Muni Fiber and Politics

William Herrin bill at
Fri Jul 25 19:02:13 UTC 2014

On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 1:03 PM, William Allen Simpson
<william.allen.simpson at> wrote:
> On 7/21/14 3:50 PM, William Herrin wrote:
>> On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 3:08 PM, Blake Dunlap <ikiris at> wrote:
>>> My power is pretty much always on, my water is pretty much always on
>>> and safe, my sewer system works, etc etc...
>> Mine isn't. I lost power for a three days solid last year, I've
>> suffered 3 sanitary sewer backflows into my basement the last decade
>> and you should see the number of violations the EPA has on file about
>> my drinking water system. Only the gas company has managed to keep the
>> service on, at least until I had a problem with the way their billing
>> department mishandled my bill. Didn't get solved until it went to the
>> lawyers.
>> And I'm in the burbs a half dozen miles from Washington DC. God help
>> folks in a truly remote location.
> Woah!  Catching up on this thread -- AFAICT from public sources
> you (Herrin) don't actually have municipal electric or gas, and
> doesn't look like water/sewer either....
> What you have are regulated monopolies, subject to what's known as
> "regulatory capture".

Right on power and gas, wrong on water and sewer. Until this year,
water and sewer was owned and operated by the neighboring city of
Falls Church (I'm in Fairfax county. Counties and cities are separate
in Virginia. A place is either in a city or in a county but not
both.), providing water directly and reselling Fairfax county sewer.
After the worst sewer backflow last decade (which hit everybody on the
street), the county stepped up a "blame the victim" process.

See, they oversubscribed the sanitary sewer allowing new construction
hookups and selling additional capacity upstream to the city as if all
nearby county houses were following modern standards. But, most of the
local neighborhoods were built in the 1950's when it was standard and
then-lawful practice to hook areaway (basement stair) drains to the
sanitary sewer. This results in modest stormwater intrusion which
Fairfax didn't account for. Their solution? We'll install the cheapest
possible backflow valve at our cost, but you have to agree that should
it ever gunk up and fail that's your problem and oh by the way we
think you're at fault anyway because you have an areaway drain and
reconnecting it to the stormwater system so it doesn't back up when
the valve closes is your problem.

I have pictures where brownish water has pushed its way up to the top
of the basement washbasins, a good three feet off the floor. Bastards.

Bill Herrin

William Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
Owner, Dirtside Systems ......... Web: <>
Can I solve your unusual networking challenges?

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