Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) was recognized recently as the Recycled Water Large Agency of the Year by the California Chapter of the WateReuse Association.

The award recognizes EMWD for its comprehensive approach toward investing in its recycled water program to ensure that resources are maximized.

EMWD treats approximately 45 million gallons of wastewater per day at regional water reclamation facilities located in Moreno Valley, Perris, San Jacinto and Temecula. That highly treated wastewater becomes recycled water.

Again in 2016, EMWD achieved 100 percent beneficial reuse of its recycled water supplies, which
were used for irrigation of agriculture, parks, schools, recreational facilities, golf courses, public
landscaping and industrial uses.

Recycled water accounts for 36 percent of EMWD’s water supply portfolio. That figure is among the
highest in the nation.

“We are honored to be selected as the Agency of the Year,” EMWD Board President David Slawson said. “Recycled water is an incredibly valuable asset that allows us to responsibly maximize our resources and reduce dependence on imported water supplies. EMWD is committed to continually investing in our recycled water system for the benefit of all of our customers.”

EMWD has invested nearly $200 million in its recycled water program over the past 20 years. The
investments have resulted in a fully integrated recycled water supply, storage and distribution
system that provides a level of service commensurate with the potable water system.

In 2016, EMWD broke ground on its North Trumble Road Recycled Water Storage Pond, which
increases seasonal storage capacity by 900 acre feet. The facility came online in early 2017 and is the first EMWD project funded in part through Proposition 1 – the Water Bond passed by voters in 2014.

EMWD also recently began work on shallow recovery wells adjacent to its Winchester Ponds. These
75-foot deep wells will recover the recycled water from the ground and pump it back into the storage  ponds for beneficial use. The first phase is anticipated to recover several hundred acre feet of recycled water each year.

Read more

Getting rid of waste the clean way: Redwood City company finds a way to turn biosolids into fertilizer with no energy

Source: Daily Journal

Though most don’t think about what happens after a toilet is flushed, Dario Presezzi and his team of five have been hunkered down in trailers at a Redwood City wastewater treatment plant for the last five years laser focused on just that.

Presezzi is the CEO of Bioforcetech, a company working on a system that creates the energy required to turn the human waste collected from wastewater treatment plants into a rich fertilizer.

Starting in April, the small team of Italian natives that make up the Bioforcetech team have the opportunity to make a large dent in a problem most prefer not to think about — what happens to the truckloads of human waste processed at wastewater treatment plants — when they will begin processing half, or 7,000 tons, of the Silicon Valley Clean Water treatment plant’s biosolids, a friendly term the Bioforcetech team uses for human waste.

For Daniel Child, manager of the Silicon Valley Clean Water treatment plant, the Bioforcetech team’s work offers another option for solving a problem with few tried and true solutions. Currently, the biosolids that come through the plant are spread out on land to be dried by the sun for days before they are trucked out of the plant to fertilize farms in Solano County or nearby cities like Sacramento or Modesto.

“Disposal of biosolids is an ongoing challenge in the state of California,” he said. “It’s always good to have more than one option.”

When Presezzi and a few colleagues came to the Silicon Valley Clean Water treatment plant from Italy to explore how their system could work in the United States in 2011, it wasn’t clear the marshy land at the tip of Redwood Shores would become home to their offices.

But ever since 2011, when the plant treating wastewater from Redwood City, San Carlos, Belmont and other jurisdictions voiced support for their team, the six members of the Bioforcetech team have been hard at work refining a college project.


Go to full story >


Radhika Fox, CEO of the US Water Alliance and based in San Francisco, will be the facilitator for our AC17 One Water workshop “From Vision to Reality”. But what does “one water” mean? Radhika explains in an op-ed originally published by the US Water Alliance and reprinted with permission.

Building 21st Century Infrastructure for 21st Century Cities

Radhika Fox, CEO US Water Alliance

Radhika Fox, CEO US Water Alliance

The creation of modern water and wastewater systems was one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century. Drinking water treatment and systems brought safe, reliable drinking water to homes and businesses. Clean water systems eliminated deadly diseases such as cholera and typhoid and helped extend life expectancy in the U.S. by 30 years. But the systems built 100 year ago were for communities that look completely different than today.

After working around the clock for 70, 80 and even 100 years, water and wastewater infrastructure has been the victim of deferred maintenance for decades, putting our infrastructure and resources at risk.

About 650 water main breaks occur every day – that’s one every 2 minutes—leading to 7 billion gallons of water and $2.6 billion lost through leaky pipes.

In addition to aging infrastructure, water and wastewater systems face additional stresses that builders of the 20th century never expected. They were designed for cities and towns with much smaller populations than they have today. That growth is straining water systems. And in the face of changing climates, intense rainfall, extreme drought, and rising sea levels make it increasingly difficult to maintain safe and reliable operation.

Read more

Significant Risk of Flooding in Northern California Flood Preparedness and Response Tools for Water Utilities
Widespread flooding can cause major power outages and damage to drinking water and wastewater utilities. EPA has developed tools to help you mitigate the threat of flooding and take action during an emergency. You can use the resources below to increase your overall flood resilience and emergency preparedness.

Flooding Incident Action Checklist
Use this “rip and run” checklist to respond to and recover from flooding in your area. It outlines key actions that can be taken immediately before, during, and after the event to mitigate impacts.

Flood Resilience Guide
This interactive, user-friendly guide contains worksheets, best practices, videos and key resources to help water utilities build resilience to flooding. The Guide’s four main sections include:

  • Overview of flood resilience
  • Developing an approach to flood resilience
  • Identifying flood mitigation measures
  • Flood resilience pilot project

The Federal Funding for Utilities in National Disasters (Fed FUNDS) tool helps drinking water and wastewater utilities identify pre- and post-disaster funding opportunities and offers tips on how to apply.

Additional Resources
EPA Emergency Response for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities

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>

EPA recently published its updated Industrial User Inspection and Sampling Manual for POTWs.

Completed revisions to the 1994 Industrial User Inspection and Sampling Manual for POTWs based on extensive input from experts in the Office of Wastewater Management, and the Office of Science and Technology, and experts in regions, states, and POTWs. The revised Industrial User Inspection and Sampling Manual for POTWs is an inspection support tool provided by EPA for use by field personnel conducting inspections and sampling activities under the Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pretreatment Program. With this revision, inspectors will have access to guidance that reflects changes to the Pretreatment Program and compliance monitoring practices from the past 22 years, such as the 2005 Pretreatment Streamlining Rule. This Manual is not a regulation and, therefore, does not add, eliminate or change any existing regulatory requirements. While EPA has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the discussion in this guidance, the obligations of the regulated community are determined by statutes, regulations, or other legally binding requirements.

The water sector partnership (which includes WEF and NACWA) has released an update for their Effective Utility Management Primer.

As a water or wastewater utility manager, are these challenges familiar to you?

  • Rising costs
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Increasingly stringent regulatory requirements
  • Population growth
  • A rapidly changing workforce

If so, the 10 Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities and the information in this updated Primer can help you respond to both current and future challenges of the 21st Century. Included in the Primer are five steps to help you begin implementing the Attributes.


The 2017 California Financing Coordinating Committee (CFCC) will be hosting six FREE upcoming funding fairs.  The CFCC was formed in 1998 and is made up of seven funding members: five state and two federal. The CFCC Funding Fairs provide opportunities to learn more about available grant, loan and bond financing options for infrastructure projects. These fairs are directed towards local government representatives, water and irrigation district managers, economic development and engineering professionals, financial advisors, and project consultants.

Download the flyer for full details.

April 5, 2017
California Rural Water Association
1234 North Market Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95834
Free parking. Workshop will be Webcast. Access link will be on the CFCC Website at: http://www.cfcc.ca.gov/funding_fairs.htm

May 2, 2017
Shasta Public Libraries
Redding Library, Community Room
1100 Parkview Ave.
Redding, CA 96001

June 6, 2017
Southern California Edison
Energy Education Center
4175 S. Laspina
Tulare, CA 93274

July 19, 2017
Monterey Recreation
Hilltop Park Center
871 Jessie Street
Monterey, CA 93940

August 29, 2017
California State University
San Bernardino Campus
College of Education, Room 105
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407
Free parking

August 30, 2017
California Regional Water Quality Control Board
2375 Northside Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92108

For more information, please visit the CFCC website at http://www.cfcc.ca.gov.


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.


The Water-Energy Nexus Conference will be held in Los Angeles, February 28 – March 1, 2017. The two-day event zeros in on challenges facing water-energy efficiency programs, technology advances that can help drive efficiencies and cost savings, and successful case studies of joint water-energy optimization initiatives. The event is unique in that it brings together startups, investors, business strategists, regulators, energy companies, water companies and technology innovators for two days of networking and sharing of insights into maximizing one of the most precious resources of our time.

To date, we have the following speakers confirmed:

  • David Hochschild, Commissioner, California Energy Commission
  • Warren Teitz, Senior Resource Specialist, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Walter L. Schindler, CEO, Frost & Sullivan Investment Partners
  • Carlos Michelon, Principal Water Resources Specialist, San Diego County Water Authority
  • Caroline Choi, Senior Vice President, Southern California Edison
  • Paul Weghorst, Executive Director of Water Policy, Irvine Ranch Water District
  • Charley Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Southern California Water Committee
  • Carolyn Weiner, Manager of Industrial, Agricultural, and Water Programs, Pacific Gas and Electric
  • William English, Demand Side Management Advisor, San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Noah Perch-Ahern, Partner, Environmental Law Group, Glaser Weil
  • Jesse Pompa, PE, Senior Engineer, Inland Empire Utility Agency
  • Katherine Hardy, Energy Division, Energy Efficiency, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Amul Sathe, Director, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Group, Navigant
  • Joon Lopez, General Manager, Moulton Niguel Water District
  • George Minter, Regional Vice President, Southern California Gas
  • David L. Feldman, PhD, Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design, University of California, Irvine
Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 2.25.54 PMThe State Water Resources Control Board recently updated the Chief Plant Operators (CPOs) Brochure.
The new brochure highlights CPO responsibilities, lone operator requirements, examples of operator duties and disciplinary action items. Check it out here.


As the problem of “flushable” wipes clogging sewer pipes and pumps gets worse – every sewer agency is on its own in developing a public outreach campaign to share with people exactly what they should and should not flush down the toilet.

Clogged sewer lines were becoming a challenge for City of Santa Rosa crews, so their Environmental Compliance and Communication Teams came up with a catchy public outreach campaign called “Sewerman – Defender of the Pipes!” The campaign was rolled out in December 2016 and includes videos, social media outreach and a cool-looking cartoon strip.

The campaign joins several other creative anti-wipes  efforts including OCSD’s What2Flush; City of Seattle’s Flushing Awesome; Maine’s Save Your Pipes; and Washington DC’s Protect Your Pipes campaign.

The Sewerman video will immediately get your attention with its funny and memorable message. Which hopefully helps people remember to only flush the 3Ps – pee, poo and (toilet) paper. And that’s all.

We thought the campaign was so awesome, we wanted to learn more about this mysterious “Sewerman.” We reached out to Elise Howard, a Communications Coordinator at the City of Santa Rosa to tell us about the campaign.

Q1. Who thought up the superhero Sewerman and why?

Sewerman came to life in an internal brainstorming session with Santa Rosa Water’s Environmental Compliance and Communication teams.

His story started with the creation of the Sewerman video in-house and evolved into a comprehensive campaign with the help of a local firm, Ranch 7 Creative.

Special thanks to Sewerman and our Santa Rosa Water Team (Thomas Hare, Heather Johnson, Nicole Dorotinsky, Renae Gundy, Claire Meyers and Elise Howard) for creating this amazing video. Who knew it would be so easy to find a brown and yellow spandex superhero suit online?

(Renae, Heather and Thomas are CWEA members)

Q2. Do you have any cost or time estimates associated with the flushable wipes problems? 

Currently we do not have any quantitative data associated with the cost of wipes. That said Santa Rosa Water team does experience blockages in sewer pipes and pump stations and these not-so-flushable items end up at our treatment plant and increase cleaning and maintenance costs.


Q3. Who plays Sewerman? Or if his identity must remain a secret, what does Sewerman like to do in his downtime?

It is critical that Sewerman’s identity remain a secret, but I do happen to know that he loves playing the Ukelele in his downtime and modifying lyrics to popular songs to spread his message.

He also enjoys dancing and puns, and juggles a tiny bit, but not very well.

Q4. How did you get funding to develop the campaign, does the State Water Board help with public outreach dollars for what to flush outreach campaigns? 

The campaign is primarily fueled by Sewerman’s superhuman effort to educate the community about fighting THE CLOG.

Santa Rosa Water is supporting his cause by funding a multi-media campaign featuring Sewerman in paid advertising on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), radio (local stations and Pandora), Before the Movie ads, and local print publications. Sewerman is also featured on our website at srcity.org/sewerman.

Q5. So what is Sewerman going to tackle next? Microbeads? Synthetic fibers? Silver nanoparticles? Pesticides? Dental amalgam? Wow we have so many things to tackle!

For now, Sewerman is very busy battling his nemesis, THE CLOG by swooping in to stop a not-so-flushable wipe from being flushed, warning citizens of the dangers of putting grease, oils, and other food products down the kitchen sink, and encouraging citizens to “Just Say No!” to flushing medications.!”

Q6. One last question inquiring sewer minds may want to know – any plans for Sewerwoman to join the wipes fighting team? And if we got Sewerman together with LA’s Grease Avenger, JWC’s Muffin Monster and the Texas Water Coalition’s Patty Potty – could we form our own Wastewater Justice League?

Sewerman is a big fan of teamwork and loves the idea of a Wastewater Justice League!  He’s kicked around the idea of adding Water Woman as a partner and would be over the moon if he ever got the chance to meet his personal favorite, Patty Potty.

Thanks Elise for introducing us to Sewerman, we’ll see if we can set something up with Patty Potty from Texas!

Learn more about Sewerman at www.srcity.org/sewerman

3Ps_Icons_CWEANews_500We’ve listed a few more California specific outreach campaigns here. Have a great idea for ending the flushable wipes crisis? Send your ideas to ebulletin@cwea.org