Monday, November 9, 2009

An Additional Finding

Also in the Army Corps of Engineers Sediment and Dam Removal Feasibility Study....

"An additional finding of the CDM analysis was that phosphorus discharge in the winter is an important part of the annual phosphorus budget in the Assabet River. This finding appears to indicate that lower winter limits on WWTFs discharge of phosphorus may contribute significantly to reducing sediment phosphorus flux and might be another control measure for DEP and stakeholders to consider to control phosphorus loading to the river." Page ES-2

Although this sounds like a much simpler and farther reaching solution, the Army Corps of Engineers has decided that The Ben Smith Dam should be removed because it would provide "a 2.8 lbs/day decrease in P loading". How many extra pounds per day are being dumped into the river from November to March?

And BTW, if the Million Dollars per Decrease in Impoundment River Mile(DIRM)M$/DIRM is half as much for Allen Street, why has the Ben Smith Dam been selected. I think it's pretty clear that this recommendation was based on DPO, that's Dollars (to the Corps) per Option.

Well since we are talking "Metrics", here's one: Cost per Page (CPP) at 330 pages and one million dollars this report has a CPP of $3,030/page. Is that good? Is that bad? Well, we could compare that to the CPP of other government reports but that's not really very useful is it? Maybe we should look at non government reports as well.....

What is the Value per Dollar or VPD for each of our options here. Is the VPD of this report greater than the VPD of Upgrading Waste Water Treatment Facilities? Is it greater than operating these facilities so that they do not pollute in the winter as well as in the summer?

I guess it all depends on who you ask. I'm sure the people doing the dumping will have a much different opinion than those getting dumped on. I guess my family should just be thankful our drinking water does not come from the river.

Is it just possible that there are better things to spend our taxpayer dollars on than enabling municipalities to continue to pollute. What's the VPD for just doing what's obvious: a year round limit of 0.1mg/l?

(math geeks please note the VPD for doing nothing is infinite)


  1. This is very confussing to me with all the abbreviations it is foreign. Whats wrong with plain english so I can understand the full impact of the propsed dam removal. How do I Find out the true impact on my family, my taxes, my property, my town, and my future as a resident in stow.

  2. I suppose a 300 page report needs to have a cetain level of technical jargon to be worth it's salt. But underneith all those big words, confusing metrics and acronyms are some very simple concepts.

    If we don't want phosporous in the river, we should stop putting phosporus in the river.

    And pardon my french but SH*T flows down hill.
    Let's not just pass the problem on downstream.