BY LINDA SUTTER
Earlier this year, Pelican Bay State Prison nearly had their water turned off by the Crescent City Water Department for losing 37,000 gallons of water. This was brought up at the Crescent City, City Council meeting Monday night, July 21st, as a legitimate concern for the city since the Urban Water Conservation Program begins August 1, 2014. The city could face up to $10,000 dollar a day in fines if they fail to comply with the regional water board’s conservation measures.
Clark Ducart, who is the Acting Warden of Pelican Bay State Prison, just happened to be in the audience and stated the following when this concern was brought to the attention of the city council.
“We are currently operating under a Governors Executive Order which mandates that we conserve water much more restrictive than what has been proposed by the city. We have shower meters that allow inmates 5 minutes for a shower and then the water is turned off. We can’t wash state cars, we can’t irrigate, and we can’t hose off hard surfaces. We have been under this order many, many months. We are fully compliant with the directive of that order. In regards to the water leak, it wasn’t a leak. Our hydroaulic hot water loop which is a major outlay project which has been an undertaking for 4 years caused leaks due to corrosion and which are now all fixed. As of last Friday we have abandoned the hot water loop and now are operating on our new above ground loop so we are using make up water”.
Mr. Clark also indicated that the toilets of the inmate cells all have devices on them that stop the use of the toilet if flushed consecutively 3 times. Since installing all of these devices at the prison the prison managed to cut their water bill by 50%.
Since the City discovered that the institution had cut their water usage down by 50% the city has since raised the water rates for all the citizens including Pelican Bay.