BACWA Bulletin - September 2016

Table of Contents


  • Recycled Water Comm., 9/7
  • Collection Systems Comm., 9/8
  • Permits Comm., 9/13
  • Lab Comm., 9/14
  • Executive Board Meeting and Technical Seminar, 9/16
  • AIR Committee, 9/21
  • Operations & Maintenance Infoshare, 9/28
  • Visit the Calendar for details.

Recycled water and CIP data requests distributed to agency Points of Contact for Optimization/Upgrade Study

In order to complete the the Optimization and Upgrade Study required by the Nutrient Watershed Permit, BACWA is gathering information on agency capital improvement plans (CIP) and current and projected recycled water production. The consultant working on the Optimization and Uprade Study has circulated data request workbooks (see CIP and Recycled Water workbooks) to agency Points of Contact. The workbooks focus on agencies' CIP (specifically projects that may impact effluent nutrient loads) and recycled water quantity and user type, as well as future recycled water plans. The recycled water data request asks for data that water agencies generated for the 2015 Urban Water Managment Plans, and that is also the same data that was requested by the California Department of Water Resources in their recent survey. Agencies will need to consult with their recycled water retailers/distributors to complete the recycled water data request. The completed workbooks are due to Mike Falk by Friday September 9.

We realize it takes some effort to complete this information request, as well as the other surveys described below in this Bulletin.  However, the information resulting from these requests benefits all BACWA members while we decide as a Region how to respond to developing regulations, and share solutions to common problems.

Optimization and Upgrade Study Facility Report Schedule has been updated

The consultant team has been working with BACWA's Contract Management Group to continue to develop the individual Optimization and Upgrade Facility Reports. The Facility Reports will include recommendations for optimization and upgrade alternatives to reduce nutrient loads at each POTW covered by the Nutrient Watershed Permit. The schedule for the timing of when the draft Facility Reports will be released to each agency for review has been updated. After receipt, agencies will have three weeks to review their reports. The agency Point of Contact will need to sign off on it before it can be included in the Final Optimization and Upgrade Report that BACWA is required to submit to the Regional Water Board. 

Please respond to BACWA's survey on POTW Budgets

BACWA is conducting a brief survey to better understand the aggregate budget for wastewater treatment and conveyance in the San Francisco Bay Area. This information will be used to gauge the relative expenditures of our community on wastewater versus other infrastructure projects. It will also help provide context for discussions with the Regional Water Board on the estimated cost of potential treatment plant optimization and upgrades to remove nutrients as we move into negotiations for the next Nutrient Watershed Permit. Last year, BACWA estimated that Regionally, wastewater agencies spend $2B annually for operations and have a 5-year capital budget of $7.5B. This year we are asking separately about budgets for wastewater treatment and collection systems. Please take a moment to add your agency's governing body-approved operating and capital budgets to this BACWA survey. The survey consists of just a few questions that will take a few minutes to complete for a person familiar with your agency's budget.

Please respond to BACWA's biosolids survey

Developing regulations are increasing the likelihood that landfill disposal of biosolids, as well as the use of biosolids as alternative daily cover, will be phased out by 2025. BACWA's Biosolids committee is profiling current and projected biosolids trends throughout our Region. Please ask your staff to take a few minutes to respond to this survey about your agency’s biosolids recycling activities. BACWA will compile and distribute the data to enable all of its members to gain insight into Regional biosolids recycling activities. This survey will help our agencies better understand the current and potential future uses for biosolids. 

State Water Board to update Enforcement Policy

The State Water Board is proposing amendments to its Water Quality Enforcement Policy. The proposed changes impact the cost per gallon in penalties for spills, the range in violator conduct factors, and how violations are classed, among many other issues. BACWA will submit a comment letter requesting that the Policy be opened to a public process so that stakeholders can propose changes and not just respond to the amendments as published. BACWA representatives will also participate in the CASA workgroup to develop a statewide response to the Policy amendments. The comment deadline has been extended from the original date of September 13 to October 18, and the hearing is anticipated on December 6.

EPA proposes new selenium criteria for the San Francisco Bay Estuary

On July 15, the EPA published its proposed selenium criteria in the Federal Register.  The rule proposes to reduce the selenium water quality criteria for the waters of San Francisco Bay and Delta from 5 ppb to 0.2 ppb, as well as proposing fish and clam tissue criteria. Most San Francisco Bay Area POTWs would not be able to meet this water concentration without dilution credit. The Lower South Bay Selenium Fact Sheet, developed by Joanna Tran of the City of Palo Alto, shows how measured selenium concentrations in the water column, POTW effluent, as well as fish and clam tissue, compare to the proposed criteria. Selenium discharges from North Bay POTWs are governed by the 2015 North Bay Selenium TMDL, which was approved by the EPA in August 2016, but POTWs in the South Bay could be impacted in the future by the new criteria. EPA has extended the deadline for comments from September 13 until October 28, 2016. 

CASA requesting information on treatment processes in California

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is looking to better understand emission sources that currently lack source-specific information in the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and hopes to refine the emission estimate for those sources, which include wastewater treatment facilities. CASA is assisting CARB in improving quantification of emissions from the wastewater sector by ensuring that the most accurate information is utilized in characterizing GHG emissions. An important first step in developing the GHG emission inventory is characterizing the sizes and types of wastewater treatment processes that exist throughout the state because GHG emissions (e.g., N2O emissions) are dependent upon the type of treatment process. Unfortunately, there is no central repository detailing size and type of facilities in the state that manage municipal wastewater. Therefore, CASA is building this knowledge with a combination of existing information from NPDES permits available from the California State Water Resources Control Board and more complete information that will be gathered with this comprehensive survey. CASA asks that all agencies in California respond to the survey. Please contact Jose Gonzales at with any questions or comments

Alternate Monitoring Plan fees due to the RMP by September 30

In March, the Regional Water Board adopted the order outlining an Alternate Monitoring Program for POTWs that discharge to the San Francisco Bay. This Order allows POTWs to reduce monitoring frequencies for specified chemical analyses, and eliminates 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. Agencies opt into the Alternate Monitoring Program for a five-year period, but the surcharge is levied on an annual basis. The RMP has sent out invoices for the Alternate Monitoring Plan.  Agencies that wish to participate for the coming year must submit their fees to the RMP by September 30.

RMP Annual Meeting to be held October 7

The 2016 RMP Annual Meeting will be held at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, on October 7. The meeting is an opportunity for RMP stakeholders to discuss current RMP projects and highlight interesting new research.  The theme of this year's meeting is "Science to Support Decision-Making".  The meeting will feature presentations and discussion on contaminants of emerging concern, stormwater, sediment transport, contaminants in sport fish & margins sediment, and nutrients.  Please register in advance.  The meeting is free to staff of agencies that pay fees to the RMP. 

Save the date for BACWA's Annual Members' Meeting - January 27, 2017

BACWA's Annual Members' meeting will be held on January 27 from 8:30 to 3pm at the Metropolitan Golf Course, 10051 Doolittle Drive, Oakland. Stay tuned for the agenda, which will be posted prior to the event.

What's new in BACWA's Committees

AIR Committee

The September AIR Committee meeting will be held September 21 at Carollo's offices in San Francisco. We will be following up on items from the June meeting with BAAQMD staff. An agenda for the meeting is now posted.  View previous AIR meeting materials.


The August meeting featured the annual pollutant prioritization exercise for Fiscal Year 2018. The top ranked campaigns were:
  • Toilets Aren’t Trash Cans (Campaign includes wipes and pharmaceuticals)
  • Pesticides (Focus on pyrethroids and fipronil)
  • FOG
Based on recommendations by by the steering committee and supported by the Regional Water Board, the committee aims to focus municipal staff resources on fewer pollutants/campaigns compared to previous fiscal years. Other pollutants covered in prior years will continue to be completed by consultant support. BAPPG has also submitted an Annual Report covering Fiscal Year 2016 to the Regional Water Board on behalf of the agencies that report in August. View notes from previous meetings.

Biosolids Committee

The BACWA Biosolids Committee  is conducting a survey to better understand how POTWs in our Region  manage their biosolids, and their plans for when landfill application is phased out, which will likely occur by 2025 (see above). The committee will review the survey results at its October meeting, location to be announced.

Collections Systems Committee

The July Collection Systems Committee meeting featured a presentation by Jim Fisher of the State Water Board staff on SSS WDR compliance and enforcement. V&A Consulting Engineers will be presenting on flow monitoring for I/I detection at the September meeting. The committee will also be discussing updating the BACWA sewer rate survey. For more information, see previous Collections Systems Committee Reports.

Permits Committee

The September meeting will include the quarterly discussion with Regional Water Board staff. Additionally, the committee will continue to discuss the EPA's proposed Selenium Criteria and the State Water Board's proposed amendments to the Clean Water Enforcement Policy (both items described above). For more information about committee activities, please see previous Permits Committee Reports.

Recycled Water Committee

At the July Recycled Water committee meeting, members discussed the mandatory enrollment of 96-011 permittees into the State General Order for Recycled Water, adopted June 7, 2016. The committee plans to develop a proposal to deliver to the Regional Water Board on how to seamlessly manage the transition to the State General Order. The Committee is also working with WateReuse to develop recommendations for the State Water Board's reopener of the State Recycled Water Policy. For more information about committee activities, please see Recycled Water Committee meeting notes.

Upcoming Events

RMP Annual Meeting, October 7, 2016, David Brower Center 2150 Allston Way Berkeley, CA. 

9th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference, November 15-17, 2016, Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento.

BACWA Annual Members' Meeting, January 27, 2017,  Metropolitan Golf Course 10051 Doolittle Drive, Oakland, CA.

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:

Copyright © 2016 BACWA Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, All rights reserved.

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