Always amazed when Corporations choose profit and convenience over the environment, as if they resided on a parallel planet not subject to the damage their decisions cause. But I expect a more mature and responsible approach by the County in their decision making process. So I am beyond amazed when I witness the continued use by the County of Poly Pro sandbags when there is a more cost effective and environmentally friendlier alternative for creek containment.
The problem is that Poly pro sand bags have structural integrity for only 120 days in sunlight at which time the bags go to fibers, then short strands, nano strands then micro particles of plastic. The freed particles that are not carried away by the wind are washed into the stream by the next rain or flood.
A major irony is the now liberated sand is also carried away. That portion that now enters the very stream they were placed to contain, reduces the water carrying capacity of said stream, increasing the probability and severity of the next flood. The sand [and micro plastic particles] not directly washed into the stream often find their way to the street sewers, clogging those and adding to flooding.
I have advised and made demonstrations available to County Flood Control that a superior creek containment solution is unopened bags of Fence Post Concrete stacked like bricks in a wall. Costs are comparable in year one. Over a two year period the fence post concrete is half the cost. In year two the sand bags, bags and sand, have entered the environment but the fence post concrete barrier placed in year one is still intact. If the Roman aqueducts are any indication the fence post Bag barrier will be intact for the next millennium .
Concrete and the paper sacks it comes in is a benign, stable material made from limestone and clay. If concrete were not benign we would all be dead. And even the dumbest fish is unlikely to confuse and ingest a fifty pound concrete brick thinking it is food. If a fish can make a value judgement like this why cant the county?
Lee Greenberg/ Capt. Marble