SWRCB_Logo1[1]The State Water Resources Control Board has issued a .

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will hold a public meeting to receive comments on proposed Water Reclamation Requirements for Recycled Water Use (General Order). The State Water Board may adopt the General Order at the end of the meeting. The location and time of the public meeting is provided below.

Tuesday, April 19June 7, 2016 – 9:00 a.m.

Joe Serna Jr. – CalEPA Headquarters Building

Coastal Hearing Room

1001 I Street, Second Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814

The Public Comment deadline has been extended to May 13, 2016 by 12 noon.

Download the notice here.

EPA Webcast: Enabling the Water Resources Utility of the Future Webinar Series Part 2

Thursday, May 19

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Cost: $0 

Please join NACWA, WEF, U.S. EPA, WERF, and WateReuse in this second webinar in a series focused on innovative ways in which utilities are becoming their own Utility of the Future to explore how utilities are building and nurturing a sustainable workforce. Future webinars will cover other leading topics like building public support, green infrastructure, and watershed-based solutions. Learn more.

Creative Solutions for the Recovery of Commodities from Wastewater

Wednesday, May 25
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
Cost: $0 members | $40 nonmembers

Nutrients, energy, (new) water, and biosolids are established resources that can be recovered from wastewater – but are there other value-added products that can be extracted from wastewater? This web seminar showcases WERF’s latest research on the recovery of additional commodities from water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) including carbon-based products, bioplastic, bioisoprene, plasmids, and rare earth elements. Learn more.



From the national American Water Works Association (AWWA)…

With the crisis in Flint, Michigan vaulting lead risks into the public consciousness, the American Water Works Association has launched a web-based Lead Resource Community accessible to water professionals, media and the general public.

The Lead Resource Community, available at www.awwa.org/lead, provides a place for water utilities to gain insight and guidance on lead service lines, the Lead and Copper Rule, corrosion control and other lead management issues. It also includes a news feed, public statements, legislative and regulatory developments and research on lead in water.

“The water community and public health experts have collaborated for many years to reduce lead risks in water, and there is still more work to do,” said AWWA CEO David LaFrance. “The Lead Resource Community brings the latest technical and public policy developments together in one place.”

Visit  www.awwa.org/lead to learn more.

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and WateReuse—with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—proudly announce a new Utility of the Future (UOTF) Today Recognition Program. The program will celebrate the progress and exceptional performance of our nation’s wastewater utilities while supporting the widespread adoption of the innovative UOTF business model.

The UOTF concept was first introduced in 2013 to guide utilities of all sizes toward smarter, more efficient operations and a progression to full resource recovery with enhanced productivity, sustainability, and resiliency. Since then many utilities have successfully implemented new and creative programs to address local wastewater technical and community challenges.

The UOTF Today Recognition Program will build on this success by celebrating these advancements and experiences; encouraging the adoption of UOTF principles (water reuse, watershed stewardship, beneficial biosolids reuse, community partnering & engagement, energy efficiency, energy generation & recovery, and nutrient & materials recovery) as the “Organizational Culture of the Future;” and enabling participants across a broad range of capacities and capabilities to collaborate, learn, and continue to evolve as a unified sector.

“Promoting utilities of the future and the sector-wide adoption of resource recovery remains a top priority for WEF,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “We are excited about this new opportunity to recognize the achievements of small, medium and large forward-thinking utilities that are providing sustainable, efficient, and value-added service to communities nationwide.”

“EPA is pleased to provide input to the partnering Associations on this important new program. We believe it will play an important role in EPA’s efforts to advance effective and sustainable practices that will help utilities across the sector on their journey to becoming the Utility of the Future,” said Andrew Sawyers, Director, Office of Wastewater Management, U.S. EPA.

Public and private wastewater utilities of all sizes are encouraged to apply by 5:00 p.m. EDT, June 17, 2016. Applicants must have no major permit violations in the past year prior to the submission date of their applications. Winners will be notified by July 29 and announced/officially recognized during an awards ceremony at WEFTEC 2016—WEF’s 89th annual technical exhibition and conference—this September in New Orleans, La.

To learn more, visit www.wefnet.org/utilityrecognition or contact UtilityRecognition@wef.org.

Start planning your week and stay connected with the social buzz surrounding AC16 by downloading the FREE Guidebook mobile app today!

Download the Guidebook app on your mobile phone
Sponsored by:

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AC2016 Guidebook AppWith our mobile app you can:

  • Review sessions and speakers to pick the ones you want to see and add them to your personal schedule.
  • Search for exhibitors you want to see and verify where they are located on the exhibit map.
  • Review and add the Opening General Session, committee breakfasts and pre-conference workshops to your schedule.
  • Stay updated on all schedule changes – the app will notify you when they occur.
  • Connect with fellow attendees via Facebook before, during and after the event with the quick link.
  • Provide us feedback on the sessions you attend by filling out the quick survey in each description. Your feedback will help us to continue improving our education and training.

View full Conference Brochure at Myac16.org
View all AC16 Educational Sessions
Discounted pre-reg pricing extended through April 29th

Kent Carlson (l) with Dorris Place team member Patricia. Kent has developed a brown ribbon to honor sewer workers.

Kent Carlson (l) with Dorris Place team member Patricia. Kent uses brown ribbons to honor sewer workers.

Kent Carlson
Operations Manager
City of Los Angeles
Department of Public Works
Bureau of Sanitation

“I believe a well-trained sewer worker is one of the most valuable resources a city has. It would be great if CWEA and CWEA members would take up the brown ribbon campaign to honor all sewer workers.”

How did you get into the profession?

I joined the city as a Machinist at Hyperion Treatment Plant for the first part of my career. About 20 years ago Bureau leaders noticed we were bringing more high-tech systems into the treatment plants but not bringing any new technology into the sewer side. I accepted a transfer to the collections side to assist with tool development.

In 1992 our Division Manager, Mr. Barry Berggren, developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that standardized the way we cleaned sewers so that all 6 yards across the city cleaned consistently using the same tools, cleaning procedures, and safety protocols.

I went about setting up a facility to perform benchmark testing for sewer nozzles performance as part of the SOP. The benchmarking enabled us to select the best nozzles and tools for our needs.  Over the last 24 years we really got this down to a science and that helped us get sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) down to a record low.

Where did the brown ribbons come from and what do they represent?

My daughter Hailey actually came up with the idea one day.  I was reading the book Brown Acres by Anna Skalar a history of LA’s sewer system, and I mentioned that there was no recognition in the book regarding the LA City sewer workers and there should be a way to honor sewer workers.

She told me, ‘what you should do is use brown ribbons to recognize sewer workers.’

I thought it was a great idea.  There’s really nothing nationwide to recognize sewer workers. So we made some ribbons and brought them here to the yard. It was a hit.

We wore them on National Public Works Recognition Day at City Hall. Everybody wore one.

You know when you think about what we do – the atmospheres we go into, the working conditions, it’s pretty vile. We are the firewall between all of that bad stuff and the public. We’re the ones keeping people safe. The true unsung heroes protecting our residents and our environment every day.

In the City of Los Angeles we have a 130 year history of sewer workers, and we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished.

[Read more]

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 9.59.36 AMLook for the ideacache boxes around the Santa Clara Convention Center filled with surprises, from one on one time with President Phil Scott and Executive Director Elizabeth Allan to books and treats. It’s like geocaching but with cool prizes!

Here’s how it works:

  • Follow @CWEAAC16 on Facebook during the conference to find the locations for the day.
  • Find the ideacache.
  • Take a prize and “check in” by posting a photo with your find using #CWEAideas16 and @CWEAAC16

Happy searching!


Thank you to our ideacahing sponsor:


News website Water Deeply recently interviewed Dr. Sebastien Tilmans about the wastewater reuse research center being established at Stanford University. Sebastien is the director of operations at the William and Cloy Codiga Resource Recovery Center at the University.

Catch Sebastien at the Sustainable Silicon Valley reuse session at AC16 on Thursday April 28th from 3:10-4:30 pm. He will be presenting together with Peter Haase from Aqualogic and Drew Wenzel from Google. The presentations are moderated by Bob Hitchner, the Chief Marketing Officer for Nexus eWater.

In a place like California we are so drought stricken we can’t afford to waste the waste anymore. Here in Silicon Valley we use the water once and it goes in the ocean. In 10 years or a little longer, I’d like to see us recycling all our wastewater. And I think we can be recycling water in an energy-neutral way. I’d love to see our broader society view wastewater as another water supply and a raw material to be used for the highest and best use.

Continue reading Sebastien’s interview on Water Deeply…

CWEA has partnered with Sustainable Silicon Valley for a panel discussion about Onsite Reuse during Annual Conference in Santa Clara. We recently talked with Peter Haase, one of the panel members, about his experiences with onsite reuse.

Catch the Sustainable Silicon Valley reuse session at AC16 on Thursday April 28th from 3:10-4:30 pm. Peter will be presenting together with Dr. Sebastien Tilmans from Stanford and Drew Wenzel from Google. The presentations are moderated by Bob Hitchner, the Chief Marketing Officer for Nexus eWater.


Peter Hasse, Principal Engineer with Fall Creek Engineering and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer for Acqualogic

Peter is a Principal Engineer with Fall Creek Engineering and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer for Acqualogic. Peter has over 31 years of professional experience in the field of civil, environmental, and water resources engineering and international development. In his positions Peter directs the design, construction and servicing of decentralized water and wastewater treatment projects in California and internationally.

Have you had success with onsite wastewater reuse?
Yes, we have over 25 years of experience with onsite reuse. Our systems use anaerobic & aerobic treatment including anaerobic baffled reactors, trickling filters and constructed wetlands.

We’ve done a lot of installations where the treated effluent from our treatment systems is reused onsite for ornamental landscaping, playing fields and fruit trees. Other reuses include wineries where the treated water is used on grapevines, pastures and dust control on farm roads.

What is one of the biggest challenges facing onsite wastewater reuse today?

A big challenge we face is getting qualified operators. There is no real classification for onsite reuse, and with the existing certification process it is necessary for an operator to be already working at a municipal wastewater treatment plant in order to become certified.

This presents a real challenge to private enterprise. Onsite wastewater treatment has been around for a long time, but non-water professionals, such as contractors, don’t have the training and expertise necessary to operate the more sophisticated systems that are being used today.

Risk avoidance means we need to have sophisticated monitoring and qualified service providers. It is very difficult for private enterprise to get operators certified. There needs to be a parallel track for certification of operators who are not working at municipal plants.

Additionally, a lot of existing operators are baby boomers and will be retiring soon. The shortage of qualified and certified operators will affect both municipal and private treatment facilities. It is important to streamline certification to encourage people to enter this field, whether public or private.

How do you see wastewater reuse evolving in the future?

Onsite Wastewater Reuse is an emerging technology, and I see a greater call for onsite water reuse as the technology improves and demand for water continues to increase. The cost is more economical due to more remote monitoring and lower infrastructure costs.

Building a big pipe to a centralized wastewater treatment plant is becoming less economically viable as more water is reused onsite. Traditionally decentralized systems were used in more remote areas that could not be tied into the centralized system.

Now we are finding these systems are being installed in urban areas which would have previously been hooked into the centralized system, with the developers choosing to reuse a portion of the plant effluent onsite in non-potable applications.

There has been a notion that private enterprise for wastewater treatment, incorporating onsite reuse, and centralized municipal wastewater systems are at odds with one another. But as the infrastructure ages we need to work together to provide the most cost effective treatment for wastewater, and wastewater reuse.

The San Diego Union Tribune created this infographic to explain the Nexus eWater greywater treatment system.

The San Diego Union Tribune created this infographic to explain the Nexus eWater greywater treatment system.

Exhibits only passes are available for AC16 on Wednesday for $30 and Thursday for $50 which includes lunch. Peter’s presentation will be on Thursday. Click here to learn more and purchase exhibit hall only tickets.

To register for a full AC16 conference pass please visit www.myac16.org.

To learn more about Peter’s firm Aqualogic please visit www.acqualogic.com

P3S16 Conference Committee

P3S Conference Organizing Committee (l-r): Berlinda Blackburn; Jonathon Powell; Julie Taylor; Abigail Gomez (Conference Chair); Shannon Simmers; Alina Constantinescu ; Paul Schmitbauer and Alec Mackie

With the Annual Conference in Santa Clara just a week away, we asked CWEA members Alina Constantinescu and Abigail Gomez about the value of 21st Century Education and how it’s changing the way we learn. Alina began her career in the water quality field in 2003 at the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. In 2008 she moved to the Bay Area and has been working as a Project Engineer at Larry Walker Associates ever since. Alina is the incoming Chair of CWEA’s Pretreatment, Pollution Prevention, and Stormwater (P3S) Committee. Abigail is the outgoing conference chair for P3S and is an Environmental Compliance Inspector with the City of Riverside.

Since CWEA as an association has been on the 21st Century Education path, what have you seen change?
AC: I’ve enjoyed participating in the interactive learning sessions at conferences and workshops. The speakers are more dynamic and thus audience members are more engaged. It’s been fun exchanging ideas and getting to know the people at ‘my table’.

What are the positive impacts from 21st Century Learning on the association, the members, the conference attendees? And do you practice this in your own agency?
AC: Through interaction between the speakers and the audience as well as between audience members themselves, the learning style has changed. I believe everyone involved retains more information while also getting to know their colleagues. It’s a win-win. I strive to incorporate the same active learning style in presentations at my own job.

Has it changed how you lead, collaborate and think critically in your professional life?
AC: 21st Century Learning has made me more aware of the way people learn – with active participation and audience engagement as key elements of a successful presentation. I strive to apply these principles when presenting to colleagues and clients.

What kind of impact has this style of learning had on the P3S Conference?
AG: CWEA’s 21st Century Education approach has been and continues to be well received by the P3S community. As evidence, many attendees at the 2016 P3S Conference in Riverside commented to me on how refreshing and innovative the opening session was compared to prior years. This style of learning is providing various attendees to learn and absorb material through new and creative ways. The approach can be summarized in one simple phrase…less yawning and more interaction.

Having attended the Annual Conference in San Diego last year I had the opportunity to see Jeff Hurt shake things up at the opening session and saw how well it was received by the attendees. So when it came to planning the opening session for the P3S conference I gave Jeff free range and encouraged him to think outside of the box. Attendees walked into the opening session layout and immediately observed that it was socially uncomfortable and encouraged interaction. Once the opening session began it was difficult to get people to stop talking, which I have never witnessed in the past. With the help of CWEA’s Staff, the P3S Executive Committee, Program Chair: Cassie Pruhdel, Room Moderators, Session Chairs, Speakers and all of the Volunteers the conference in Riverside was incredibly successful. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the conference and chairing the committee. I highly encourage anyone looking for a challenge to contact anyone on the P3S Committee or CWEA staff.

Where do you see CWEA in 5 or 10 years?
AC: I expect CWEA will continue as California’s leading wastewater training and certification organization.

Is the 21st century model working?
AC: I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s definitely working for me. To be fair, I hear good feedback from others, too.

You can reach Alina at alinac@lwa.com and Abigail at AZGomez@riversideca.gov.

How have you become versed in this new wave of learning? Share your thoughts about 21st Century Education in the comment section below.

Petaluma Environmental Services Manager and CWEA member Leah Walker describes the natural gas collection and automotive fueling station at the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility, part of an overall $15 million expansion expected for completion in 2018.

The project will allow Ellis Creek to keep pace with the massive growth in local breweries, dairy processors and others — companies that generally truck their high-strength waste elsewhere for treatment. Shortening those trips will lower greenhouse gas emissions, as will the eventual switch from most of Petaluma’s diesel-powered garbage trucks to those running on biologically derived natural gas.

“We are very excited to be given the opportunity to beneficially use a previously discarded energy resource to the advantage of our citizens and our environment,” said Dan St. John, Petaluma’s director of public works.

Named as the first runner-up following an initial grant application to the Energy Commission in 2014, Petaluma scooted up a notch to a winning position after the exit of another bidder, Walker said. The Energy Commission announced Petaluma’s award on March 9.

Adding the ability to treat high-strength waste will allow the plant to produce enough methane gas to replace an anticipated 117,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, Walker said. With fewer truck miles traveled and more fossil fuel remaining underground, the work will allow an annual reduction of around 3,030 tons of greenhouse gases emitted.

“We thought we had this really compelling project, to take our locally produced methane gas from the wastewater of our local industry and turn it into fuel for our garbage trucks,” she said.

The ability to handle that high-strength waste comes as welcome news for the city’s food and beverage manufacturers, companies that are estimated to pump around $1.3 billion into the broader Sonoma County economy while directly employing as many as 1,500 people, according to 2014 study commissioned by the city of Petaluma.

Matt Pierce, Operations Supervisor and CWEA member of the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility at the facility in Petaluma. (Photo by Scott Manchester, Argus Courier Staff)

Read the full story here.

Twitter-Linked-in-AC16-students-promoNow is a great time to be a young water professional.  Why? As the Baby Boomers start to retire there are so many new opportunities available in the water sector. According to WEF and AWWA about 30% of the water workforce will retire over the next few years.

So how can young professionals get their foot in the door?

At the 2016 Annual Conference in Santa Clara you can network, learn and have some fun with 2,000 water professionals from across California. Put your career on the fast track and get involved in CWEA. Our Conference Chairs and the Students & Young Professionals Committee have put together an outstanding list of events and training sessions. This is a networking event you don’t want to miss.

If you register before April 11th you’ll get the pre-conference price.

Upload your resume for agencies to view before you arrive.

Check out the full list of activities planned JUST FOR YOU! And be sure to visit the website http://myac16.org/ac16-sessions-and-events-for-young-professionals/ to find out more about all the sessions planned.



UPDATE: The State Water Board provided a fact sheet regarding AB 2890. Click to download.

Part of our mission is to connect clean water professionals so we can improve our profession and efficiently protect human health and California’s water environment.

We want to make members aware of California Assembly Bill 2890. If you are a certified wastewater operator, certified drinking water operator (treatment or distribution) or interested in certification issues you might want to review the proposed changes. AB 2890 was introduced last month and includes updates to the drinking water and wastewater operator certification programs.

View the draft State Legislation here 

AB 2890 is sponsored by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The Safe Drinking Water Program was recently transferred from the California Department of Public Health to the State Water Resouces Control Board, which is now responsible for administering both the Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification and Drinking Water Operator Certification Programs.

State Water Board staff tell us they have reviewed both operator certification programs and identified several statutory changes they believe are needed to help better align the two certification programs and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of each program.

State Water staff note the proposed changes update certain provisions of current law, delete unused and unnecessary provisions of current law, and better align the two certification programs with each other for efficiency, reduced costs, and to protect public health, safety, and the environment.
We encourage you to review the bill and if you’re interested in this topic please provide your feedback. We’ll provide your feedback to our representatives on the Wastewater Operator Certification Program Advisory Committee.

Submit your feedback here

Each year CWEA’s Board of Directors recommends two representatives for the Advisory Committee. Your comments and feedback are always welcome.

Thank you for being a member of CWEA!

Questions or comments about CWEA’s member communications? Please contact Alec Mackie, Director of Communications and Marketing, 510-382-7800 x114.

Karen Kubik, WEF Board member

Karen Kubik, WEF Board member

By Karen Kubick
Posted to WEF Blog March 30, 2016

This is the first time in San Francisco history that a prime minister has planned a visit to our City by the Bay for a focused day of discussion about water and wastewater management challenges and opportunities. I am thrilled that San Francisco will be the location to officially inaugurate the Water Technology Alliance, a collaboration on water and water technologies between California and Denmark.

I met Claus Homann of Aarhus Water when we both joined WEF as new board trustees in September 2015.  Since that time, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Aarhus Water have been sharing information and lessons learned on water, wastewater, energy and climate change through face-to-face meetings in San Francisco.

Aarhus Water has achieved a one-water approach through leadership and organizational cultural change. This is the direction in the Utility of the Future program, which looks at watershed-based planning and wastewater treatment plants as resource recovery facilities, with a focus on products and benefits of treatment rather than waste.

San Francisco has always maintained a trajectory to be on the cutting edge, and the SFPUC has devoted resources to developing tools to ensure that our wastewater system is planned and implemented in a sustainable manner. Our customized triple bottom line analyzes greenhouse gases, potable water use, stormwater capture, green energy generation and net energy use; our watershed approach considers all city policies and objectives — neighborhood cultures, traffic and bicycle safety, habitat, recreational space, historic creeks and marshes, and other geographic specific elements such as water use and groundwater recharge; and we have studied and modeled climate change and analyzed storm surge, and are among the first to develop climate change design guidelines to protect our vulnerable assets.

I am looking forward to sharing San Francisco’s story with our colleagues from Denmark, and learning more about their one water approach at the WATER/MORE FOR LESS program on April 4. This type of in-person cultural knowledge exchange, while rare, allows the world’s most sustainable practices to be shared and implemented across the globe so we can achieve more together.

WEF members are invited to WATER/MORE FOR LESS: For additional information, click here.

Kelly Sanders, engineering professor at the University of Southern California, specializes in water and energy and was recently interviewed by the Desert Sun about water, energy and what that means in an election year. She was recognized in Forbes’ Magazine’s “30 under 30: Today’s disrupters and tomorrow’s brightest stars” in 2012, when she was getting her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Check out the article here where she discusses the global water crisis and the importance of clean energy for high quality water.

“Energy and water share a close relationship. An abundant energy supply requires ample water resources, whether it be generating electricity, producing oil, natural gas or biofuels, or transporting energy from where it is produced to where we consume it. Likewise, energy is critical to our water supply. The global water crisis is really a global energy crisis. If we had infinite clean energy supplies, we could move and treat water to any location, at any quality. Unfortunately, climate change disrupts the hydrological cycle. Wet periods will be wetter and dry periods will be drier. While these trends obviously impact water availability, floods, droughts and extreme storms have already threatened energy infrastructure and production around the world.”