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Calistoga Picayune Investigative Analysis of Calistoga's Drinking Water from Public Records

The delta smelt are essential to water quality of the Delta and as a food supply in the ecological matrix of all Delta Water Ways. The City of Calistoga imports this Delta Water 24 hours a day from the 12 inch NBA Line that also Supplies St. Helena and the City of Napa.

The City of Calistoga and the other users are now paying to move the Delta intake pipe from Barker Slough (
Click Here for Background) to a deeper portion of the Delta as a result of the Slough became impaired with copious amounts of algae.

The delta smelt live on the algae as a food source for their maturation, as they were being poisoned by the chemicals, industrial pollution, insecticides, and almost 50 waste-water plants that all contribute a matrix of sanitary sewer outfalls to the Delta's water.

The City of Calistoga imports this
“Delta Water” to the "Ed Barwick" Water Treatment Plant in Jamison Canyon east of the City of Napa where it is mechanically treated and filtered, chlorinated and wheeled in a 12 inch steel pipe to Calistoga's Dunaweal waste-water Treatment plant which again chlorinates the water inside the pipe and is pressurized and delivered to the Cities existing water system by two electric 50 hp. centrifugal pumps.

The current Calistoga Public Works Director, Mike Kirns stated that this NBA water can only be pressure delivered, outside the City Limits 1/4 mile up Bennett Lane where the City has installed an equalization valve. Bennett Lane heading north ends as Evey Road and terminates at the city gate to Kimball Dam. The water produced at the City's Kimball water treatment plant from Lake Ghisolfo was a high quality water from multiple historic springs and sheet runoff from winter rains that formed the headwaters of the Napa River.

Some History surrounding the “Lake Ghisolfo name

To get a full picture the City of Calistoga’s Kimball drinking water source it is instructive to understand and appreciate the genesis of how the City came by its water rights and how “Lake Ghisolfo” came into existence. A close look at the City’s reservoir parcel’s chain of title history traces the genesis of what is now turning into a hotly contested battle between the City of Calistoga and Debbie O’Gorman, who claims (thanks to the acts of the City’s own attorneys) that the water the City is and has been using from Kimball Creek
is being used without her express permission as required by the City’s reservoir parcel’s deed restriction that prevent it from accessing the waters of Kimball Creek.

County Recorder records indicate that the reservoir parcel (APN 017-060-010) water rights were sold to O’Gorman’s Great Grandfather, Albert L. Tubbs in 1882 by Pliney Reed and J.L. Wright. (J.L. Wright being the legal guardian of the Florence Reed’s surviving children who had inherited her one half interest upon her death)

The first deed recorded
April 30, 1883 (CLICK HERE to see (long load time)) Book 33 of Deeds at page 395, gave Tubbs -

the privilege of diverting the waters that flow down the creek through the Wright or Poulson barrier from their natural course and conveying them by a pipe placed beneath the surface of the ground to the residence now being erected by him for the period of one year from the date hereof.; and, ---

I hereby bind myself my heirs, executors and administrators upon the payment of the further sum of two hundred dollars, or instead of the two hundred dollars the paid Tubbs may give me a one half inch tap at some point near my house, from which I may be permitted to draw water for domestic family use and for my stock, but not for irrigation or for sale, so long as the supply will permit – to convey to the said A. L. Tubbs, by good and sufficient deed all the rights and privileges hereinbefore mentioned.”

The second deed recorded
May 2, 1883 (CLICK HERE to see (long load time)) page 400 stated Witnessed that the party of the first part for and in consideration the sum of one dollar to him in hand paid and the enhanced value of my property arising from the valuable improvements now being made by the party of the second part, on the property purchased by him from John Hoover, has and does hereby grant bargain sell release and confirm unto said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns the right to divert said water from its natural course, and lay down and maintain at his pleasure water pipe to convey said water to his residence for domestic use and irrigation.

One might wonder why Reed did this, but the answer is simple: Kimball Creek ran dry in the summer months and Tubbs had a pipe running from all year flowing springs located high above on the Mt. St. Helena watershed, which he also owned at the same time. From Pliney Reed’s point of view, better to have water available all year long through a “½” tap” rather than no water from springtime through the onslaught of winter. From Tubbs point of view he now had the Kimball Creek water for use on all of his then-owned land through which Kimball Creek flowed.

This land included all subsequently subdivided parcels that were sold off which had these deeds in their respective chains of title in common. The City, Markham Vineyards, Chateau Montelena, Rombauer and Rancho Alto Vineyards parcels all have one or more of these deeds included in their title history, meaning that none of these parcels have had pre 1914 riparian rights since 1883 when the right to take water from Kimball Creek was purchased by Tubbs. Since that time, the Tubbs family and then O’Gorman have been paying property taxes on the springs and easements since they came into existence and the O’Gorman parcel is still free to enjoy the only riparian right between their spring (Headwater of the Napa River) and what is now O’Gorman’s Home Place.

Because the water rights that were riparian to the land had been sold to Tubbs, the riparian nature of what is now the City’s reservoir parcel ceased to exist. These water rights once alienated from the land became the property of the Tubbs that were handed down via inheritance through the Tubbs family subsequent heirs. To realize the scope and contiguous nature of the Tubbs property holdings, one only has to look at the Napa County Map approved by the Napa County Board of Supervisors on January 21, 1895. The map is framed and hangs in the Napa County Recorder’s Office. The uniqueness of the map is that is identifies each parcel owner of record as of that date by name, placed on the parcel map itself, giving the viewer a snapshot in time of the County’s ownership records graphically displayed.

Albert Tubbs died in 1895, however the estate probate action was not settled until 1905, having been interrupted and delayed by the passing of one of the heirs during the pendency of the probate process. Although the probate was handled by the San Francisco Superior Court, a certified copy of the final administrator’s deed was recorded by the Napa County Recorder. The estate finally being settled, Chapin Tubbs by 1919, became the sole owner of the Calistoga holdings of A.L. Tubbs, which included the present day castle that is Chateau Montelana.

To be continued ----

Next edition: How the City and Tubbs clashed over water rights beginning in 1938

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Calistoga Water Moratorium on future hookups? 

Has the 2014 annual report has been covered up by California State Water Board (CSWP) politic’s?

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) engineers report which was due to be made public in May has yet to be seen?

July 21, 2015
Kurt Larrecou
Calistoga Picayune News
Environmental Editor / Staff Reporter

The Calistoga Picayune had two interviews in the spring of 2015, with a lead registered engineer who assembled a detailed report required to substantiate  and oversee the existing public water system that serves City of Calistoga residents.

This report was compiled by the The California Department of Public Health located in Santa Rosa.

The comprehensive report  is required to reissue a water license to the City of Calistoga.

The first interview in April, by the Picayune was on the Tri-Halomethanes levels that have been over the threshold of 80 milligrams per liter of drinking water.

The CDPH engineer stated they were to issue a citation to The City of Calistoga, Public Works Director Mike Kirns.

The Picayune was provided a copy of the citation and broke the story first.(see next article below)

The CDPH engineer also stated that in addition to the citation a detailed 2014 engineering report of the entire water system was completed and was being reviewed by the senior engineer, and we would be provided a copy by first week of May 2015.

The engineer also stated that in the report that there would be no more future water hookups as the city was at maximum daily demand of drinking water at 1.26 millions gallons a day.

The report also stated that the City of Calistoga would have to put in a new higher capacity NBA water pipeline and two more updated pump stations to increase the  daily water deliveries before removing the moratorium so future build out could occur.

The report said the old NBA line would be not be allowed to supply drinking water as many cross connections existed (editor comment-more in future in depth article) that limited the pressure and flow rates to wheel water at a higher rate and that its condition was unreliable due to it’s age also.

The City’s one million gallon Fiege Water tank would have to be rebuilt or replaced under the same directive.

The second interview first week of May with the engineer assured myself that the 2014 Report would be provided and that things were in flux as the State Water Board was actively taking over the California Department of Public Health.

That indeed happened on May 14, 2015, by a board vote. (see more)

The question is, where is the 2014 Calistoga engineers report, with this new layer of government has it been hidden?

The new reorganization of Drinking Water Systems by the State of California

Division of Drinking Water Field Operation Branch Districts


On March 11 2015, a citation was issued to Michael Kirns, Public Works Director, for Calistoga City Drinking Water being over the maximum allowable level of 80 parts per million per liter of water of the toxic chemical, Trihalomethanes (TTHMs). (Click See Complete Citation)

This chemical is produced by Chlorination Disinfectant at the  City of Napa's , Ed Barwick municipal water treatment Plant.

This water is from The State Water Project which uses turbid delta sourced water from Barker Slough.

The NBA pipeline enters our waste water plant at Dunaweal , where the City re-chlorinates the same drinking water before pumping it into the Calistoga water mains and to the Mt. Washington 1.5 million gallon tank.

This has been happening since 2005 when they were fined for the same infraction.

In searching the internet we found the following:

This water soluble solvent is considered to be hazardous to your health.

What are the health effects of TTHMs?
According to a University of Florida report, exposure to TTHMs may pose an increased risk of cancer.

According to Rebekah Grossman, two TTHMs, chloroform and dibromochloromethane, are carcinogens; and another THM, bromodi- chloromethane, has been identified as a mutagen, which
alters DNA.

Mutagens are considered to affect the genetics of future generations in addi- tion to being carcinogenic. A California study indicates that TTHMs may be responsible for reproductive problems and miscarriage. The study found a miscarriage rate of 15.7 percent for women who drank five or more glasses of cold water containing more than 0.075 mg/l TTHM, compared to a miscarriage rate of 9.5 percent for women with low TTHM exposure. In addition to these risks, TTHMs are linked to bladder cancer, heart, lungs, kidney, liver, and central nervous system damage

When we searched water filters that would filter TTHNs we found:

The Best Water Filters for Trihalomethanes Removal

Trihalomethanes (THMs) are among the most dangerous chemical compounds that find their way into the water supply. THM contamination is very common, because these substances are a byproduct formed when chlorine is added to drinking water. THMs are known to be carcinogens, and are closely associated with the occurrence of several different types of cancer. Additionally, these substances cause problems with the functioning of the nervous system, the liver, and the kidneys. Ingestion of these substances can also contribute to miscarriages.

Even though the dangers of THMs are well-documented and the substance is present in the vast majority of drinking water, many home water filtration systems are not designed to remove these substances from the water supply. For example, Brita water filters and PUR water filters do not remove THMs from water. Both Aquasana and Amway water filters are proven to be effective at removing more than 99% of THMs from water. Kenmore and Culligan water filters also filter out large percentages of these substances.

Big Berkey Water Filters


Calistoga water system recently exceeded a new drinking water standard
for disinfection byproducts called total trihalomethanes (TTHM) in the vicinity of your service meter
Ckick Here
See THM Letter City Sent

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O'Gorman v. California State Water Resources Control Board - Case No. 34-2015-00183738

September 15, 2015
Danniel Kientz
Calistoga Picayune News
Editor / Publisher

Brian Leighton, on behalf
of Debbie O'Gorman, filed a lawsuit in Sacramento to show that the State of California Water Resources Control Board looked the other way on the Kimball Water city give away of Debbie O'Gorman's inherited water rights.

The lawsuit shows
what is a myriad of frauds that is a result of a well orchestrated plan between the Water Board and the City of Calistoga to provide water to local winery's.

The lawsuit hopes to reenumerate O'Gorman for the open taking of her long established family's water as a result of State of California not enforcing her legal entitlement.

Additional Informantion
Brian Leighton
Debbie O'Gorman
Kimball Water (
here) (amount of water one of the city suits was over) (popular press slanted reports re: Kimball suits)

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