Pond News—Cause of Death, Facts About the Proposal, Next Steps

UnknownEast Sacramento Preservation Board Member Judy McClaver shared some facts about the October pond community meeting, that were misinterpreted by a neighborhood magazine. The meeting is the last the city has shared any information about the pond rehabilitation plans. ESP hopes that Council Member Harris will schedule another meeting after the first of the year, before presenting to full City Council for approval, that will readdress the issues brought up, provide solid answers, full visuals and share the pond committee’s recommendations.

Please see McClaver’s bullet points below about the pond meeting, as well as the Sacramento Bee article that reported Mr. Prattt’s cause of death as drowning with intoxication. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article45461343.html

  • The McKinley members of the pond committee did not agree with the proposed plan. Councilman Harris was informed via email of this by two of the three members.
  • The plan shows that depth would start at 18 inches on edge and slope to 9.5 feet with a slope ratio of 4:1 not four feet then 9 as reported elsewhere. This would make the current slope steeper and more slippery.
  • Neither pond plan option addressed safety issues.
  • Bottom aeration does not cool the water.  It increases oxygenation of the bottom debris (leaf and excrement) to help bacteria break it down and moves debris around – bottom aeration actually can increase the temperature of the water a few degrees because it is pumping outside air into the pond with a motor.
  • The pond water has been warm because there is hardly any water (2 feet at most) in it and the rest is sludge. Sludge is dark and absorbs the sun’s rays. The pond has been in existence since the late 1800s and the depth has not been an issue.
  • Putting a fence around the pond with plants between fence and pond will help keep out trash and leaves from the park, though not from the trees along edge of pond that provide shade to the water. It will also serve to keep adults, children and dogs away from edges and from falling in and deter people from using it as a toilet. It will allow wildlife to access the pond.
  • The Pond Advisory Committee wanted a fence around the whole pond.
  • Harm to wildlife will not stop with a fence but harm to the pond can be curtailed thus reducing maintenance costs…(not used as public toilet, plants to filter run off, trash, bikes/toys/strollers will not roll in, harder to toss food into pond).
  • Making the pond 9.5 feet deep means removing all the brick planters from the pond. Plants in the pond help balance the ecosystem by using bio-waste. This helps to balance nutrients and provide food and shelter for wildlife away from the edges of pond.
  • The contractor has proposed adding a wetland along edge of one small portion of pond but it will cost more money and only filter one portion of the pond. (Thus the plan is to remove the current planters from the pond and to replace with wetlands will be an additional expense. Profitable for the contractor.)
  • The proposed synthetic pond liner will likely only last about 8 years and then this whole project would likely have to be redone again wasting taxpayer money. Synthetic pond liners are also wrought with problems causing maintenance issues…besides being more slippery when someone falls in.  Quality bentonite clay (a natural material) properly installed will last for decades and not bubble, tear or leak and is lots less costly over all.
  • Use of the natural environment decreases the need for artificial control and need for maintenance mechanisms.
  • This contractor has no information from Parks as to what is currently going into this pond, i.e. what it is currently made of or the purpose of all the pipes that protrude from the sides of the pond. This pond project could easily become more costly when the pond is emptied.
  • This pond will never be clean as some expect from this project given that the activities of humans, dogs, waterfowl will not change etc.
  • The magazine reported 60% of the meeting attendees did not want a fence. There was no actual hand count or ballot, only someone’s guesstimate. Attendees were left to imagine a chain link or barred fence like what is around the pool.  No visuals of a fence or the pond project were presented.


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