BACWA Bulletin - June 2015

Table of Contents


  • Recycled Water Comm., 6/3
  • Pretreatment Comm., 6/3
  • BAPPG., 6/3
  • Permit Comm., 6/9
  • Lab Comm., 6/10
  • Collection Systems Comm., 6/11
  • Executive Board Mtg., 6/19
  • Biosolids Comm., 6/25
  • Visit the Calendar for details.

BACWA welcomes Laura Pagano as new Executive Board Chair

Laura Pagano of SFPUC will take on the position of Executive Board Chair beginning in July 2015.  Laura has served BACWA for the past two years as Executive Board Vice-Chair. Many thanks to outgoing Executive Board Chair, Mike Connor of EBDA, who has helped to navigate BACWA through important transitions over the past two years, such as the negotiation and implementation of the nutrient watershed permit.  BACWA also welcomes Jim Ervin of San Jose, who will be stepping up as Executive Board Vice-Chair.

BACWA launches new website

As part of its mission to improve communications with its member agencies and the public, BACWA has updated its website.  The new website has a more modern look, and will be easier to navigate to find important announcements and documents. Additionally, past BACWA Bulletins are now available on the site. We welcome feedback about the new site.

Governor's budget includes increased funding for recycled water projects

The May 2015 revision of the Governor's budget includes $1.7 billion in funding for State Water Board programs. The Governor proposes $475 million for water recycling and advanced treatment projects to enhance local water supply resiliency and $160 million for small communities to build or upgrade their wastewater systems to meet current standards.  The remainder of the funding is designated for Stormwater Management ($100 million), Groundwater Contamination ($784 million), and Safe Drinking Water projects ($180 million).

BACWA comments on Novato Sanitary District Tentative Order

The Tentative Order for Novato Sanitary District assigned reasonable potential for ammonia using the justification that human waste contains ammonia and its precursors.  This finding was in spite of the fact that Novato Sanitary District nitrifies and has very low effluent ammonia concentrations.  BACWA objected to this designation on the basis that agencies should not have reasonable potential for constituents just because they are present in the influent, if the treatment plant removes them effectively.

ASU seeking participation from POTWs for nationwide CECs suvey

Researchers at Arizona State University (ASU) are soliciting participants from POTWs accross the country to participate in a study on constituents of emerging concern (CECs). The project will analyze all process flows (influent, effluent, and biosolids) to accomplish the following:
  1. Study the occurrence and fate of traditional and emerging constituents in wastewater process streams;
  2. Study the performance of wastewater treatment plants in removing problematic constituents;
  3. Estimate nationwide inventories of chemical loading and environmental release via effluent discharge and land-application of sewage sludge;
  4. Screen for and prioritize persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic contaminants for risk assessment;
  5. Monitor public health status at the community level by tracking health-specific biomarkers;
  6. Estimate human exposure to bioaccumulative compounds in the sewershed using digested sewage sludge as a proxy for human adipose tissue.
Other than sample collection, there is no cost to participating agencies. For additional information, please send an email to Rolf Halden, Professor & Director, Center for Environmental Security, Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Additionally, Dr. Halden will be speaking at the June 3 BAPPG meeting in Oakland (see "What's New in BACWA's Committees, below).

State of the Estuary meeting scheduled for September 17-18

Every two years, the San Francisco Estuary Partnership brings a focus on the management and ecological health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. The State of the Estuary Conference showcases the latest information about the Estuary’s changing watersheds, impacts from major stressors, recovery programs for species and habitats, and emerging challenges. Conference organizers are currently seeking poster abstracts by June 12 and award nominations by June 30.

What's new in BACWA's Committees

AIR Committee

The AIR Committee held its annual Joint meeting with BAAQMD on May 13, 2015.  Materials from the meeting are available on the AIR Committee webpage.  Key presentations covered BAAQMD's plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the water sector, BAAQMD's variance process and emissions offsets.  There were also discussions about NOx limits reducing the viability of cogeneration, and securing PG&Es cooperation for injecting biogas into their pipelines. BACWA will schedule a future meeting with the BAAQMD Governing Board to educate them about opportunities to reduce GHG emissions at POTWs.

Permits Committee

Nine shallow water dischargers in the North Bay are prohibited from discharging during the dry season.  However, there is inconsistency in how this prohibition is implemented in terms of the dates of the dry season, criteria for exceptions, and methods to obtain approval to discharge. Each agency’s dates are reflective of the circumstances at their facility and recycled water customers’ demand. The Regional Water Board called a meeting on March 24 to solicit feedback on different alternatives for developing consistency. The Regional Water Board has since proposed permit language that does not include dates, but instead requires dischargers to give justification for their individual prohibition dates as part of the report of waste discharge.


At its June 3 meeting, the BAPPG in partnership with the San Francisco Estuary Institute is hosting ASU professor Rolf Halden, who will present on his Nationwide Sewage Survey of Emerging Contaminants. See Agenda.  All BACWA members are welcome to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Elihu M. Harris State Building at 1515 Clay St. in Oakland.


BACWA External Representation

Collaboration with outside groups and initiatives is an important facet of BACWA's mission. Below is a list of BACWA's representatives to these  technical, regulatory, and management groups:

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