Wednesday, November 11, 2009


UPDATE: Response Received From the City
I just received a response from Jerry Hill, Public Services Operations Manager for the City of Mission Viejo. He says:

"We can absolutely help by once again turning off the recycled irrigation on city owned landscapes.
We will begin turning of our systems today and will keep the recycled irrigation water off until Sunday night / Monday morning.
We have been in communications with SMWD and will continue to encourage resolution of the Oso Reservoir anaerobic situation as soon as possible."

Mr. Hill, thank you for helping to ease the suffering from symptoms of this "anaerobic situation". Now, let's keep the pressure on SMWD to get the CAUSE fixed once and for all.

I just sent the letter below via email to Mayor Ury, the City Council, and the Public Works department. Feel free to copy, paste, and send it to them, too.
Mayor Ury -
City Council -
Public Works -
Dear Mayor Ury, et al:

On behalf of your constituents in northern Mission Viejo, I am asking for your help in easing our suffering from the incredibly pungent sulphur smell coming from the Upper Oso Reservoir. I am urging you to take whatever action necessary to recommend suspension of the irrigation again for as long as possible. Although the SMWD and other specialists are working to correct the problem, hundreds of Mission Viejo residents are forced to endure the malodorous side effects because the Reservoir feeds the irrigation lines that water public and median areas in northern Mission Viejo.

After last week's City Council meeting, Mission Viejo agreed to stop irrigation of the public spaces for three days in order to help ease the terrible smell that lingers throughout the northern Mission Viejo neighborhoods and it seemed to make a noticeable difference. Then the irrigation began over the weekend and the foul smell of rotten eggs and feces returned. This stench stays all night, penetrating our homes and in the morning, the smell is still there, just as pungent.

One of the aspects that I and so many of your other constituents love about living in Mission Viejo, one of the safest cities in the United States, is that we can enjoy our neighborhoods and the mild climate we are so fortunate to have here. Families can leave windows and screen doors open in the evenings for fresh breezes and overnight instead of eating up electricity with A/C units running all night. People could enjoy walking and jogging through their neighborhoods in the mornings or the evenings. But with this terrible rotten egg smell not only lingering outside, but suffocating us in our homes, we cannot enjoy any of these cherished aspects of Mission Viejo life.

If you are in doubt about just how acrid this smell is or simply have not had the opportunity to personally experience what whole neighborhoods must suffer through every night and every morning for the past two+ weeks, I strongly encourage you to drive through the Pinecrest area (Marguerite and Santa Margarita Pkwy) between 10pm and 9am. You only need to drive through with your windows down to get a sense for what many neighborhoods full of people are living with inside their own homes because of this issue.

Feel free to also visit my blog post about this issue and read the 160+ comments left by Mission Viejo residents who are dealing with this issue on a daily basis. The blog post URL is

Again, I urge you to PLEASE help your fellow Mission Viejo residents by whatever means necessary while SMWD continues to resolve the algae issue. Any further pressure you can apply to SMWD to continue making the resolution of this issue a priority is also greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and assistance.

Best Regards,

Ryan Fink
Concerned Mission Viejo Resident


J said...

I'm copying and pasting:) Thanks again for all your attention to this issue...not like you could easily ignore it.

linad said...

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