The Bay Area Consortium for Clean Water Education is offering community college classes and scholarships for students seeking a career in the water and wastewater industry. Registration is now open for continuing or new students. The first class begins Wednesday evening, August 30th in Redwood City at 1400 Radio Road, from 6 to 9 p.m. and Thursday evening, August 31st in Martinez at 5019 Imhoff Place from 6 to 9 p.m.

The scholarship reimburses students for the cost of tuition and books. Students must maintain a grade of C or better in each course. Students completing the 28 required units earn a Plant Operator Certificate.

Relevant jobs include water and wastewater treatment operator, water distribution operator, wastewater collections operator, mechanic/machinist, electrician, and instrument technician.

“The water and wastewater industry offers many opportunities for people interested in careers related to water conservation and environmental protection,” says Barbara Hockett, California Association of Sanitation Agencies Education Foundation boardmember. “And those already in the industry can use this program to expand their knowledge and position themselves to take advantage of new opportunities.”

“A lot of experienced people are retiring from clean water jobs, creating demand for new workers ready to step into these roles,” says Levi Fuller, wastewater treatment plant operations supervisor at Dublin San Ramon Services District and a BACCWE instructor. “BACCWE gives job seekers a foot in the door with career-specific coursework and valuable contacts in the industry.”

Visit http://www.baccwe.org/ for details. 

P3S2017 Brewery session

P3S2017 Brewery session

Presentations from the P3S 2017 Conference in Santa Rosa are now available at http://library.cwea.org/2017-p3s-conference.

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Thank you to all who came and presented! We are extremely grateful you shared your time and expertise with the P3S community. For those interested, an archive of presentations from pre-2017 P3S conferences and training events are available on our old website at http://www.cwea.org/p3s/docs.shtml.

Chris Lundeen, CWEA Director of Certification, has accepted a position at a heath care professional certification board based in San Francisco. 

“It’s an exceptional opportunity for Chris, one that doesn’t come along often,” said CWEA executive director Elizabeth Allan, “so I’m thrilled for him on a personal level while at the same time very sad that we will be losing him.  Chris has been such a valuable member of CWEA’s staff for 22 years, growing both our certification program and our organization.”

Chris recently reflected on his career at the Association, including his fun initiation with live turkeys and biosolids. “On my first day on the job,” he recalled, “I flew down to Ventura for the Southern Regional Training Conference, and experienced my first Tri-Counties Section ‘Turkey of the Year’ banquet. They rolled in live turkeys in cages, while members marched onto stage in orange t-shirts indicating that they had also been honored as turkeys at one time or another. Then, at some point, they watched a video of a guy skiing down a huge pile of biosolids. By the way, no turkeys were injured or eaten at that banquet. I can’t say what might have happened to them the following Thanksgiving week though.

“I thought, ‘what is this outfit I’ve signed up with? I might be able to fit in here!’

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Much has happened since then and Chris acknowledges he’s learned a lot about water and wastewater in his time with us.

What did you know about the wastewater industry when you took the job and what have you discovered about the profession?

I came to CWEA with some certification experience, but I had no water background; it was all new to me. I quickly learned that CWEA serves an industry with a wide range of occupations—collections, maintenance, operations, managers and superintendents, laboratory, and environmental compliance. It was really eye-opening. I attended a lot of meetings at wastewater treatment plants and always took up offers for plant tours. It was a great experience being around the plants, learning a lot, and working with the operations and maintenance staff. It was fascinating.

Was that your favorite thing about the job?

That, and the fact that CWEA is a huge organization doing lots of things. It was fun to go all over the state and meet people from every different corner of California, from San Diego to Eureka. By getting familiar with all the different communities around our state, you become a true Californian.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of our accomplishments, helping people in our industry build and maintain great professions and careers. Our people do a great job, and they’re clearly in the middle of one of the most important sectors of our economy and society. With water scarcity, environmental issues, and population growth, nearly everyone in California is affected by what we do.

You mentioned the turkeys. Was that the funniest moment of your career?

There have been a lot of hilarious moments over the years. One of the more memorable ones to me was probably when we made some changes to the certification program, adding new requirements necessary for members to keep their certification. The changes were pretty standard, as far as certification programs go, but there was some resistance because we were introducing an additional requirement. After I gave a presentation on the changes for one of the southern sections, many of those attending gathered around me for a vigorous discussion. I didn’t think much about it until a month or so later when a big picture of me was published in the CWEA Bulletin showing me with an older gentleman in a white lab coat who got quite animated waiving his finger at me. Wasn’t a great picture of either of us, but it was kind of hilarious.

What about some of the people who mentored you, who worked with you?

There were so many over the years, and some go way back. I have had so much support over the years from our volunteer leaders. Many future leaders of CWEA worked with me on certification program development and other CWEA projects. Simon Watson, past president of CWEA, was really fun to work with back when we were developing plant maintenance exams at OCSD, back when he wore a blue shirt with his name embroidered on it. He really knew how to ask the right questions, and challenge the other subject matter experts and me, with respect and humor. Phil Scott, another past president, was there with me when we went through the first validation of the collection systems exams way before he was on the Board or became CWEA President. Phil is so fun to work with and has such a great sense of humor. Carrie Mattingly was another up-and-coming leader who worked with me on our certification program years ago while she was working full time and getting a degree. She eventually became CWEA President and now holds a top utility management position. She taught me to toot my own horn once in a while and showed me that a little hard work won’t kill you, and I introduced her to Ethiopian cuisine… and Ethiopian coffee.

On the staff side, I’d have to say former CWEA Executive Director Lindsay Roberts was a wonderful role model, mentor and leader whose support made me realize I could have a challenging and rewarding career in association management and certification. She is a captivating story teller and one of the smartest and most caring people I have ever met. After Lindsay left, Elizabeth Allan continued to support my professional development 100 percent, and gave me the opportunity to take on so many different roles here at CWEA. I will benefit from that always.

In your 22 years here, you worked on many association activities in addition to certification. What are some of the highlights?

I had the opportunity to work on lots of things at CWEA besides certification….local sections, leadership, publications, the website, just about everything except managing events—although I did help out with events whenever needed. I was always learning new things.

I managed our publications for a few years. For a while we went all electronic (no print media), but it caused a bit of a backlash. We went back to print and an electronic publication. Maybe we were too early. A good mix is important. I think we like to have access to all different forms of media, rather than all one way or the other.

A few years ago we installed a new Association Management System that gave us the technical ability to do more electronic communication with members and certificate holders. We have a huge mix of people in the association, representing different occupations and career levels, and we try to make our communications relevant to each member. However, when we launched the  new system we had emails for only about 65 or 75 percent of the membership. Now it’s more like 97 percent. We’ve made the transition to more electronic communications, making it easier to help candidates through the certification application process and to get certified. Before it was phone calls and letters. We’re seeing a change.

At the same time. We’ve sped up the timeline for the publications. I think Alec Mackie and the communications team are doing a great job. They have taken our communications to the next level.

Your new job with a health care professional certification board will be different from your CWEA duties. What are some of your new challenges?

I have a feeling many of the challenges will be similar to those I have had here at CWEA running our certification program, but a with new group of content development experts, staff and other leaders. I am really looking forward to joining a new team, learning from them, contributing in new and different ways, and making new friends. However, I’ll miss not being a part of the water environment community in California.

What advice do you have for your successor?

Get to know everybody. There’s a lot to learn. Have a sense of humor. Definitely get to know the volunteer leaders and subject matter experts. Also, take care of your small, but mighty, certification team and all of the other staff who support the certification program. Listen to them. They’re all critical to your success.

Allan emphasized Lundeen’s contribution in her announcement of his departure:

“Chris been an essential part of the progress the Association has made,” she said. 

“When Chris started, CWEA had about 5,000 members and 3,000 certificate-holders; now we have about 9,700 members and about 5,700 certificate-holders. 

“Chris was instrumental in advancing the program, including developing study guides, transitioning from paper-and-pencil testing to computer-based testing, introducing and institutionalizing validation of our tests, and he even started our first website and jobs board service back in the day. 

“Can’t say we don’t grow ‘em smart and in demand. He will be missed.”

 

Phil Scott, District Manager at West Bay Sanitary District, CWEA Immediate Past President

Phil Scott, District Manager at West Bay Sanitary District, CWEA Immediate Past President

Phil Scott, CWEA Past President shares thoughts and memories of Chris.

I remember when such a young looking Chris Lundeen joined the CWEA staff and was a little shy and reserved but also excited about working on the Certification Exams and getting them NOCA compliant.  I had just put the Collection System exam questions in an Excel spreadsheet “Question Item Bank” and Chris was all set to work to get them all in multiple choice format and get the Item Bank ready to use in a Computer Based Testing system.  He finally convinced the Board to pull the trigger on Computer Based Testing a few years later and made it happen and it’s all running super smoothly.

One memory of Chris I’ll never forget is eating dinner at the Nugget in Sparks, Nevada.  Chris ordered a big bowl of Garlic Soup.  It was a huge bowl and very strong.  Chris was undeterred and ate the whole bowl though I think he regretted it a little bit later.  I was amazed he got the whole thing down. 

Good luck Chris with your new career endeavor and the best of everything in life to you.


We would love to hear your stories of working with Chris. Use the comment section to share. 

The City worked thoughtfully with its engineering team to design a wastewater treatment facility that can withstand the test of time. Upgrades will provide capacity for current and entitled projects within the City. The $28.5 million dollar project will provide safe, reliable service to Dixon residents and businesses now and for future generations.

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DATE
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Time:
5:30 PM

RSVP
Please RSVP by March 23, 2017 to: Ashley Alvarez, Administrative Clerk (707) 678-7030 aalvarez@ci.dixon.ca.us

LOCATION
Dixon WWTF
6915 Pedrick Road
Dixon, CA 95620
A complimentary shuttle will be provided by Dixon’s own Readi-Ride service to the WWTF from City Hall (600 East A St., Dixon, CA 95620). 

 
Sponsored by
 
Interdependency is at the heart of the life of a water professional — what we do and how we act ripples throughout the water system that connects us all. And yet, much of our attention remains focused on common or technical-based problems but not with understanding the impact of our actions on the often tightly interconnected system of which we are a part.
 
We know how to solve common problems. Pump breaks? Fix it. Contaminants in the water? Test it. These problems often account for 80% of the problems we face. Other, more complex and complicated systems problems may account for a 20% of our problems, but require 80% of our attention. Increasing the amount of water reuse in a community involves numerous interacting parts and processes, stakeholders with different opinions, time delays and a host actions, reactions and often unintended consequences. Systems thinking is a tool for all water professionals – operators, technicians, chemists, engineers, managers and others — to develop innovative responses to a variety of complex challenges.
 
Linda Booth Sweeney

Linda Booth Sweeney

Want to better understand, communicate and manage complexity? Attend CWEA’s webinar with Systems Thinking expert Linda Booth Sweeney and facilitator Laurie Brenner, Finance and Acquisition Services Coach (Manager), Union Sanitary District.

 
Want to go even deeper on systems thinking? Attend Sweeney’s opening general session on Tuesday, April 25th from 4 – 6 pm at CWEA’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Palm Springs.
“The more we can lift our heads up to talk with others in all parts of the water system, the more we can understand the necessities and challenges of our water colleagues, the more we can find the innovative responses we need to move forward.”
– Garry Parker, CWEA President, Director of General Services, Encina Wastewater Authority

AC17HeaderV2

We heard loud and clear from members today that they need more time to register for AC17 in Palm Springs. You got it! Early-bird registration is now extended until 3/24. But hurry get those registrations in soon!

Here’s a great educational opportunity at AC17 – catch HDR’s Kevin Calderwood leading a workshop on Wednesday about pipeline and pump station asset management.

CWEA members are invited to attend CWEA’s Annual Business Meeting and vote on the incoming CWEA Slate of Officers.

This year, the voting session will occur April 28 at 11:00 AM—11:30 AM at the beginning of the Awards Luncheon at CWEA’s Annual Conference.

You do not have to register for the Annual Conference to attend the Annual Business portion of the Awards Lunch; however, you need to notify staff at the conference registration desk if you wish to attend that portion without registering for the conference or the lunch. Be there promptly at 11:00 AM to exercise your vote. If you can’t attend, submit a proxy by April 7th.

This proxy allows you to grant another member in attendance the right to vote on your behalf. Contact Victoria Thornton at CWEA to obtain the form or download from CWEA’s website.

For more information on nominees, go to: www.cwea.BoardNominees_2017.pdf

  • Vice President from the North—Kevin Calderwood
  • Director from the North (to be Treasurer)—Kenneth Merkle
  • Director from the South—Victoria Conway
  • WEF Delegate Director from the North—Matt Winkelman

Appointments:

  • Southern Regional Committee Chair/Director—Nikki Crumpler
  • Technical Certification Program Chair/Director—Anthony Pirondini

Proxy forms can be found here: www.cwea.org/pdf/board/proxy2017.doc

The following CWEA members recently became WEF Life Members. Congratulations!

  • Richard F. Luthy
  • Roger V. Stephenson
  • Adam Olivieri
  • Walter Bishop

Individuals who have been a member of WEF and one or more WEF Member Association for 35 or more consecutive years, and are at age 65 or older, are eligible to apply for WEF Life Membership. The WEF Life Membership application should be completed and sent to:

Nick Bardis
nbardis@wef.org
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone:  (703) 684-2400 x7731
Fax: 703-684-2481

There are no industry standards for biosolids quality and little information for where and how to use high quality biosolids (HQB) products. WE&RF’s HQB from Wastewater project is evaluating selected HQB products in order to develop criteria that render a material qualified for use in high value markets. Join researchers on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 as they discuss the findings to date, including odor characterization and detection threshold, respiratory activity, and house fly attraction.

Webinar details here>

Is your Operations and Maintenance (O&M) team feeling overloaded and struggling to prioritize work orders? Maybe you see the need for more strategic approach to maintenance? This workshop provides an in-depth look at asset management philosophies used by many wastewater agencies across the country. The system is known as reliability centered maintenance, or RCM, and provides strategies for managing maintenance priorities.

Learn from some of California’s leading wastewater O&M experts during these interactive workshops. Get a jump on managing your facility’s assets by learning the latest trends and techniques and listening to real-world case studies.

Earn up to 6.5 CWEA contact hours towards Industrial Waste Treatment Operator, Mechanical Technologist, Electrical & Instrumentation, Collection System Maintenance.

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cswrpiKnow a Cal State student in need of a great internship? The Cal State Water Resources and Policy Institute (WRPI) has a great program to help connect students with great EPA internships in science, communication, research and in other practice areas…

The California State University (CSU) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (EPA) to establish cooperation between the two entities, including encouraging students to participate in the environmental fields of study and to help EPA attract a workforce as diverse as the public it serves. Implementation of the MOU activities will promote equal opportunity in EPA’s workforce, contribute to CSU’s capacity to provide high-quality education particularly in various environmentally related fields of study, and encourage the participation of CSU students and faculty in EPA’s programs. CSU’s Water Resources and Policy Initiatives (WRPI) is administering the Program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • enrolled at a CSU campus at least half time while completing internship
  • minimum GPA of 2.5 (unless the EPA project requires a higher GPA)
  • enrolled in an internship course at a CSU campus during the quarter of your internship

Learn more at the Cal State WRPI website >

Don’t miss this exclusive, two-day meeting that will bring water sector leaders together for discussions on how to move innovation into practice.

Held in collaboration with Imagine H2O 

A WEF members only event. Early bird registration ends on February 10.

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Conference Topics:

  • Putting it in to Practice: Operations and Management
  • Driving Innovation within Regulatory Frameworks
  • Financing Infrastructure at the Utility of the Future
  • Implementing Innovation: Peer to Peer Knowledge Exchange
  • Harnessing Utility/University Partnerships
  • Collaborating is Key: Connecting with Technical, Academic, and Finance Leaders
  • Exploring the Future: Roundtable Discussions with Start Up Winners of the 2017 Imagine H2O Water Data Challenge
  • Implementing Change: Real World Stories and Challenges of Starting Up Innovation Programs
  • Creating for the Future: A Discussion with the Leaders of Tomorrow’s Water Sector

CWEA members will be speaking at this event:

  • Karen Kubick
    Wastewater Enterprise Capital Program Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Logan Olds
    General Manager
    Victor Valley Water Reclamation Authority
  • Jeff Carson
    Operations Manager
    Dublin San Ramon Services District
  • Maura Bonnarens
    Manager, Wastewater Treatment Division,
    East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • Doug Little
    Plant Operations Superintendent,
    Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
  • Daniel Child
    General Manager,
    Silicon Valley Clean Water
  • Tryg Lundquist
    Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo