And over the months and years, those millions will multiply until,
by nearly all accounts, there will be much less chance of beach
closures near where the district's outfall pipe empties 4 1/2 miles
out to sea. It means less chance that a summer could be ruined, as
1999 was so disastrously here. It means less chance that the
so-called plume of sewage from the outfall pipe could creep back to
close range of Huntington Beach.
A year ago, the outcome of this vote was just about unimaginable.
It is unlikely that it ever would have occurred without the hard
work of environmental activists who refused to be ignored. They
hammered away at city and county leaders to make it clear that ending
the waiver and partial treatment was a necessity.
They also won the important media war and managed to get their
voices to the public via newspapers and television stations. The
result was a swing of public opinion against the waiver. Those
activists on the front lines of this fight deserve thanks.
Applause also is due to officials in the county's coastal cities,
notably here in Huntington Beach, for getting involved early in the
battle against the waiver, the status quo and the sanitation
In fact, without Huntington Beach officials leading the way, it
seems likely the pressure of consensus would have built up enough to
force this vote.
Yes, the treatment will cost more, and that money will come from
county taxpayers' pockets. But the estimated $16 a year price tag per
person is a bargain to ensure the beaches and waters are open, safe