San Diego's political scum no match for the real thing

City seeks contractor with “Scum Haul Contingency Plan”

City scum hauling tanks
  • City scum hauling tanks

The just-concluded primary race for San Diego mayor may have seemed dirty to some, but no apparent match for the processed sewage kicked out each year by the city's Point Loma Wastewater Treatment plant.

Just by coincidence, no doubt, an invitation to bid for hauling and disposing of tons of "contained sewage scum (Fats, Oils, Grease)" closed on election day, according to the document posted on the city's online bidding site.

The City of San Diego requires a contract for the removal, transportation, and disposal or recycling of an estimated 420 wet tons per year of sewage scum.

The scum has been certified “Non Hazardous” by the City of San Diego's Chemistry Laboratory, the County of San Diego's Department of Health Services, or both.

The length of the contract is to be a year, with renewal options for four years after that. "The estimated quantity of 420 wet tons is based on 50% solids content," according to the invitation. "The sewage scum solids concentration may vary from 10 - 50%."

Where the sewage matter will ultimately find a home is left to the bidders, with blanks for "Primary Site for Scum Disposal" or possible recycling; the city's landfills are not an option.

The City retains the right to cancel a contract should new scum disposal regulations be adopted that cause a disposal option to become illegal or unworkable or should the nature or quality of the City's scum change so as to make disposal under the terms of the contract illegal or undesirable.

In addition, the document says, the departing scum — to be transported in "water-tight" containers — will need to be watched carefully.

All hauling routes utilized during the course of this contract shall be approved by the City. Further, the City retains the right to withdraw its approval of any hauling route and require the use of alternative routes.

In no case will approval be given for any route which passes through the community of Borrego Springs, California. Deviation from approved routes may be grounds for immediate termination of the Contractor.

The Contractor shall prepare a “Scum Haul Contingency Plan” defining a course of action in the event a hauling vehicle is involved in an accident and/or scum is spilled.

Due to risk of a scummy mishap, $3 million in "pollution liability" insurance is required.

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