Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Debris basins catch my attention

Oh man, do I love infrastructure. So much of the story of southern California is about how infrastructure expresses human ambitions. How can you not find it fascinating?

The empty debris basins, like the Dunsmuir one I visited in September, aren't sitting and waiting for anything anymore. This week, they're filling up. I got to see that up close today. What was most striking was the sound, actually: when it was flowing fast, it really did sound like thunder, as more than one person has called it.

In December the county announced plans to expand 7 of these basins this year. I remembered that today, as I wandered near two of those seven - Pickens and Snover.

I'll be curious to see how they empty these things out this week. If they get to it at all - tonight would seem to be the night. For all my infrastructure curiosity, and my smidgen of common sense, I didn't know until today that they can't really scoop those basins out unless it's not raining, and therefore safe.

Lastly, and ALMOST unrelatedly, except, you know, actually quite relatedly: in LCF today, I saw people here and there capturing rainwater, mostly in trash cans. This bucket was in the backyard of Nalini Lasiewicz.

Do you know more people capturing rainwater on their properties, or am I just running into more of you in my travels?