BACWA Bulletin - November 2015

Table of Contents


Register for BACWA's Annual Members' Meeting

BACWA will host our Annual Meeting for our member agencies on January 15, 2016 at the Boy Scout Facility in San Leandro. Representatives from the Regional and State Water Boards and EPA will be in attendance to discuss their agencies' priorities for the coming year. The meeting agenda will be posted later this month and will focus on BACWA's nutrient work as well as other hot topics for our community. Please use this link to RSVP.

Nutrient Group Annual Report submitted to Regional Water Board

The first Group Annual Report required by the Nutrient Watershed Permit was submitted to the Regional Water Board on November 12, 2015. The Group Annual Report presents nutrient effluent monitoring data reported by agencies to CIWQS, and an analysis of those data. The deadline for the 2015 Group Annual Report submittal was extended from October 1 to November 12 to allow BACWA to complete gathering and performing quality assurance on the data. A draft Group Annual Report was circulated to each agency Point of Contact for review prior to submittal. BACWA is working with the consultant that put together the report and the Regional Water Board to develop new reporting protocols to streamline data collections from our member agencies in future years.

SEP funds may now be directed to the RMP

Funding to the Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) has been declining over several years due to diminishing discharges to the San Francisco Bay, and due to inflation. Accordingly, in order to maintain an appropriate science programming level, SFEI, which runs the RMP, and its stakeholders in the Region are looking for alternative funding sources. In 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted the SEP Policy. The SEP Policy allows a discharger to satisfy part of a monetary assessment imposed in an administrative civil liability (ACL) order by completing or funding one or more supplemental environmental projects (SEPs). The SEP Policy establishes qualification criteria and other conditions that must be met. In October 2015, the Regional Water Board developed and vetted a legal process to establish the RMP as an authorized SEP. Under this process, entities that have to pay a fine will have the option to direct 50% of the fine to the RMP.

Monitoring reductions are proposed to offset increased funding to the RMP

As described above, the Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) has faced diminished funding and has to cut its program accordingly. The Regional Water Board is interested in bolstering funding to the RMP and has been working with BACWA to identify possible monitoring reductions that could be implemented in exchange for increased funding from POTWs to the RMP. The overall concept is that the  funds would be better spent on receiving water monitoring than effluent monitoring. BACWA is working with the Regional Water Board on a proposal where monitoring requirements for several parameters would be dropped or reduced, and an RMP surcharge would be assessed based on the costs of those tests that are contracted out by agencies, including the dioxin analysis, and sensitive species screening.

BACWA Budget Survey

Thanks to our members who participated in the BACWA Budget Survey. This survey allows us 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. BACWA received responses from treatment plants representing 405 MGD out of approximately 465 MGD of total measured annual average flow in our Region, as well as several collection system agencies.  Scaling the response rates based on flow, BACWA estimates that the 5-year capital budget for our agencies in aggregate is $7.5B, and the annual operating budget is $2B.

Surface Water Augmentation Regulation Workshop

Draft surface water augmentation (SWA) regulations for indirect potable reuse are being developed.  It is anticipated that one of the proposed requirements may be that surface water reservoirs must provide a minimum six-month theoretical retention time. This requirement may limit eligibility of surface water reservoirs to qualify for indirect potable reuse through surface water augmentation, and therefore trigger agencies to have to comply with future direct potable reuse regulations, which are yet to be developed. The BACWA Recycled Water Committee will be cohosting a workshop featuring speakers from San Diego, which has been involved in the development of these regulations. The workshop has been added as an afternoon session at the next regularly scheduled WateReuse meeting, from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm on December 4, 2015 at the Amador Ranch Center at Rancho San Ramon Community Park.

BACWA Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2015 approved by Executive Board

The Annual Report summarizes BACWA's accomplishments in FY2015, gives an overview of its budget and expenditures, and provides a list of BACWA members.

Deadline for nominations for Arleen Navarret Award Extended to December 11

This award of $1,000 was created in honor of Arleen Navarret and her dedication to improving the health of the San Francisco Bay. Arleen spent nearly 30 years with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and provided leadership to BACWA and Tri-TAC boards and committees. Her combination of technical and regulatory expertise and interpersonal skills has been invaluable to BACWA. Her development of effective relationships with regulators and community-based non-profits has resulted in the development of more thoughtful and effective water quality regulations. This is a biennial award honoring emerging leaders in the BACWA community exhibiting characteristics possessed by former BACWA Chair, Arleen Navarret. Applications are due by December 11, 2015 and should be submitted by e-mail as an attachment to

What's new in BACWA's Committees

AIR Committee

The next meeting will take place at Union Sanitary District on December 10. This meeting will include a tour of the facility’s new cogeneration building and a brief overview of regulatory updates. View previous meeting materials.

Asset Management Infoshare Group

The Bay Area Asset Management Group has been incorporated into BACWA's Infoshare Group and plans to hold quarterly meetings.  They held their first meeting as part of BACWA on November 5, featuring a presentation by Paul Bonitz, SFPUC, on "Implementing Mobile Devices for Warehouse and Tool Room".  For details, see the November Board Report. The next meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2016, at EBMUD.


The December BAPPG meeting will feature a presentation on plastic pollution from Stiv Willson from the Story of Stuff Project.  The December meeting is also the annual Committee holiday cookie and beef jerky exchange. View notes from the October 7th meeting.

Collections Systems Committee

Regional Water Board staff attended the November meeting to discuss staffing and their priorities for the coming year. They are interested in surveying BACWA membership to find out how many agencies have ordinances that trigger inspection and/or repair of private sewer lateral.  For more information, see the November Collections Systems Committee Report.

Permits Committee

Regional Water Board staff will attend the next Permits Committee meeting, which also includes the annual Holiday Potluck. For more information, please see previous Permits Committee Reports.

Operations and Maintenance Infoshare Group

The Operations and Maintenance Infoshare Group held its first meeting under its new format on October 28.  The group is chaired by David Stoops of Oro Loma and supported by BACWA staff, and will meet quarterly. The meeting featured a discussion of peracetic acid as an alternative disinfectant, as well as alternative routes to compliance for meeting the Basin Plan effluent limit of 0.0 mg/L residual chlorine.  There was also a roundtable discussion about preparation for El Niño-related storms that are expected this winter. View Board Report.

Recycled Water Committee

At the November Recycled Water Committee meeting, besides the surface water augmentation regulations development, described above, the committee discussed a proposed new water bill “The Water Supply Reliability and Drought Protection Act of 2016" as well as how to update the BACWA Truck Fill Guide in 2016. For more information, please see Recycled Water Committee meeting notes.

Upcoming Events

Potable Reuse via Surface Water Augmentation Workshop
Friday December 4, 2015
Amador Ranch Center at Rancho San Ramon Community Park

BACWA Annual Members Meeting
Friday, January 15, 2016
Boy Scout Council, San Leandro, CA

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:

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

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