major faults in this system include failure to remove thousands of rooftop drain spouts connecting untreated sewage with stormwater overflow — a sure recipe for disaster.

What motivates such ill-planned projects to proceed?

Could it be massive profits for short-term gains resulted in massive long-term economic and ecological losses?

This was “the second overflow since the system was built; the first was of an estimated 451,800 gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater in February.”

The Public Works director described the rainfall that led to the latest discharge as “a 100-year storm event.”

Have we not had two 100-year events this year? Perhaps, we did get “hit by an extraordinary amount of intense rain… and the intensity of the storm combined with high tides made it ‘something of a perfect storm.”

However, might one ask if the city’s 5-million gallon CSO tank wasn’t adequately designed to handle such heavy rains, especially in light of climate change and the predicted resultant increase in area rainfall?

Alfredo Quarto

Port Angeles