BACWA Bulletin - February 2015

Table of Contents

Committee Calendar

Thanks to those who attended BACWA's 2015 Members' Meeting

BACWA hosted our Annual Members' Meeting on January 2015. Regulators from the Regional Water Board and the USEPA listed their priorities for 2015. Several talks described how BACWA is working to comply with the provisions of the nutrient watershed permit, and there was an update on nutrient science in the Bay. Members also gave updates on BACWA "hot topics", such as toxicity and Climate Change regulation.  Presentations are now available on the BACWA website.

AIR committee to be phased in as BACWA committee

At its January 14th meeting, members of the AIR committee agreed to move forward with a one-year trial whereby the AIR Committee will be phased in as a regular committee of BACWA.  During the first year, dues for AIR Committee members will be reduced by 1/3rd, and the shortfall in revenues from the approved budget will be made up from regular BACWA dues.  AIR Committee dues would continue to be phased out over an additional 2 years. Beginning July 1, 2015, AIR Committee meetings will be open to all BACWA members, who are encouraged to attend the AIR Committee meetings to get updated on the latest regulations and AIR activities.

The Regional Water Board conditionally accepts Optimization/Upgrade Studies Scoping and Evaluation Plan

On January 15, 2015, the Regional Water Board sent a letter granting their conditional acceptance of BACWA's Scoping and Evaluation Plan for the Nutrient Optimization and Upgrade Studies. In the letter, Regional Water Board staff asked for changes on three issues: 1) Clarification on how the studies will handle site-specific projected growth that will consume facilities' capacity and limit agencies' ability to implement optimization; 2) Inclusion of next steps with respect to implementing innovative technologies in the future; and 3) Consideration of higher levels of nutrient treatment resulting in lower effluent nitrogen concentrations.  BACWA has worked with Regional Water Board to address their expectations without an increase in scope for the HDR consultant team.  The approach is described in a February 3, 2015 letter from BACWA to the Regional Water Board.

BACWA submits Interim Science Plan

The Nutrient Watershed Permit requires the permitees to submit a science implementation plan and schedule for proposed studies by February 1 each year.  BACWA and SFEI have coordinated to submit the 2015 Interim Science Plan to the Regional Water Board, fulfilling this year's requirements.  Decisions about funding priorities for scientific studies are governed by the Nutrient Management Strategy Steering Committee.

BACWA Regulatory Issues Matrix is posted

Each year before the Annual Members Meeting, BACWA updates its Key Regulatory Issues Matrix, a tool to familiarize its members, and their governing bodies, with the regulatory issues facing BACWA and its member agencies. The Matrix has been updated and posted to the website.  If you have any questions about the issues described therein, please contact Lorien Fono, BACWA Regulatory Program Manager.

BACWA submits comment letter on Fairfield Suisun Sanitary District Tentative Order

The Regional Water Board has begun to include a table in municipal NPDES dischargers' Fact Sheets summarizing SSO rates.  However, sanitary sewer systems are covered by the State General Order, and not dischargers' individual NPDES permits.  BACWA sent a comment letter requesting that the new language either be removed or presented in the appropriate context.

Sea level rise presentation describes methodology for assessing safety of existing and planned infrastructure

At the December 20, 2014 BACWA Executive Board Meeting, Jim Ervin, the San Jose/Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility Representative to BACWA, gave a presentation on estimating sea level rise at his facility for infrastructure planning purposes.  As described in the related poster, a procedure to estimate future sea level vulnerability is laid out in California Department of Transportation document “Estimating Sea Level for Project Initiation Documents”.  The conclusion of the presentation is that the 100-year base flood elevation that is driving planning decisions is sufficiently conservative.

What's new in BACWA's Committees


Recycled Water

The Recycled Water Committee conducted a survey to provide 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. It is the Recycled Water Committee's intention to update this Guide annually. If you see any information that should be updated, have a facility to add to this Guide, or have any questions please email


On January 15, 2015, EPA issued a formal objection letter regarding the NPDES permit under development for Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District (LGVSD), requiring that they be given numeric chronic toxicity limits. The letter did not specify a recommended test method, such as the TST. The Regional Water Board staff report that they are working to develop numeric limits for the LGVSD tentative order, which is expected shortly. These will be the first numeric chronic toxicity limits imposed on a Bay Discharger. The Permits Committee will discuss this development at the next meeting.


The BACWA AIR committee will meet with Bay Area Air Quality Management District staff at their next meeting in either March or April.  The meeting date, once set, will be posted on the BACWA committee calendar.

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 © 2015 BACWA Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, All rights reserved.

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