BACWA Bulletin - March 2016

Table of Contents


BACWA submits comments on the Assessment Framework

On February 9, the Regional Water Board hosted a Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting to present the findings of the report entitled Scientific Basis to Assess the Effects of Nutrients on San Francisco Bay Beneficial Uses. This report proposes an Assessment Framework for the Bay which could serve as a decision tool for determining whether the Bay is impaired due to nutrients. Appendix C of the report contains a manuscript that the authors intend to submit to a peer reviewed journal for publication. The Assessment Framework was developed outside of the Nutrient Management Strategy governance structure, and the manuscript contains policy statements about the future of nutrient objectives in the San Francisco Bay. BACWA has submitted a comment letter to the Regional Water Board and the manuscript's authors highlighting data gaps, and requesting that the manuscript's publication be delayed until it is peer reviewed as part of the Nutrient Management Strategy. BACWA also requested that it be involved in future "test driving" of the Assessment Framework's assumptions.

BACWA submits comments on the State Recycled Water General Order

The State Water Board has proposed Water Reclamation Requirements for Recycled Water Use (State General Order) that will replace 2014-0090-DWQ General Waste Discharge Requirements for Recycled Water Use. Some agencies in our Region have stated that they do not want to seek coverage under the 2014 State General Order, since its requirements are more onerous than Region 2's recycled water General Permit 96-011. As such, forcing new or expanded projects to seek coverage under the new permit does not further the State's goal of encouraging greater use of recycled water. BACWA submitted a comment letter recommending that language in the State General Order be revised to clarify that existing, expanded, and new projects may elect to seek coverage under either their existing permits or the State General Order. The State General Order will be heard by the State Water Board on April 19.

Tentative Order offers Alternate Monitoring Program

The Regional Water Board has posted a Tentative Order outlining an Alternate Monitoring Program for POTWs that discharge to the San Francisco Bay. This Order will allow POTWs to reduce monitoring frequencies for specified chemical analyses, and eliminate the requirement to perform routine sensitive species screening for chronic toxicity . For agencies that seek coverage under the Order, the cost savings from the monitoring reductions will be transferred directly to the Regional Monitoring Program in the form of a fee surcharge. The Tentative Order lists the surcharge for each agency, calculated based on the cost per each test that would be charged by a contract laboratory, and the reduction in testing frequency for that agency. Agencies will opt into the Alternate Monitoring Program for a five-year period, but the surcharge would be levied on an annual basis. BACWA has provided a comment letter on the Tentative Order. The Regional Water Board is expected to adopt the Alternate Monitoring Order in March 2016.  Staff have stated that agencies that plan to pay the surcharge to the RMP in June 2016 may reduce their monitoring to the frequencies stated in the Order in April 2016 at no additional cost.

BACWA produces Pesticide Regulatory Summary

Pesticide regulatory actions often ignore uses with pathways to sewers, leaving waterways vulnerable and POTWs responsible for costly monitoring and mitigation. POTWs cannot regulate pesticides sales or use, which is the purview of the EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulation. 2016 is an important year for some highly toxic pesticides that have pathways to POTWs. The EPA is reviewing the registration of several key pesticides, a task it conducts once about every 15 years. If the POTW community misses this window, it could impact POTW operations and receiving water quality for years to come. BACWA has produced a Pesticide Regulatory Summary and Action Sheet outlining the issues surrounding pesticides control, as well as upcoming opportunities for regulatory advocacy. For more information, please contact Melody LaBella at CCCSD.

SFEI kicks off newsletter to provide updates on Nutrient science efforts

The Mooring Report is the new monthly e-newsletter from San Francisco Estuary Institute’s (SFEI) Nutrients Team. The kickoff edition of the Mooring Report covers SFEI's array of moored sensors, and shows graphics illustrating the impact of this year's storms on salinity levels in the San Francisco Bay. It also provides a description and demonstration of SFEI's new data visualization tool, EnViz. Sign up here to receive future editions of the Mooring Report.

LIFT program highlights opportunities for technological innovation

The Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) is an initiative undertaken by WERF and WEF to help bring new water technology to the field quickly and efficiently. The LIFT Working Group provides facility owners a forum for technology prioritization and screening. LIFT also performs technology scans to examine the marketplace for innovations and facilitate collaboration on testing and demonstrations between technology providers and interested parties (e.g., facility owners, consultants, financiers).

The following focus areas have been identified to date based on the results of the LIFT Technology Survey:

  • Shortcut Nitrogen Removal
  • Phosphorus Recovery
  • Digestion Enhancements
  • Energy from Wastewater
  • Biosolids to Energy
  • Collection Systems
  • Green Infrastructure
Las Gallinas Sanitation District was covered by LIFT as a featured facility in December 2015. BACWA will provide updates via the Bulletin when other member agencies are featured, or when specific opportunities arise through LIFT that might be of interest to our member agencies.

BACWA members invited to April RMP meeting focusing on emerging contaminants

The Regional Monitoring Propgram (RMP) is the lead entity studying emerging contaminants in the Bay. Emerging contaminants are not currently regulated, yet may pose ecological or human health risks. On April 15th, the RMP's Emerging Contaminants Workgroup will review recent findings and new monitoring proposals on plastic additives like bisphenol A, flame retardants, water- and stain-repelling perfluorochemicals, and pesticides. The Workgroup will also discuss plans to revise the RMP's overall strategy for monitoring contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). BACWA members are encouraged to attend to learn more about the program and inform its future direction. For further information, please eee the 2013 Pulse of the Bay, or contact Rebecca Sutton.

Please respond to BACWA survey on Private Sewer Lateral Ordinances

Several agencies have adopted ordinances or other formal policies governing private sewer lateral inspection and repair.  The Regional Water Board has expressed interest in finding out how many agencies have ordinances requiring lateral inspection and repair, and in the past has looked favorably on agencies with such ordinances when considering enforcement. Agencies that are considering developing such an ordinance would benefit from information about the details of how others in the Region implement these ordinances and policies.  The BACWA Collection System Committee has developed a survey to gather information about private sewer lateral ordinances. Your agency can respond to the survey by following this link. Your response to the survey is important even if your agency does not have an ordinance for private sewer lateral inspection or repair. The results of the survey will be shared with the BACWA Collection Systems committee, or by contacting Lorien Fono.

Please send BACWA your updates to the Truck Fill Guide

BACWA is updating its Truck Fill Guide, which provides a summary of existing recycled water fill programs, requirements, and relevant information that a recycled water truck hauler would want to know before visiting a fill facility. The resulting guide is a resource that can be used by Caltrans, water districts and contractors in the Bay Area. The original survey was completed in January 2015, but many agencies have expanded their programs in the interim in response to the drought.  Please send any updates to Sherry Hull.

What's new in BACWA's Committees

AIR Committee

The AIR Committee's next meeting is scheduled for March 9 at the CH2MHill Offices in Oakland.  This meeting will include a presentation and discussion of regulatory updates. View previous meeting materials.


The BAPPG Annual Report for 2015 is now available. The February BAPPG meeting featured a presentation on EBMUD’s sewer lateral program, as well as a round table discussion on public relations. View notes from previous meetings.

Biosolids Committee

The January Biosolids Committee meeting featured a tour of the Central Marin Sanitation Agency FOG/Food to Energy (F2E) Station, which includes a blend tank, chopper pumps, rock trap grinder, paddle finisher, and odor scrubber. The next meeting will be held at the Lystek facility at Fairfield-Suisun Sanitary District on April 21. View Board Report for more information.

Collections Systems Committee

At the January Meeting, the committee finalized the private sewer lateral survey, discussed above, as well as metrics for defining a well performing collection system. The March meeting will feature a presentation by Vince Falzon of Burlingame on Managing Private Sewer Lateral SSOs. For more information, see previous Collections Systems Committee Reports.

Operations and Maintenance Infoshare Group

The February Operations and Infoshare Group meeting at Oro Loma Sanitary District featured a round table discussion about how agencies are leveraging the use of technology to increase efficiency, reduce paper wastewater and provide easier access to reference material.  Following the meeting, there was a brief tour of Oro Loma's Ecotone pilot project.  The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 25, 2016.

Permits Committee

The January Permits Committee Meeting featured a discussion about the Tentative Order for the Alternate Monitoring Program (described above), and development of BACWA's response. Regional Water Board Staff will attend the March meeting. For more information about committee activities, please see previous Permits Committee Reports.

Recycled Water Committee

The January Committee meeting featured a presentation by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) on the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP). The committee was concerned that the CCMP's Recycled Water elements had been developed without sufficient stakeholder input. Going forward, SFEP has committed to involving the reuse community in developing its recommendations. For more information about committee activities, please see Recycled Water Committee meeting notes.

Upcoming Events

North Bay Water Association Meeting
Friday, April 22, 2016
Embassy Suites
1075 California Boulevard
Napa, CA 94559


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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