Tuesday, December 13, 2005

water project status update, temp. post

Dec. 23 update:
Finally put up the interview with Chris over at NCDocuments, apologies for the delay. And you might want to put the eye back in for now, since the below-mentioned bit of interest doesn't seem to have morphed into anything substantive.

But the story's not over yet.


Just to let you know, there's been a bit of interest in the story so keep an eye out...

Big thanks to Chris for long phone interview this morning (and for recent water quality, which has been great, at my place at least) and to Mark for the "high priority" designation that made Chris's time available.

No bombshells; still digesting the Q&A, and need to do some research, and hear back from Mark on some quick questions; don't expect a post on it until Friday at the very earliest.

According to Chris, the smell is from Volvox and Chlamydomonas algae.


Daniel said...

Stick with the story -- if you can solve this problem with cooperation even though you've got zero institutional clout, you'll have really accomplished something.

If you've not tapped in to your local academic resources yet, consider making some calls. The problem is that academic knowledge can be so specialized that a "local" expert may be no expert at all. So if you've never heard of Profnet, give it a try here. It doesn't always return usable hits, but every now and then you find that there's someone at some random university who has been studying your exact subject for the past 20 years. Anyway, if Profnet won't take your query because you're not "professional" enough, send it to me and I'll submit it for you.

By the way, based on what I've read here I'd really be looking into the possibility that you've got localized biofilms colonizing your pipe interiors. If that were the case, then you'd be trying to figure out what causes those biofilms to expand and contract.

Anna said...

Thanks Daniel.

As for ProfNet - argh:
"To ensure our members that they are working with bona fide journalists, we must now require registration. If you are already registered, please log in at left."

So, looks like there are 2 problems with citizen journalism (other than competence/training) -
1. no backing (with the exception of individual helpful journalists)
2. no form of accreditation - ProfNet has no way to know that I'm not the third-grader down the street (or the ranting nut in the street.)
And IRE doesn't have a cit-j membership category either.
And nor does Nevada City's manager - when I asked him if Alan Stahler (local science print and radio journalist) and I could see the reservoir, he told me:

> "The wastewater and water plants are restricted access facilities and not publically accessible"

I've emailed him (twice) asking "Would they be accessible to a reporter?", and while I haven't been able to get an answer, I suspect it would be 'yes'.

And as for what you've read here - "if your mother says she loves you, check it out" - the current unwillingness of city and plant manager to let us see the reservoir makes me reluctant to report that it is 'clean'. Trust, but verify...

I wonder if they'd let a hydrologist in.

Anna said...

> "while I haven't been able to get an answer, I suspect it would be 'yes'."

I suspected wrong; ran into Mark today and asked for clarification, he said "no public access" means "no access to reporters either".