Tom Murphy has always been outspoken about his invention—the Reclamator—but the Central Coast Water Board claims Murphy’s latest business-outreach effort is fraudulent.
The Reclamator is an onsite system that purportedly converts raw sewage to near drinking-water standards.
On Sept. 1, residents in the Los Osos septic prohibition zone received an ominous 25-page letter from Advanced Environmental Systems (AES), which markets the Reclamator. The letter warned that anyone without a Reclamator would be in violation of state and federal law. The proposed solution: allow AES to install and maintain a Reclamator for either a one-time $25,000 payment or payment through an extended plan.
The letter looks official, particularly with a Central Coast Water Board stamp at the top of a four-page list of legal citations. But the Water Board claims the letter misleads readers into believing it’s an official government document. According to Water Board Executive Officer Roger Briggs, Murphy got his documents stamped when he brought two copies to the Water Board office. Both copies were stamped but one copy left the office, which Briggs said was a mistake.
“We were kind of wondering how Mr. Murphy was going to use it,” Briggs said.
When the office received several calls from worried residents in Los Osos who wondered “if it was legit,” he added, that question was answered.
The Water Board has not supported the Reclamator and recently released a “fraud alert” regarding the AES letter.
Murphy, however, said he did not believe the stamp was acquired fraudulently. He and the Water Board have been at odds over the Reclamator. A court date is pending for Murphy’s $79.5 million lawsuit against the Water Board.
AES proposed to partner with the county but Supervisor Bruce Gibson announced on Oct. 7 that the county has not considered the Reclamator as a viable solution in Los Osos.
Meanwhile, Murphy said the letter prompted a lot of Reclamator orders, but he would not specify how many. While he remained tight-lipped about those who want a Reclamator, he said people who go without one will not be allowed the same privacy.
“We’re going to publish [their names] in the paper,” Murphy said. “Just like they were child molesters, the same thing—it’s criminal.”
Murphy has long held that his technology is not only the best, but it’s mandatory under federal law. Standing behind him is the public realtions firm S. Lombardi & Associates, which backs up the claim that the Water Board has intentionally ignored the Reclamator to maintain its stranglehold on sewage services.
“[Murphy is] putting the Water Board on notice along with everyone else,” S. Lombardi & Associates General Manager Jeff Lind said. “It’s criminal to be hiding the truth about this incredible proven technology ;”
In separate statements, neither Murphy nor S. Lombardi & Associates were shy that they’ve taken things into their own hands.
“They’re not doing their job, so we’re going to do their job for them,” Murphy said.