Dear Mr. Espinosa:
I appreciate that you've provided an update on your activities regarding my concerns about mosquitoes breeding in storm drains. However, after reading the seven points you provided in your update, I still don't understand how you are working to control the problem.
How and when will this problem be solved?
How can you justify installing and maintaining these structures knowing that they violate state and county laws?
What changes will be made in storm drain designs to prevent mosquitoes from breeding before the $117 million from the Building Better Communities bond program is spent on additional storm drains?
I've included additional questions in red below each of your seven points.
From: Garcia-Navarro, Millie (Mayor's
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 10:30 AM
To: Mike Pryslak
Cc: Gonzalez, Delivette (Mayor's Office); Morales, Denis (Mayor's Office); Alvarez, Carlos (Mayor's Office)
Subject: FW: Update - Mosquito Issues in Mr. Pryslak's neighborhood (
Dear Mr. Pryslak:
I had asked all the departments for an update on the mosquito issue as we promised you. I am forwarding you a copy of what I just received from them. Any comments or concerns regarding this report will be greatly appreciated. We are here to serve the public.
Have a wonderful day,
From: Espinosa, Carlos (DERM)
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:32 PM
To: Garcia-Navarro, Millie (Mayor's Office)
Cc: Valdes, Dorian (DERM); Cotarelo, Antonio (DERM); Renfrow, John (DERM); Sori, Henry F. (PWD); Marko, Thomas (CMO); Hernandez, Pedro (Pete) (CMO)
Subject: Update - Mosquito Issues in Mr. Pryslak's neighborhood (Westwood Lakes)
In regard to Mr.
Pryslak and the mosquito issues, we have proceeded as agreed in the meeting back
on April 22, 2005. Specifically, an evaluation process was initiated in a
number of drainage catch basins in his neighborhood (
1. The new drainage system
installed in the
[Note: From this point forward, all text in red was inserted by Mike Pryslak on June 23rd.]
Please provide copies of the "standards" you refer to and explain how they don't violate Florida Statute 386.041(1)(e).
Since 1956, how
much flood damage has occurred in
2. Drainage design
features applicable to
is a public health hazard and is illegal in
Many areas of
3. Drainage catch basins will always contain water during the wet season (May to November) due to the occurrence of rain on a daily basis and the subsequent high ground water table.
This is my point - as they are designed, installed and maintained, Miami-Dade's catch basins often contain water. Since that's a public health hazard and illegal, it's time to address the problem. Either new designs are needed, or new maintenance methods are needed. If monthly larvicide treatments will prevent mosquitoes from breeding, then the County must budget such treatments to avoid violating the laws.
4. During portions of the
dry season (Feb - April) there may be a very small number of catch basins with
bottom elevations high enough were they may not intersect the groundwater table
and which could therefore drain-out of the bottom through weep holes. We
are identifying these few catch basins in the
participating at Senator Souto's May 26, 2005 Town Meeting clearly told you
they've experienced mosquito problems this past winter.
5. The mosquitoes species found in the catch basins in the
Please cite your sources for this statement since it contradicts the following:
- The Centers for Disease Control provides a database of mosquitoes found to be West Nile Virus Positive, and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes have been on their list every year since 2001. See http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/mosquitoSpecies.htm
- Dr. Alicia Camps from the Miami-Dade County Health Department attended a workshop held on April 3-4, 2002 at the University of Florida’s Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce, Florida, where it was theorized that here in Florida, "Cx. quinquefasciatus might serve as the primary vector of West Nile virus early in the year with Cx. nigripalpus taking over this role later in the year." See http://mosquito.ifas.ufl.edu/Documents/West%20Nile%20Workshop%202003.pdf
- "At present, the mosquito species of most concern in the transmission of the West Nile virus to humans are the Culex species or catch basin mosquito. They are active from May to August. They prefer highly polluted and stagnant waters for breeding (i.e. water in ditches, eavestroughs, bird baths and roadside catch basins) and are more common in urban rather than rural areas." See http://www.thamesriver.org/Parks/West_Nile_Virus.htm
Fall 2004 issue of "Wing Beats of the Florida Mosquito Control Association"
says on page 10, "The majority of underground mosquitoes are Culex
quinquefasciatus, known as the Southern house mosquito, which is the main
culprit in transmitting West Nile virus and a suspect in transmitting St.
Louis encephalitis in the
- An August 2004 Mississippi State University Extension Service publication on the Culex quinquefasciatus indicates it will readily feed on humans and is one of the main carriers of West Nile Virus to people. See http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p2336.pdf
- Without requiring absolute, conclusive proof, I think it is obvious that standing water in Miami-Dade's storm drains is dangerous. Walter J. Tabachnick, Director, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, says, "It would be foolhardy for any mosquito control program to base their control efforts on laboratory results showing which vector species appear to be the most efficient vector of WN virus." See http://fmel.ifas.ufl.edu/fmbuzz/wtvector.htm
6. The Mosquito Control Division will abate problems in the neighborhood as they are reported.
Sadly, this is
simply not true. I have been reporting live mosquito larva in the 3000
storm basins from DERM's DORM project for the past 18 months.
Very few have been inspected and treated; however, when inspected,
the Mosquito Control Division has found live larva. The Director of Public
Works says the County can't afford to treat storm drains. As recently as
May 26th, at Senator Souto's Town Meeting, Mr. Sori refused to authorize monthly
larvicide treatments for storm drains known to hold standing water and
7. DERM and Public works also are working with Commissioner Souto on the issue and have participated in his Town Hall meetings.
specifically are DERM and Public Works working with Senator Souto other
than by attending one of his Town Meetings? What has been done about the
problem? What is scheduled to be done about the problem?
After discovering that the vast majority of the dozen catch
basins tested in
However, we do agree, that repairing these catch basins will not eliminate standing water for many months of the year - reinforcing the requirement for different designs and monthly larvicide treatments.
This is a quick summary of actions up to this point. If you need additional information, please call me (305) 372-6796.