Caution: lower Florida Keys Cudjoe regional sewer plan transporting broken political promises and related B.S.

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More missives from the anti-grinder pump camp.

pelican pooping

Let’s Stop the C.R.A.P.
Most people don’t like algebra and dreaded it in high school. It was difficult solving those equations and most students said we would never use algebra in real life. Well once again we have an equation that seems difficult to solve. The FKAA board was asked by the BOCC at the Dec. meeting to give it a number on grinder pump vs. gravity system installation cost differencial, (x) so the BOCC would know how much less (x) to allocate for sewer spending (m) resulting in lower costs (c). m-x=c. Yes, doing the algebra the answer is x=m-c, butt FKAA was unable at that time to come up with some numbers then. Meanwhile, it seems like a push is on to get as many homes as possible hooked up to those awful pumps, rather than have crews work on gravity systems where they are already approved.
X is an extreme variable. The county would initially save some money by installing a cheaper, inefficient, inferior system, butt it would be at the expense of the poor people required to have them. It is a higher financial burden to them with installation, maintenance, and probable replacement costs as these systems fail. Long term results would also be depreciation of house values of properties having these pumps because of those problems. Once word gets out among home-buyers about these problems, they will avoid buying them, resulting in lower prices for sellers having to have to sell their homes. While X is a savings to the County, it is a factor to be feared by all those required to have them installed.
FKAA members (who say publicly that they prefer gravity systems over grinder pumps) said they could not solve for X. Let’s stop trying to solve for X and forget the algebra that no one likes anyway. Let’s stop the awful grinder pumps that most people don’t like anyway. Let’s stop the C.R.A.P (Commissioners Requiring Awful Pumps) and get gravity for all. Let’s stop the Commissioners Requiring Awful Pumps before we have to Dump the C.R.A.P. in the next election.
Joe McKasty 29136 Allamanda Lane, Big Pine Key, 33043

Forward from Banks Prevatt,


who lives on Little Torch Key and is slated to receive a grinder pump.

George, is County Commissioner George Neugent,

George Neugent

in whose voting district the Cudjoe regional sewer district grinder pump war rages. boccdis stands for board of county commissioners distrit. The other recipients are Florida Keys Aqueduct board members and executives.

From: Bgprevatt@________
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 06:26:26 -0500
Subject: Re: accurate information
To: halloween@_____________

In a message dated 1/4/2014 5:05:37 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, halloween@_______ writes:

Hello, George
In an earlier email, you had corrected my statement that Duck Key paid $2700/EDU for a sewer assessment, saying it was $4500.
I checked the FKAA website to see if my memory was really that far off. It was not. See for yourself:

Conch Key and Duck Key paid $2700 each and got virtually all gravity. The “Decision Tree” used by FKAA to determine the type of collection system would not have permitted gravity on Yacht Club Island n Duck Key due to lack of density and would not have permitted gravity on Conch key due to lack of sufficient total connections.

Baypoint paid $2700 per EDU and got all vacuum collection, but the Decision Tree would not have allowed vacuum due to lack of total connections.

Layton paid $3400 each and got all gravity, but the Decision Tree would not have allowed gravity for the entire town due to lack of sufficient connections in one area and inadequate density in another. Vacuum was barred due to lack of sufficient connections per the Decision Tree, but using accepted connection quantity criteria, vacuum was acceptable.

Big Coppitt (including Geiger Key, Tamarack Park, and Shark Key) paid $4500 each and got all gravity, but some areas would have failed the Decision Tree qualification for gravity due to either density or quantity of connections in a neighborhood, or both. Vacuum would have been barred due to lack of connections per the Decision Tree, but would be acceptable using the industry standard criteria.

We know that the Decision Tree that slated so much of the Cudjoe Regional project was provided by the grinder pump salesman and not vetted by FKAA or Matthews Consulting or CH2M Hill.

We know that if one uses defensible assumptions, gravity sewers are often cheaper than grinders in a not particularly long run.

We know that vacuum can often be cheaper upfront that a grinder LPS system, because we have the engineering estimates for the Inner Islands to augment our educated opinion.

We know that vacuum collection was effectively barred as an alternative system by requiring a block of 750 connections instead of the industry standard 75 as a minimum, which is ridiculous and should have been identified as a fatal flaw in the Decision Tree upon even cursory examination.

We know that for just environmental safety, the order of preference in collection systems is vacuum, gravity, STEP LPS, and dead last Grinder LPS.

We know that customer preference alone in collection systems has an order of gravity, vacuum, STEP, and dead last grinders.

We know that when analyzed with realistic values of operations and maintenance over a couple of decades or more, the collection system economies fall in the order of gravity, vacuum, STEP, and dead last grinders.

We know that the Keys are subject to frequent power outages and that some have been lengthy. We know that sewer service ceases shortly after a power outage for all alternative collection systems except gravity (if the lift sations can be powered) and vacuum.

We know that the Decision Tree is just a deceptive sales tool for grinder pumps, that the Matthews assumptions used to calculate relative economies are indefensible under scrutiny, and that grinder pumps are publicly undesirable for many reasons, not the least of which is the demand for an easement and power supply from the homeowners. Coupled with the environmental threat even under normal operating conditions of having raw sewage pushed under substantial pressure in a fragile plastic pipe, lack of service during a power outage, and high cost of operation, is there a legitimate reason not to correct course after making a wrong turn?

The forcemains in the ground are relatively cheap to discard, but might also be used for STEP instead of grinders.
Big Pine Key has not even been designed yet, and can probably be built as vacuum for less than grinders.
You do not need to insist on grinders. Simply insist on a construction hold on LPS and a legitimate evaluation that includes vacuum and STEP alternatives, as well as considering high quality centrifugal grinders instead of E-1. This is much too important an issue to be skipping that critical step. It will be much more expensive to rip it out and rebuild with a different technology later, like Indian River County and other utilities have done. I think you will agree that a system of vehemently unwanted grinders pushing pressurized raw sewage through a fragile ecosystem, and the consequences thereof, is a poor legacy to be associated with your reign and name. You can remedy that easily.


I replied to ALL:

Subject: RE: accurate information
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 08:48:03 -0500
Perhaps the most convincing of all facts that widespread use of grinder pumps in Cudjoe regional is not even close to a swell idea is Walter Drabinsky sued the County to stop the widespread use of grinder pumps in Walter’s area of Cudjoe regional, and the County Commission surrendered and gave Walter everything he wanted, admitting he was right and the County Commission was wrong. Yet, the County Commission then proceeded elsewhere in Cudjo regional as if it was right and Walter was wrong.

Sloan Bashinsky

Sloan at Coco's

There is a different post today at, which you should be able to reach by clicking on that link today, and by clicking on this link at anytime:

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That's what this website is about, also and If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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