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May 10, 2015



About 15-20 years ago, the City Manager at the time, Dennis Argers approved a well to be built in Washington Park.
Especially for time like these.
Literal Millions of dollars were spent on this project that never worked and to this day does not either.
Dear Siaed, you were not working here at the time, so you can say anything you want without clearing it with the City manager or Attorney.
What is that Giant Tank doing there, standing empty for at least 10 years?
What is the TRUE story behind the years and consultants that have attempted to make that monstrosity work.
How about Park Lady Margaret Glomstead telling us the story?
I bet dollars to doughnuts she does not even know that TANK is in Washington Park.


Another question is whether the city or county has a rebate program for planting drought resistant landscaping? I have heard rumors to that end, but can not confirm. At least not yet. Anybody out there with that info, please pass it on.


Holly, Margaret definitely knows about the "tank" in Washington Park and over the past two months, they have been working on it. There was for about a week, a large portable tank sitting in the park to empty the tank while it was being worked on and then returned the water back to the tank. The well was watering Washington park until about 8 years ago, when the pump broke down. City budgets being what they were, they did not fix the pump. That was WELL before Margaret's time as she has only been here for a few years. I haven't heard the outcome if they were able to fix it or not, but Margaret was the first one to even attempt to get it up and running in the past eight years.

Don't know what your beef is with Margaret, but from someone that has worked with three different park directors, she is by far the best the City has had in a long time. Her attention to detail in the parks is amazing and she gets things done, unlike previous directors.


I think Ms Glomstaed is the best manager the City has ever had.
I believe she would also make an excellent City Manager, if not Burlingame, anywhere.
From what I have heard at meetings, read in "the minutes", and spoke to my friends and neighbors, she is a Go Getter.
Very charming, and also able to speak truth to power.
I have no beef with Director Glomstead.
Thank you for sharing with me he latest. This drought is not ever going to go away. It is good to know that Director Glomstaed is going to hold past "Directors, Managers, and engineers Feet to the fire for the enormous waste of resources.
You know what, she will figure it out.
The better some are at their job, the more demands, and requests for their time are asked for.
Hopefully this drought will put more focus on the need for alternative, and cutting edge solutions to maintaining the City of Burlingame Park System. More trees, less lawn, and figuring out what the hell happened to that broken down well.
If any of the past City Managers/Public Work/Engineering/Finance/Attorney and Recreation and Park Dept. Managers are still around there might be an answer to find the responsible people and ask for their help in solving what is clearly an obvious waste of Tax Payer money.
Margaret Glomstead is exactly the right person, in the right place to do the right thing for the City of Burlingame.
I hope all on this site can support an investigation, as well as a resolution-financial or other to the "Empty Well of Washington Park."
Good Luck Ms. Glomstead.

The logic? The madness!

There are plenty of local places that drilled fresh water wells to irrigate (San Mateo's Central Park).

If the spot produces fresh water, then fix the pump.

My buddy is on the San Mateo Park Commission, and we both find it funny that some San Mateo eco-zealots wanted to stop watering Central Park with well water to make the residents "feel the pain" about the drought.

Sounds like dried-out brains to me...

Similar logic to forcing The Cliff House to close (and put dozens of low income employees out of work) simply because it's on gov't land. Of course, there would be no marginal cost to keeping it open to the gov't. "Make them feel the pain".

Are we done giving trillions of gallons of water to give the Delta smelt cloudier water, which then might possibly help them survive longer from predators?

To hear that the state budget surplus is being spent at all must demonstrate the insanity of the Sac super majority, right? Aren't organizations supposed to pay down debt in strong years, to make up for all those billions of debt and unfunded liabilities from the bad years? The logic? The madness!


Holyroller going bipolar on us again.

HOTTSWNMNBS doing pretty much the same thing. So many friends, so little insight.

How about a rebate for anyone having lunch with HOTTSWNMNBS?

Just wondering

Can some read their own water meter? It's not like the electric meter where you can just go look at it. I wonder how I know I'm not getting taken for a ride.


Great question, Wondering. Here is Syed's enlightening response (and see the second photo above):

The answer is yes, the residents can read their own water meter. All they have to do is lift the meter box lid, and clean the dial surface to read the meter as it is usually fogged up due to moisture.

With regards to water meters, the city is in the 8th year of a 10 year plan to replace all citywide old water meters with new radio read meters, which have more accurate reading than the old meters. However, these are not smart meters per se similar to the ones used by PG & E.

Though the smart technology is available in this regards, however there are number of issues in terms of accuracy and very high costs of procurement and installation.
Thanks, Syed


A little status report from the city newsletter:

Based on its current level of water conservation efforts and per capita water consumption, Burlingame is required to reduce water use by 16% during the period of June 2015-February 2016 compared to the baseline water consumption period (June 2013-February 2014). The City has already conserved approximately 18% compared to the baseline period.

The City Council declared a water shortage on May 18, 2015 and formally implemented water conservation restrictions to meet the State mandate. As the City has already met its water use reduction requirement, it will focus on maintaining its current conservation levels but encourages its residents and businesses owners to conserve more when possible.


I believe this is the second one in about a month:

June 3, 2015 at 09:30 hours

There has been a disruption in the City of Burlingame’s potable water distribution system on the 700 block of Acacia Drive, possible water main break. The Water Division will send out more information when it becomes available.

The issue isn't as sexy as smoking in multi-unit buildings...or is it??

Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson can see the "campaign promises" now, for softball issues such as "No Smoking" "No Homeless Policy" "No more water main breaks" Might as well be "No stance on substantive issues" as a slogan.

Much easier than "No ABAG" "No HSR" "No diarrhea multi-family architecture" "No eyesore parking structures" "no high density infill" "no unnecessary tree removal" "no El Camino widening" "No more hostage taking from MTC and Cal-trans". Folks, instead of electing amoebas as officials, let's get into the vertebrae world this time around and elect representatives with backbones!

Well with that water main break news, there probably goes a whole months' worth of conservation efforts by Burlingame residents down the tubes, or into the streets as it were. Hopefully there were a few lawns in the path of the flow so they could at least look green for a while.

Thanks a lot, Burlingame (or SF) water for putting infrastructure first or shall I say last? Those who do not invest in the future are condemned to keep on cleaning up the past. You can take that advice right to the bank!

Bruce Dickinson is not pleased!


We apparently still have a long way to go:

City Manager Lisa Goldman, in an email, said officials have identified the need to improve underground water pipes and allocated significant resources to fix and maintain the old system.

“The City Council approved a capital improvements program to replace and upgrade the city’s aging and deteriorated drinking water supply and distribution system,” she said. “We’ve completed approximately $38 million in improvements and still have about $88 million worth of work left to complete.”



I wonder if we are in line to get fined $10,000 per day by Jerry Brown and the state? Are we cutting our usage enough and how much did these two breaks take?

lisa t

What's the latest on the Lawn Be Gone Program. I heard it was going to be discussed at the council meeting in May. Was anything decided? Any chance Lawn Be Gone will be offered in Burlingame anytime soon?


My nomination for unfortunate headline of the year goes to the San Mateo County Times in yesterday's paper:

"Toilet to tap gaining support"

The point being that 58% of those polled favor adding appropriately treated recycled water to the drinking water supply. Of course there is about 1% of the population that know anything about appropriate treatment technologies.............


Third one in a month and a half:

June 28th 2015 1930 hrs

There has been a disruption in the City of Burlingame's potable water distribution system on the 1500 block of Chapin Ave, possible water main break.

Notice that it is fixed came at 1 am, so about 5 1/2 hours later.



Cathy Baylock

Perhaps Burlingame is doing TOO good a job conserving water and the additional pressure is overloading our water mains. Not a scientific observation, but I try to always find the silver lining!

Bruce Dickinson

Guys, you gotta be kidding me!!? What is going on with Burlingame/SF water? Get a handle on this situation, ASAP. Maybe instead of focusing on non-issues, such as smoking in public spaces, and rather than issuing decrees on how we are using too much water, City Council instead needs to get on this water main situation like a bad rash!!

Rec centers, new city hall, overpasses, underpasses, HSR, TOD, ABAG, blah blah blah blah blah blah, get focused or GO HOME! Bruce Dickinson cannot believe his money is being wasted on such nonsense while every single conservation effort and my poor dying lawn/grounds are all wasted due to incompetence. Are we actually on schedule for water infrastructure improvements, or was this a case where somebody thought that something was a lower priority than a pipe dream such as HSR. Let's focus on the real pipes, not the fantasy ones!!!

Forget about hiring the "green consultant" the City should hire someone to do these water infrastructure inspections, fast. Wasn't it too long ago that El Camino was dug up for water pipe replacement and then had to be dug up again due to them "being wrong" about something and having to start up all over again? Or at least a viable emergency response team that can get there in sufficient time before Crystal Springs reservoir gets drained.

Forget about being in the talent business, this is being in the back to basics competence business. Time to re-prioritize this on the City Council's action item list!

Bruce Dickinson is more than not pleased!!!


Back to basics. I like that. Perhaps it should be the theme of the candidates - plural - looking to dump Nagel in the Fall.

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