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State Parks Official Drinks Treated Lagoon Water

In response to opponents, Craig Sap, District Superintendent for the Los Angeles District, “drank” his words by downing a glass of treated water from the Malibu Lagoon.

A California State Parks official made good on a promise to opponents of the Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Project Friday by drinking a glass of treated lagoon water.

Sap, who drank two half-glasses directly from the discharge pipe, said he told Malibu resident Andy Lyon, who opposes the project, that he would drink the water from the treatment plant to show his confidence in its cleanliness.

“In the conversation, I said I would drink the water. He’s been mentioning that. I’m fulfilling my promise that I would drink the water,” Sap said.

Lyon, who was not present when Sap drank the water, said he believes the greater threat to public safety will be later on in the process.

“Great. He drank the water. It will probably get worse as they get down into it,” Lyon said, referring to the muck at the bottom of the lagoon.

Mark Abramson, a senior watershed advisor for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, also took a swig, to show support for his boss.

“He’s depending on my confidence that he’s not going to die from drinking that water,” Abramson said with a chuckle.

Sap said he wants to show the public that he has confidence in the quality of the water being pumped from the lagoon, into a treatment plant and out to Surfrider Beach, where the “Call to the Wall” surfing contest is set for this weekend.

“We’re going above and beyond. Right now the water levels, the testing, shows that they are 600 percent above what’s required of us. To that end, I want to show that we have confidence in the safety of the water,” Sap said.

Opponents have been putting increasing pressure on State Parks officials to make good on Sap’s promise. At Monday night council meeting, Sean Kehoe brought three large plastic cups of the treated water and asked for Sap and others to drink up the "lagoon-ade."

"I brought a little lagoon-ade,” Kehoe said. “It looks clear, but looks can be deceiving. Post the test results. Assure us surfers and those of us in the water because we are drinking this.”

Kehoe and others have requested that the dewatering of the lagoon be put on hold until after the surfing event, which benefits children with severe illnesses.

Sap said he is still awaiting an answer from the contractor in charge of the dewatering, Pure Effects. Originally he thought the contractor could put the dewatering on hold for a few days, and now he hopes to be able to stop it for a few hours during the competition.

The test results from the treatment plant for July 16-17 were recently released to the City of Malibu, which were .

Up to 30 minutes after ingesting the water, Sap said he felt OK.

‘I’m no worse for wear. I feel fine,” Sap said.

The Surfers Coalition July 28, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Thank you Craig Sap for following through with drinking the water from the discharge pipe as you had told Andy Lyon you would, and since he couldn't be at the City Council Meeting Monday, Sean Kehoe was able to take in samples in hopes of running into to Craig himself, but he was not there. So, Thank you for the update and for taking the time to do this to show the people you would stick to your word. We do look forward to regular testing and posting on the correct websites.
hellwood July 28, 2012 at 03:24 AM
i knew craig would be a good sport and drink it. I bet he would be fun to play quarters with...haha! ...but all joking aside, i would be more impressed if he poured it in his eyes, ears, open wounds, filled his sinus cavity, and bathed in it. the surfers marinate in this stuff for hours. the truth is...even bathing in it is more dangerous than drinking it. I'll buy the beer if any of them sit in a kiddy pool of it for a couple hours. it will be fun :) lets do it! anybody up for it?
Carol Moss July 28, 2012 at 05:56 AM
What is decent drinking water for humans is inappropriate for the salt water tide pools that are located at the discharge pipe's outfall. Fresh water unbalances a fragile ecosystem and may endanger its inhabitants. The lives of other species are at stake besides our own. Is anyone looking at the impact that fresh water is having on them?
Damon Duval July 28, 2012 at 04:30 PM
After being chemically treated and chemically "neutralized" - does that fluid even qualify as "water"? Sapto Bismol stood by his liver and kidneys to compensate for any misses Mark Abramson, The Chuckling Duckling, might have made. Unimpressive and still way down the wrong road. The Lagoon Festeration continues.
Cece Stein July 28, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Carol , you are right that "fresh water" discharges would be harmful to tide pool creatures .The water coming out of the filtration plant is NOT discharging FRESH water . It is brackish at about half the salinity levels in the ocean . The amount of water coming out of the discharge pipe is at levels low enough to be diluted with the ocean so as not to be harmful to tidepool creatures as opposed to when surfers illegally breach a full Lagoon during the summer .When Surfers breach the lagoon, the intense force of the flow and volume of lagoon water does not allow safe dilution levels and the result is the documented Death of thousands of Sea Urchins , Clams , Mussels and Crabs . Have you ever witnessed the carnage of carcasses that wash up on the beach after one of these Shovel Brigade releases ? Not only do tidepool creatures perish but Gobies , Mullets and other lagoon fish cannot survive the intense transition to a higher salinity environment and end up in piles of dead Sea Urchins along the beach at 1st point . It makes me wonder why the people who oppose the Restoration for the fear that wildlife would be harmed are not up in arms about those who deliberately breach the berm knowing that thousands of creatures die each time . Where is the outrage from those holding " Don't kill the Goby" signs ?
Cece Stein July 28, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Would any one be willing to drink the ocean water 50 yrds east of the Pier where there are failing beach grades on a consistent basis ? I doubt Craig Sap nor Mark A. would do such a foolish thing .
Ben Marcus July 28, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Drinking sea water leads to madness and isn't there enough of that going around already?
Cece Stein July 29, 2012 at 01:08 AM
WORD Ben! Right on!
Ann Salisbury July 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM
So, Sap downed a cup of saline, semi-brackish water. What does that prove? Nothing, because the water did not flow over the sand. The SAND is where the MRSA and the staph are, not at the end of the pipe where the chlorine/charcoal treated H20 is spewing out into the sea. It's good we agree that fresh water is bad for sea slugs, snails, hermit crabs, starfish, and urchins. But humans haven't yet been categorized as crustaceans or invertebrates, so what is this little demonstration of bravado proving? Except, maybe that discharged water ingested by Sap is the same thing as discharged water ingested by a sea slug? Oh, wow. Wait a minute. We might be onto something here... Sap = sea slug? I'd never thought of that before. But in equating himself with a slug, he has a point. In fact, this might be the smartest moment ever in this whole ridiculously devastating State Parks escapade.
Ben Marcus July 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Some might suggest there are humans involved in this debate who are crabby and/or spineless.
Cece Stein July 30, 2012 at 03:14 PM
The primary reason Craig drank the treated discharge water was because Andy Lyon challenged him to do so. Secondarily to prove that the brackish water IS safe for humans, sea slugs, snails, urchins and crabs . Ann, you are so right about the MRSA being in the sand ,it is! Three weeks ago there was another case of a young local surfer who got a staph infection on his face after surfing Surfrider and is now taking antibiotics .For many years ,many surfers have become ill from the pollution in Malibu , Just the wave action on the beach stirs up the MRSA in the sand . I don't think there is anything we can do about that . The water coming out of the discharge pipe is cleaner and safer than the ocean it is going into .
Damon Duval July 30, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I know.... - Why don't we start with what we'll call flossing an estuary's teeth, then.... we'll..... RUPTURE AN APPENDIX!!!!!!!!!!!! [we haven't a clue as to how to do an appendectomy, BTW] Then.... we can dump a bunch of the festered toxic liquid right next to the aorta, clean up a marginal percentage of what's left, [ oooh, Sap can drink some of the filtered goo! Photo OP!!!], let the rest of the infected mass seep into the main body under the tarp-clamp, charge MILLIONS, leave all existing infectorants in place and we'll call it a....... Restoration! Flossing Becomes Fleecing. Thanks for "honking" if you drove by.
Cece Stein July 31, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Damon, it is almost as if you don't understand why the Restoration is taking place . In the 30's Cal Trans destroyed the Western Channels Wetlands area by turning that area into a dump site with 1000's of tons mountain cut ,hiway expanding road fill and trash , killing the wetlands ability to function as a wetlands .The mentality back then was " Swamp land is useless and should be filled in for development ", thus the Malibu Colony and Malibu little league Fields .This mentality destroyed over 95 % of California Wetlands .Thank God there are committed devoted environmentalist who care about a future of thriving wildlife habitat instead of a sad continuation of stagnant lifeless dead zones that did not support micro-biotic life forms in the substrates for fish and birds .
Cece Stein July 31, 2012 at 02:43 AM
While I hate to share another news agency's link. This one was too good to pass up: http://malibutimes.com/articles/2012/07/30/malibu_now/malibunow2.txt ...and some good (?) quotes to boot: “While so much life has been harmed and destroyed at Malibu Lagoon already, there are still several important outcomes we would seek if we were to be successful in having the permit pulled back and a timeout called by the Coastal Commission,” said van de Hoek in a press release." Are they for real with this? Really? I love the words "harmed" and "destroyed" - what the heck are they referring to because it's not the data or FACTS from the lagoon restoration. Yet some sanity reveals itself: “No evidence was presented showing that the applicant [California State Parks] submitted inaccurate, erroneous, or incomplete information of the sort alleged (i.e., information regarding project construction timing, tidewater goby critical habitat, public access, or dewatering), much less that they did so intentionally,” the staff report stated. The report also stated that Hanscom and van de Hoek’s request failed to prove that the commission would have acted differently even had the revocation request proved their allegations, and also found the request “was not filed with due diligence, as required by the Commission’s regulations.” WORD.
Damon Duval July 31, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Did CeCe say something?
Jessica E. Davis July 31, 2012 at 03:59 AM
I wrote up that story early today, but was saving it for tomorrow's edition. Too much news going on in Malibu.

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