HOW LOW CAN YOU FLOW?
Over 250 upper Westsiders lost water at their homes on Thursday morning, Sept. 24. Some experienced low water pressure, while others lost it completely. And because the city hadn’t notified anyone about a water shutoff, the incident set off quite a stir.
“If you want to get everyone’s attention, turn off everyone’s water in the middle of the water rush hour,” says Steve Leonard, operations director for the the Santa Cruz Water Department. “It’s one of those things you notice very quickly.”
Leonard says the problem affected about 264 customers and lasted about 18 minutes—long enough for the department to get 60 upset phone calls about the incident.
The problem, Leonard says, started with water officials replacing water valves on one of the Bay Street reservoir tanks earlier in the week. Operators didn’t realize they hadn’t opened those valves yet. Additionally, a worker accidentally closed a fourth valve. After the incident was over, water officials communicated with the State Department of Health, which determined that the city had done everything they could to resolve the problem.
“It was a quick jump in the morning to get us going,” Leonard says, “but it was resolved pretty quickly.”
Santa Cruz Biotechnology and local veterinarians denied allegations of animal welfare violations at a hearing this summer, according to a report this week from BuzzFeed News.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a found over a dozen alleged violations against the company, which produces antibodies used in labs and has offices on Delaware Avenue in Santa Cruz. The alleged violations, filed in three complaints beginning in 2012, include multiple counts of goats suffering due to lack veterinary care. A USDA inspector also told a judge that Santa Cruz Biotech had hid a goat barn from the department.
The judge temporarily suspended the hearings in August and told both sides to check back in on Sept. 30 about restarting testimony.
A call to Santa Cruz Biotech was not returned by press time.