I noticed a “Kohler Power Systems 24-hour Emergency Service Unit” and pump surrounded by about 30 orange cones and 30 orange-and-white-striped “City of San Diego Street Division Signs” at Santa Clara Point and Bayside on December 31 at about 11:00 a.m. Because no one was around to ask, I gathered phone numbers posted on the equipment and signs and began making phone calls.
First, I called the number on the street division signs, but no one there seemed to know what was happening at Santa Clara Point and Bayside. I was transferred a few times and ended up speaking with street division deputy director Dave Zumaris but found he too was clueless as to what may have been happening. He was, however, kind enough to send out Hamid Yaghoubpoor, associate supervising field engineer of capital projects, to take a look at the site to see if he could provide some answers.
Meanwhile, I phoned Bay City Electric Works, providers of the generator. I was informed that while the company did rent the generator to the City, it had no information pertaining to the scope of the project.
About an hour later, Yaghoubpoor phoned me and said, “I’m not sure if this is new construction...no, I don’t think, so...looks like a storm-water pump station...probably having trouble with the system...maybe a storm-water project.”
“So, it’s a temporary pump to keep the bay clean...keep the overflow out of the bay...it’s not running...when would they run it?” I said.
“Yes...let me call you back,” said Yaghoubpoor, letting me know he was going to phone someone at the “City Storm Water Department.” A few hours later, Yaghoubpoor phoned me with another lead: Aaron Snelling, a drain supervisor with the City of San Diego, but he wasn’t available for comment.