take-the-survey(Click on the photo to be directed to the poll.)

Jeff Carson, DSRSD operations manager

Jeff Carson, DSRSD operations manager

Dublin San Ramon Services District has hired Jeff Carson as its new operations manager. For the last four years, Carson was operations and maintenance manager for the City of Hayward’s water pollution control facility, which is similar in scale to DSRSD’s regional wastewater treatment facility. As DSRSD’s senior executive responsible for wastewater, drinking water, and recycled water operations, Carson will oversee a $14.3 million annual budget and 62 employees.

While with Hayward, Carson helped launch renewable energy and water recycling projects that brought state and national recognition to the city, including a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Leadership Award in 2015. The same year the facility was named Plant of the Year by the San Francisco Bay Section of the California Water Environment Association, the state’s leading training and certification organization for the wastewater industry. In June, CWEA named Carson one of “California’s Emerging Leaders in the Water Environment.”

“Jeff is a strong leader who continually improves operations through systematic training and sustaining a culture of teamwork,” says Dan McIntyre, DSRSD general manager.  “His experience in Hayward deploying state-of-the art technologies to recover energy and water from wastewater fit well with the District’s strategic goals.”

Carson has 19 years of wastewater industry experience in the Bay Area. Before Hayward, he was with the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin for four years, serving as interim general manager and chief operator. He also worked at Oro Loma Sanitary District for 11 years.

Carson holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and environmental studies from California State University East Bay and professional certifications in wastewater treatment, laboratory analysis, environmental compliance, and water distribution. In 2015 he was appointed to a nine-member committee that advises the State Water Resources Control Board on wastewater operator certification.

DSRSD’s former operations manager, Dan Gallagher, retired in May. A nationwide recruitment for the position attracted 25 applicants from across the country.

Source: Santa Clara Valley News: “Bottoms Up! Purified Recycled Water is Safe to Drink”

After 15 months of intensive water quality testing and systems monitoring, test results show that highly purified water produced from treated wastewater is just as safe to drink as regular tap water.

Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center (SVAWPC) engaged in an extensive demonstration research project over the last year and half on direct potable reuse. As part of the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Potable Reuse Demonstration project, a Test Plan was developed to thoroughly investigate the performance of each component of the advanced purification process (microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet disinfection) at the SVAWPC. It also evaluated an additional treatment process — advanced oxidation, which was added to the ultraviolet disinfection treatment component and used for further testing production of purified water for potable reuse. Advanced oxidation works with the ultraviolet light treatment process and together these two processes provide robust disinfection and removal of contaminants of emerging concern.

Over a 15-month period, 284 different constituents were tested every three months, and 4,000 total water quality samples were collected and analyzed. What did the results show?

  • All purification processes at the SVAWPC exhibited excellent performance.
  • Purification processes exhibited excellent removal of pathogens and contaminants of emerging concern, such as pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors.
  • Purified water produced by the SVAWPC with advanced oxidation meets or exceeds all California drinking water standards, including all potable reuse regulations for groundwater replenishment.
  • New ways of monitoring were proven to accurately verify the removal of pathogens and contaminants.
  • Critical Control Points, which are parameters that will ensure highest water quality, were identified.

See full report: http://www.valleywater.org/testplan/

The Environmental Engineering and Science Foundation in sponsoring a student video contest on what individuals can do to help reduce climate change.

The video is intended to motivate individuals to change daily habits that cause carbon emissions that may contribute to climate change.

The contest is open to undergraduate and graduate students. For complete rules and guidelines, visit http://www.eesfoundation.org/student-video-competition.

Deadline: December 18

On November 1, The City of Roseville hosted a CWEA Wastewater Disinfection Workshop at their Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Presentations covered wastewater disinfection basics for discharge and water reuse, a chlorine operator math refresher, chlorination/chloramination, a project highlight on conversion from chlorine to UV, considerations for retrofits to UV, and the innovative use of peracetic acid (PAA) for disinfection. About 40 participants attended the workshop, which included six presentation topics and concluded with a tour of Dry Creek WWTP led by Lead Operator Jason Fick.
 

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Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA) recently posted a story in their newsletter about a rescue involving ducks caught in some thick sludge.

It was the end of an October day for our staff at VVWRA, when mechanic Mike Koncur spotted a number of young ducks trapped in one of our drying beds. The drying beds contain thick sludge that is being dried by the sun. From the air, the drying beds can look like dry ground and that’s apparently what these birds thought. They landed in the sludge and were unable to get out. VVWRA employees quickly convened and discussed how to safely rescue the ducks. A plan was put together. The team used a tractor to push the ducks closer to the shore, where employees with a large net were able to scoop them up. In all, nine of the young ducks were rescued. All of them were tired and very dirty. The VVWRA rescue team managed to clean them up and released them to one our our ponds that contains recycled water. VVWRA’s mission is to protect public health by treating more then 10 million gallons of wastewater every single day. The duck rescue was an example of the extra effort our employees are willing to take to assure that the environment and animals that live in it are taken care of.

Wendy Hsaio Environmental Compliance Inspector, Ontario Municipal Utilities Company

Wendy Hsaio
Environmental Compliance Inspector, Ontario Municipal Utilities Company

How did you get into this profession?

I started out as a lab analyst at an environmental laboratory while in college. After I graduated, I went back to environmental laboratories doing project management. I have always wanted to be more proactive in environmental protection and to serve the public. The City of Montclair took the risk of hiring me, so I finally became an Environmental Compliance Inspector doing stormwater inspections, and I absolutely loved it! I love being out in the field, working with business owners, educating the public, and making positive impacts.

I am now with the Ontario Municipal Utilities Company and focus on the pretreatment program. The City of Ontario allows me to explore more types of industry and be more involved with pretreatment.

How did you first get involved in CWEA?

I have been involved with CWEA for as long as I have been an inspector, which is about three years. I joined the association because it was part of the job requirement to pass the ECI Grade 1 exam. I have been fortunate to attend many CWEA conferences and trainings in the past, but it was the first time I felt that I was really a part of it when CWEA asked me to join the ECI exam update project. Possibly because I complained too much, I think that is the real reason they asked me.

What was your role in the environmental compliance inspector exam update?

We all shared the same role in the exam update. We made sure that the questions correspond with the study guides. We removed questions that were unfit, confusing, or outdated, and came up with new questions to replace them. We also made sure that every question comes from a legitimate source that is accessible to everyone. We challenged each other with intellectual agreement on the subject, which was very inspiring. Of course, I loved the whole experience of working with everyone on the team and sharing the same goal of making things better for others. Vivien Malig and Chris Lundeen with CWEA were so great and worked so hard on this too. The project would not be completed without their effort.

What is the hardest part of being a subject matter expert?

First of all, there is still so much for me to learn. Part of the reason I joined the group was so that I could learn from other SMEs… and I did! The hardest part for me was to come up with good questions and corresponding multiple choices in the middle of the night – with legit sources, approval from the group, the right amount of difficulty, right wordings, etc. This was the hardest part. We spent hours on discussing wordings like “and,” “or,” “shall,” etc.

I remember having a severe headache after our first meeting at Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.

What is your personal goal as a subject matter expert? [Read more]

The National Rural Water Association, the nation’s largest water utility association with over 31,000 members announces the creation of the NRWA Workforce Advancement Center. The Center will develop the WaterPro Apprenticeship Program, a nationally recognized standard that will be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

“The NRWA Workforce Advancement Center will ensure a well-trained and capable water sector workforce to meet the increasing demands of the water industry,” said NRWA CEO Sam Wade. “Advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training needed to protect public health and the environment. The apprenticeship program will ensure we have the skilled and educated workforce we need well into the future.”

NRWA State Affiliates will jointly make the announcement at training events for water and wastewater operations specialists in California, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Indiana, West Virginia and New York. The announcement and events will commemorate National Apprenticeship Week 2016 and will highlight the need for a national water sector apprenticeship initiative.

It takes over 380,000 highly skilled water and wastewater personnel to ensure the public supply of safe drinking water and to protect our lakes, streams and groundwater. Advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training required of this workforce. Water professionals are ultimately responsible for meeting stringent regulatory standards, replacing aging infrastructure, recruiting and training new operations specialists, and responding to and recovering from disasters.

In addition to increasing professional demands, utilities will soon be forced to replace many of their most experienced employees. Between 2010 and 2020, the water sector is expected to lose between 30 and 50 percent of the workforce to retirement. Many of these employees have worked at the same utility for the majority of their careers, and they will depart with decades of valuable institutional knowledge.

By Joe Grindstaff as posted in PublicCEO – Joe is the general manager of Inland Empire Utilities Agency and a CWEA member.

California is growing. Our population growth remains steady, as more people want to live and work here each year. And our economy continues to expand at a rate that would be the envy of many states in our nation, not to mention nations around the world.

That growth comes with responsibilities, including the important task of ensuring the people of our state can continue to rely on the water and energy supplies and services that utilities in California provide. Water and energy utilities have long shared a symbiotic connection: the “Water-Energy Nexus.” Put simply, it takes a lot of water to make electricity and it takes a lot of electricity to pump, move and, now, recycle and reuse water.

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) has grown from a supplemental water source for the Chino Basin to a wholesale water supplier and regional wastewater district serving 875,000 customers. To successfully manage that growth over time, we have maintained a 66-year history of innovation and efficiency. Now, as we work to build a sustainable future, we continue to search for innovative solutions.

As part of that search, IEUA’s Board of Directors made the decision to invest in renewable generation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ensure energy cost savings and remove our facilities from the electric grid for peak power needs by 2020. Today, IEUA creates electricity with solar, wind and biofuel technology, producing more than half of the peak power demand for our wastewater treatment plants.

Many organizations with similar goals understand that renewable power sources can be unpredictable — the sun must be shining to create solar energy and we need wind to drive turbines. We need to be able to store the power we generate, so that it can be used when customers and the grid need it most. We have learned energy self-sustainability takes more than just making power — it takes management as well.

With this challenge in mind, IEUA has considered energy storage for our needs. Recent developments in battery technology and energy storage business models have made storage an efficient solution to our energy challenges. Borrowing from the practice of storing water in reservoirs until we need it, IEUA teamed with San Francisco-based Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) to install state-of-the-art Tesla Energy batteries at our wastewater treatment plants in a first-of-its-kind system. The created “energy reservoirs” will store excess energy generated by our onsite power resources or directly from the electric grid and make it available to IEUA and the grid when needed.

 View the full commentary here.


Similar post: Napa Sanitation District Partners with Tesla on Battery Storage Project

CWEA, along with the Association of California Water Agencies, California Association of Sanitation Agencies, CA‐NV Section American Water Works Association, California Urban Water Agencies and WateReuse California submitted an additional comment letter to the State Water Resources Control Board offering several recommendations for modifying the Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) report before submittal to the California Legislature.

We believe the issuance of this report, and the finding that it is feasible to develop uniform water recycling criteria for Direct Potable Reuse (DPR), are major milestones toward providing a new drought‐proof water supply to California communities. Potable reuse, including DPR, has the potential to provide an additional 1.1 million‐acre‐feet (MAF) of potable water supplies per year, enough to serve more than 8 million Californians or one‐fifth of the state’s population by 2020, according to a 2014 report by the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (formerly WateReuse Research Foundation). Timely adoption of DPR regulations is also needed to help meet the state’s water recycling goals of an additional 1 MAF by 2020 and 2 MAF by 2030.

Read the full comment letter here.

An Interview with Garry Brown,  DPR Advisory Group Chair
Garry Brown Chair, State Water Board DPR Advisory Group President, OC Coastkeeper

Garry Brown
Chair, State Water Board DPR Advisory Group
President, OC Coastkeeper

The State’s recent steps toward direct potable reuse (DPR) might seem like an out of the blue solution to many people. Not to Garry Brown, the Executive Director of OC Coastkeeper. A long-time veteran of Southern California’s battles over water and water quality, Garry has watched for decades as water reuse grew and expanded in Orange County, becoming a popular solution to slake the region’s thirst.

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-9-27-43-amAs part of the State Water Board’s research into the feasibility of DPR, Garry was asked to chair a 15 member Advisory Group consisting of community, water and business leaders. The Advisory Group’s draft DPR report was released in October and contained five recommendations about the feasibility of DPR as well as six additional recommendations to help support implementation.

In a recent interview, Garry recalled several water reuse milestones that all took place in Orange County where he lives. This includes: the creation of Water Factory 21 in the 1970s by Orange County Water District (OCWD), one of the first indirect reuse facilities; the development of purple pipe recycled water systems at the Irvine Ranch Water District; and the incredible success of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) in Fountain Valley, one of the world’s largest and most advanced indirect potable reuse facilities.

For Garry, DPR is not a surprising or unusual solution to California’s crippling drought. For decades, he’s watched potable reuse grow into a safe and reliable source of water for Orange County. DPR is the next logical step for California – it’s time to share with everyone the reuse solutions Orange County has perfected.

We spoke with Garry at the OC Coastkeeper headquarters in Costa Mesa.

As Chair of the Advisory Group why is DPR important for the future of California’s water supply?

In my 20 years of doing this I’ve never seen the environmental community come together so strongly to embrace a societal solution as we did to embrace direct potable reuse. We believe this is the best, most efficient source for drinking water going forward.

The environmental community is excited about DPR and we’re pleased to see this has good momentum, there is enthusiasm for this at all levels but also caution. There is a recognition we’ve got to do this right, we cannot have a misstep at any stage.

One of the greatest challenges water professionals face for water reuse is public acceptance – will Californians accept DPR?

We’ve seen a huge shift in the public’s attitude toward reuse since 2008 when the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) came on line.  We have to do this DPR regulatory process right, it’s taken this long for the public to get over it. Now that we’ve built that public trust we can’t screw it up.

I think today there is even more public acceptance of reuse. The Orange County Water District took the first courageous step with GWRS and the plant is beyond everyone’s expectations. It could have been a failure but it turned out to be a resounding success. It won the Stockholm Water Prize – the Noble Prize of water. I think there is now a healthy new competition among water districts to get these potable reuse projects done and to outshine one another.

The State Water Board workshop on Oct 4th was interesting, the DPR meeting was a totally different atmosphere. The biggest critic at the meeting wasn’t even critical, his point was every step of this needs to be open, with public transparency and we all agree. Everybody was on the same page at that meeting in Sacramento and that doesn’t happen very often in our political process these days. If you want to talk contentious, talk about the  Delta fix or any number of issues, but at the DPR workshop everyone was together on this.

Garry presented the Advisory Group's report at the State Water Board workshop in October.

Garry presented the Advisory Group’s report at the State Water Board workshop in October.

What happens next for your Advisory Group?

Now that we have the momentum how do we keep it going? I think the State Water Board staff on the drinking water side did a great job – I cannot say enough good things about them. They helped make this a successful process.

What I’m concerned about at this stage is the effort necessary to move forward. We’ll encourage the State Water Board to invest in the research projects that are needed and add staff to get this done.

As of Dec 31st we’ve satisfied everything the Legislature required so everything can stop unless there’s an effort to move this forward. And that’s a concern. We are going to be urging the State Water Board to look at their budgetary process to continue this, not just continue but to add more staff to this. The professional associations raised funds to get the research done so far. Commitment by the State Board is now needed by allocating budget and staff to move this forward.

At OC Coastkeeper we have a commitment to see this through and get it done.

When a member of the public asks about DPR – how do you explain it?

I tell them that there are a number of tools in the toolbox that can be used to develop new sources of water, and certainly during the drought this is important. I say there are some projects like ocean desalination which seem like a romantic, easy solution but has the greatest environmental impact. Desal is by far the most expensive water source and takes three times the energy, so desal is the least best option.

We have proven that basically indirect potable reuse (IPR) is the smartest, most efficient, least impactful and cost effective way to generate drinking water. Under IPR you have to live on top of an aquifer or near a lake so it is only applicable to a few cities,and the water district has to be in control of that lake or aquifer.

DPR is applicable everywhere, that’s the big difference. Cities or regions that need water, whether they are inland or on the coast, they can utilize this option, that’s the real benefit of DPR.

It’s basically comparable to the price we’re paying today for imported water. There is a toolbox full of tools and each city will need to decide which ones to use.

The Advisory Group’s report mentioned water and wastewater operators several times – why are they important in the DPR process?

CWEA and AWWA are listed in the report as the recommended groups for certified training, and we recommend they collaborate together.

The whole foundation of DPR is it has to be done safely and the people who are going to ensure safety are going to be the operators of these facilities. A great amount of attention and care should be given to training and certification, and to the path that is laid out for becoming an operator of an advanced water treatment facility. It’s critical that when we build these billion dollar projects they are operated safely and reliably. And quite frankly, people’s lives will depend on it.

Right now, what gives solace to Orange County’s Groundwater Replenishment System (an IPR treatment plant) is you have a massive environmental buffer – the aquifer beneath Orange County. There cannot be a crisis because it goes into the ground first. If you find out there’s a problem, okay then shut it down.

If you’re running the same Advanced Water Treatment Plant as a DPR facility, then you know in potentially 36 hours, water will be in the distribution system headed to homes and businesses. That puts more pressure on the operators and that puts pressure on the industry to develop more sophisticated monitoring.

It is the professional associations everyone is looking at to have a major role in this. Everyone is looking to the associations to help get this done right.

Operators at OCWD in Fountain Valley.

Operators at OCWD in Fountain Valley.

Do you worry water quality issues such as Flint could happen here in California? [Read more]

From WaterWorld Magazine

Biwater have been awarded a contract to design, supply and supervise the installation and commissioning of both ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) systems for the Groundwater Reliability Improvement Program (GRIP) advanced water treatment facility being constructed in Pico Rivera, Southern California.

The new 14.8 million US gallon per day (56 million liter per day) plant will support the Water Replenishment District (WRD) of Southern California in its aim to be 100 percent independent from imported water. Site work is underway following the recent ground breaking ceremony to meet a completion date of July 2018.

“Biwater is on track to supply state-of-the-art UF and RO systems by late 2017 for the new GRIP advanced water treatment plant. The membrane systems are two of the three key process technologies essential to the indirect potable reuse solution. Biwater’s membrane technologies will help replenish groundwater supplies to ensure local aquifers are sustainable and continue to be a vital and growing contributor to the region’s water demands,” said Jorg Menningmann, President of Biwater’s Membrane Treatment and Desalination Sector (Biwater Inc.).

Go to the full article.

Bryan Trussell, P.E., BCEE, CWEA Los Angeles Basin Section Past President

Bryan Trussell, P.E., BCEE, CWEA Los Angeles Basin Section Past President

Reliability | Redundancy | Robustness | Resilience

Trussell Technologies, a family run environmental engineering firm focused on process and water quality was recently cited by the DPR Expert Panel Report for their significant work on WateReuse. The firm has played and continues to play a significant role in the development of treatment processes for reuse projects. We interviewed Bryan Trussell, P.E., BCEE and CWEA Los Angeles Basin Section Past President on the role Trussell Technologies plays in the DPR report.  

What was Trussell Technologies role in the State Water Board’s Expert Panel report on DPR? 

Trussell Technologies had no direct role in the expert panel report on DPR. Our founder Rhodes Trussell was originally appointed chair of the State Expert Panel, but he rescinded the position because it became clear that our work on WateReuse Research Foundation (14-12), Demonstrating Redundancy and Monitoring to Achieve Direct Potable Reuse, was developing salient information that would be evaluated by this panel. The Expert Panel cited our work under WRRF 14-12 throughout portions of their report, particularly in their reliability assessment. The Expert Panel concluded that DPR was in fact feasible, using data from 14-12 as evidence that DPR systems can provide consistent protection of public health.

Representation of a reliability framework for direct potable reuse. The two strategies for achieving reliability are failure prevention (through redundancy and robustness) and failure response (through resilience)

Representation of a reliability framework for direct potable reuse. The two strategies for achieving reliability are failure prevention (through redundancy and robustness) and failure response (through resilience)

Can you explain the 4Rs and why they are important in Trussell’s planning for water reuse projects?

The concept of the 4Rs is to provide a framework for delivering safe water to our consumers. The 4Rs work together to build a solid foundation for our treatment systems. The first ‘R’ is reliability and is truly the fundamental goal of the 4Rs framework–to provide a reliable source of safe drinking water to our consumers. To achieve this goal of reliability, the remaining 3 R’s provide the foundation. Redundancy provides additional treatment or monitoring that goes beyond the minimum requirements to ensure treatment goals are more reliably met or that performance is more reliably demonstrated. Robustness provides the treatment train with a variety of different treatment mechanisms, thus addressing a broad range of contaminants and providing resistance to failure. Resilience addresses the ability of the treatment train to recover and/or respond to a treatment failure. In combination, these 3Rs (redundancy, robustness, and resilience) combine to both prevent failures and properly respond to any that do occur. Through this foundation, reliability is achieved. These are the basic tenets of the 4Rs concept. Download the AWWA Journal article on the 4Rs .

Where did Trussell Tech get inspiration for the 4Rs?

The 4Rs concept was developed within Trussell Technologies over several years of conducting research projects in potable reuse. All safe potable reuse systems employ certain elements to prevent and respond to failures, though the way we balance these elements differs as we move from groundwater recharge to surface water augmentation to DPR. With the 4Rs we began to conceptualize how planned potable reuse could be accomplished.

The concept is broader than the critical control points framework. In fact, critical control points are a necessary component of any reliable potable reuse facility and must be incorporated into the 4Rs framework to achieve their common goal. Specifically, one element of the 4Rs, redundancy, can be informed by a careful review of the protections provided by the critical control points of the treatment system. Based on the findings, additional treatment and monitoring may be added to improve the overall reliability of the treatment system.

How did the 4Rs concept end up in the State Water Board’s draft report on DPR feasibility?

We had several published documents on the 4Rs in performing our work with both the City of San Diego and Padre Dam Municipal Water District, both of whom are pursuing non-traditional potable reuse projects. As a result of these projects, we have also been in constant communication with DDW about the developing regulatory landscape. It is likely that the Expert Panel, through our published documents and through dialoguing with DDW, took hold of the 4Rs concept, saw its broad application and inclusion of other common concepts, and included it in their report as a result.

What’s Trussell Tech’s confidence in the safety of DPR? Do your engineers sample the purified water at your pilot projects? 

We are confident that DPR can be done safely. The primary concern of a DPR system is to prevent the acute impacts of pathogens, which can have an immediate impact on the consumers. Microfiltration and reverse osmosis in combination with advanced oxidation provide effective barriers to these pathogens and, work in WRRF 14-12 has shown that these, in combination with ozone, biological carbon filtration and chlorination can make safe drinking water from a nitrified wastewater effluent.  Many of our engineers have tasted the reuse water at various pilot and demonstration projects, including projects that are not led by Trussell Technologies. The key focus of the 4Rs and developing DPR treatment is to ensure that the approach provided proves to be reliable and can stand the test of time.

Trussell Tech’s research in California is frequently mentioned in prestigious research reports such as the State Water Board’s draft report on DPR. What advice do you give to young engineers who want to join a cutting edge firm such as yours? [Read more]

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It is with great sympathy that we report the passing of CWEA Santa Ana River Basin Section Past President Henry Williams. Henry entered the United States Army in 1951, where he honorably served until 1955. He lived in San Bernardino County for 9 years and worked for the City of Riverside as Water Quality Control Supervisor for 38 years. He will be dearly missed, by all those whose life he touched.

Henry was a long-time friend and an inspiration to me in the Collection System group.  He was so involved for many years and even after retirement continued to mentor so many younger wastewater professionals.  He will be missed. – Phil Scott, CWEA Immediate Past President

It is because of Henry that I became involved with the SARBS Board of Directors. – Berlinda Blackburn, CWEA Board of Director

The Memorial Service for Henry Williams is on November 20th 2016 at 1:30 pm at:

THE GARDEN OF PRAYER MORTUARY
7944 MANOLIA AVE.
RIVERSIDE, CA

On November 2nd, CWEA together with our partner the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation hosted a regulatory training workshop in Dublin. Participants organized themselves into groups each representing a different stake-holder in the on-site water reuse regulatory process.

Groups were provided with a workbook developed by the workshop host Kathryn Giess from West Yost Associates. Kathryn is Vice President of CWEA’s San Francisco Bay Section. In between the workbook group exercises, on-site reuse experts spoke about several topics including: regulations, technologies, lessons learned and what a national workgroup is planning to do in the near future.

downloadpresentations-button

San Francisco has one of the most advanced on-site regulatory programs, in part due to necessity said Paula Kehoe, Director of Water Resources for SFPUC.

“We’ve been working on alternative water supplies for many years. Things really came to a head for us in 2008 when we were designing the reuse systems for our new headquarters which opened in 2012.  These systems have reduced our potable water usage by 60% for this building. Developers came to us saying they wanted to do on-site reuse as well, rain water reuse, building drainage. They wanted to obtain LEED standards.  We needed to put our regulatory program together.” – Paula Kehoe

San Francisco was in a good position to develop on-site regulations as it is both the City and County government, so the agencies already work closely with one another.

“Today we have 20 systems operating in San Francisco, and we expect a lot more. In 2015 Board of Supervisors approved a requirement for large new developments to reuse water. So more projects coming on-line.”

Paula warned the audience to take the time necessary to build their on-site regulations properly and to work as a team with the local agencies who will be involved in the process. “This is not something to rush into, be ready for the long haul,” she said.

LA County Department of Public Health inspector Glenn van Eekhout also encouraged the audience to work together as a team with their fellow agencies when developing reuse regulations. He’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly of on-site reuse systems installed in the Los Angeles Basin. He reminded the audience protection of public health is the paramount concern for all of us.

“To get water reuse projects done all the agencies have to work together in order to protect public health. One thing to emphasize local agencies need to work together. Sit down with one another and talk about the projects together.” – Glenn van Eekhout

Expert Amelia Luna from Sherwood Design Engineers also warned the audience protection of public health must be the most important goal. “Right now we take a grab sample for fecal coliform and have to wait a full day for results to come back. Monitoring for surrogates in real time can better protect public health,” said Ameila.

Attendee Cindy Clark, Chief Development Officer for Sustainable Silicon Valley was pleased with the workshop and pointed to the interactive group exercises as a highlight. “The workshop really brought our table together, there were people from cities, water and regulatory agencies and non-profits that really need to be talking more with one another. It helped all of us see the opportunities and challenges for on-site water reuse from other points of views. This was a very productive workshop, loved it!”

[Read more]

A $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation has been rewarded to Cuyamaca College for an innovative new program to improve and expand training of the next generation of water industry professionals needed to operate and maintain California’s complex water supply and delivery systems.

The Water Research Foundation and the American Water Works Association anticipate that water utilities will lose up to half their workforce over the next decade as older workers opt to retire. A 2014 Water Research Foundation report estimates that nearly one-third of the water industry workforce is eligible to retire.

California WaterWorks will train water and wastewater technicians at a historic point in time for water infrastructure. A $7.5 billion bond measure was approved by voters in November 2014 to address the state’s critical water and wastewater infrastructure deficiencies. California water and wastewater agencies are projected to carry out $45.8 billion in upgrades to the water system and $27.8 billion in wastewater systems improvements over the next two decades.

See details on the Cuyamaca College website.