Most people aren’t too interested in what happens after they flush the toilet, but forty people braved the “Clean Water, Gross Water” Water Talks topic at the Mount Shasta Resort on Tuesday June 15th and came away well informed.
“I was surprised at how long it takes for the water to exit the mountain. It is amazing that some of the water takes more than 50 years to get to where we drink it,” said Mount Shasta resident Lon Fitton.
“Also, it astounds me how much money we spend to treat our wastewater. I’m not sure why we don’t use composting toilets like they do in lots of places in Europe, which would save a lot of money and water,” he said.
Presentations were given by Curtis Knight of California Trout, Scott Buecker, of Water Works Engineer’s, Bill Navarre of Siskiyou County Environmental Health Department, Meadow Barr of California Trout, and Dennis Della Bona of the City of Dunsmuir.
Knight talked about how Mount Shasta’s unique spring waters support the Shasta, McCloud and Upper Sacramento rivers and municipal water supplies.
Buecker explained the ins and outs of the water and wastewater industry and how even though the steel and concrete that makes up delivery and treatment systems seem so substantial that they have life spans of 30 to 80 years.
Navarre got numerous chuckles out of the audience with photos of septic systems with problems, saying “If you see this in your backyard then you know you’ve got a problem.” Navarre explained that landowners with wells for their water supply and septic systems for their wastewater treatment have a lot of responsibility, as they are the CEO of their systems. “It is critical to maintain your systems properly,” he said, his point being illustrated by a picture of a toilet with money being thrown down it, receiving more chuckles.
Barr gave a photo tour of Mt. Shasta City’s water supply and distribution system. “Thanks to Ted Marconi and Gary Moll at the City for spending time with me to explain the systems and take me on a tour to take photos,” she said.
City of Dunsmuir’s Dennis Della Bona is one of the employees who maintain Dunsmuir’s water and wastewater systems. Della Bona stated with pride, “You’ve all seen Mossbrae Falls, well the City of Dunsmuir’s springs are above Mossbrae Falls. The spring water tunnel is waist deep with water. If you put a book on the floor of the tunnel you could read it. The water is that clear,” he said.
The Water Talks program will continue in the fall. People can suggest future topics by contacting Meadow Barr, California Trout Outreach Consultant at 530-859-1411 or email@example.com. California Trout is a nonprofit organization dedicated to seeking workable solutions for fisheries restoration throughout California.