Incorrect Water Piping Layout

In area 13, 14, and 15, the irrigation system is a mess. The foundation of the piping was bad to start with. When the water source on the northside was shut down there were many unsuccessful attempts to solve the water problems.

There was the initial piping with the water source from the northside, so all piping was configured to water the gardens from that source. It worked fine.

After, there have been 2 new attempts to route water to area 13, 14, 15 (there might be other areas without water which I am not aware of).  For now, we will address these areas since I know what has been done.

There was an attempt to re-pipe and configure the water initiated by 2 gardeners. Let’s call this system the “A-system” with the water sources coming from the northside. Because of conflict with Carlos (Board), the system was never “official” even though the new piping was completed.

Then, another system, let’s call this “C-system” was implemented which was a hybrid system connecting to A-system using the water source closer to the Green house.  This C-system is done incorrectly.

The diagram below shows the dashed (–) lines as the main ateries into the garden. The pipes are setup to distribute water into only half of one artery leaving the rest of the lower gardens without water.  The 2 smaller pipes (right of diagram) only supply water to private gardens.

C-system: Incorrectly configured and not going down main arteries into garden.

It exludes piping to one of the main arteries into the garden. This cause gardens to not have water and places the water piping in private gardens which makes no sense. This then becomes an issue when trying to connect new pipes. Gardeners who benefits from the placement of water pipes do not want others connecting to that water sources as they feel a right of false ownership because of pipe placement in their gardens. They don’t want to have less water and or pressure. These private water pipes should be moved to the main artery of the garden.

This is the C-system in place and needs improvement to provide water to lower gardens.

Still No Water

I was really hopeful to have water, but I’m sad to report no water.

So what was done?

Dues collected from the 85 gardeners who have not had water. A notice was put up and then taken down after about 7 days. It was more like 2 days for collection of dues since I was there on the first day and Carlos was not in the office at the allocated time to collect money.

No emails were sent to them, no calls were made, no attempt to be proactive by “The Board” to notify people, except for a posted notice. I’m sorry to say, gardeners might have lost their gardens since they did not have a chance to see the dues notice. This is unfair to them. How could they anticipate this after so many years of no water when the notice was going to be put up? There should be an appeals process put in place to rectify this issue.

New LA Garden Counsel rules were given to us. I have compared the rules to other gardens, and the main rule that say’s gardens should be for the residents of San Pedro was missing. Other community gardens have this requirement and so should the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens.

As for the water – it appears as if it was a pipe that was already connected. The shut-off valve was simply turned on to allow water to move to our side of the garden.

The gardens at the top benefit because of the water pipe location and being turned on. It never reaches the bottom gardeners who are affected the most severely from not having water for years. This tells me, no additional piping was done to fix the water problems and supply water with proper pressure to all the lower gardens.

“The Board” has once again done a below expectation job of implementing this new water system. Right now, it’s simply a schedule. Until more thought, and all gardens are getting water fairly will not improve our gardens. For now, there is NO water.

Broken Pipe That Started It All

This broken water pipe was discovered in the Sanitation Area, that General Services also uses.

This pipe was responsible for 70 gardeners not being able to garden and water plants.

This was discovered over a year ago. Both Carlos and Nicole were aware of its location and told gardeners it was in the process of being fixed or fixed already.

It has been over 1000 days now without water, or little water. Nothing has been fixed.

I know this, somebody broke this pipe on purpose. It was beneath concrete. A lot of force was needed to break this pipe.

Later all the hardware levers for that pipe were mysteriously removed 20 days later.

Photos were taken on 2/2/17 (with levers).

This is more than suspicious.

I understand the Sanitation department was worried about the charges for the water usage, there are better methods to address this problem than what was done.

I worry about this organization which is meant to serve the public when its employees advocate these types of behaviors and the organization is ultimately responsible.

Photos were taken on 2/22/17 (levers off)

Sanitation, general services, and the city should work together to get us water again.

There is an easy solution to either fix the broken pipe or to install a new water meter for the gardeners. With the resources of all 4 groups that use this are, this fix should be easy and fast.

 

Remove The Unqualified

The hand-off of the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens from the old pay-to-garden gardeners to the city was handled with recklessness, and now it has been over 950 days since the garden has had no water. Some do, but many don’t get water.

It has been over 2 years since the city has taken over, and still no water.

Let’s review…

The City took over about the end of 2013. They shoved this workload onto 3 city officials. The only official person I have talked to in-person was Nicole Deering, the City Manager for the San Pedro City. The other names I have heard was Jacob and another person.

Since the Gardens were not their expertise and were not trained on how to deal with a garden in transition, they simply relied on Carlos who was appointed to help out with the Garden. This is a volunteer position which the term was for 2 years before someone new was allowed to have the position.

It has been over 4 years Carlos has had this position and unfit. He actively promotes gerrymandering, he intimidates people, does not communicate to gardeners of change, he does not attend meetings, he is biased toward certain gardeners, he does not include all gardeners in meetings, he translates from Spanish to English in different words, and he simply cannot get anything accomplished. He is unfit for the job and the City of San Pedro allows an unqualified person to represent them on issues for official announcements for the Garden. This is an important role and this is who they pick. His time is up.

So, here we are with city officials who are unqualified to run a garden and they appoint an unqualified person to be their appointed spokesperson.

This is not a very good representation for Joe Buscaino since he is letting down eco-gardeners by delegating this important job to random people. You are letting down 300 or more gardeners.

I represent those who are too afraid to speak up, the old, the migrants, the people do not speak English, those who are afraid of Carlos, yes they are afraid of him, the non-tech savvy, the uninformed, those without cell phones, and those who just want to garden and not deal with politics.

The best option is to involve gardeners from San Pedro who can make a real difference. Remove all the “old” administrators and start over. Let the gardeners make the garden decisions, and the San Pedro City be our alley to navigate political nuances that they know best.

 

Separate The Garden

The garden is in a precarious position.

Currently, as it is laid out, it belongs to the city but the garden exists because the Department of Sanitation has allowed it.

There are also other players that have access to the same area which makes implementing quick changes to the gardens harder because of all the city departments involved and the wasted time finding out who is in-charge and putting in requests, to try to have a broken water pipe prepared.

  1. City Sanitation
  2. General Services
  3. Street Maintenance
  4. Mulching services
  5. Recycle center

All operate from the same general area. There is no clear divisions from what I have come to understand.

San Pedro needs to recognize the San Pedro Community Gardens as it’s own individual organization with its own self governing rules. Right now we are at the mercy of too many departments and not having water for 820 days is not a good reflection on the city of San Pedro for trying to be progressive and “green”.