Representatives from four of California Water Association (CWA) member companies gave presentations and served as panelists at the American Water Works Association California-Nevada  Section Spring Conference in Sacramento. They addressed the theme “Confluence 2019: Where Policy, Operations and Management Converge.”

California Water Service’s (Cal Water) presentation on “Utility Operations, Safety & Health, Emergency Preparedness” highlighted the utility’s experiences, lessons learned, and best practices adopted after major emergencies and disasters. Since launching its emergency response refresh four years ago, Cal Water developed an Emergency Action Guidebook and activated 21 emergency operations centers to manage statewide storms, the Erskine Fire, the Oroville spillway incident, the Mendocino Complex Fire, the Woolsey Fire, and the Camp Fire.

Cal Water also presented an “Innovative Approach to Lead and Copper Rule Customer Site Assessments and Communication” and “Back to the Basics: Challenges and Solutions for Small Systems/Groundwater Treatment – 1,2,3-TCP.”

Arsenic treatment was the topic of Golden State Water Company’s (GSWC) presentation, which was included in the series of tracks titled, “Back to the Basics: Challenges and Solutions for Small Systems/Groundwater Treatment.” The goal of the series was to assist smaller utilities that may not have the technical or financial capabilities to deal with contamination and treatment issues. The tracks were recorded for future use as “road shows” at smaller utilities. GSWC also gave a presentation on “Responding to an Extreme Source Water Quality Event—Challenges and Lessons Learned in Clear Lake.”

California American Water’s presentation on “Evaluating Risks to the Water Supply” highlighted the utility’s efforts in reducing harmful impacts on water such as Perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic (PFOS) acids used in firefighting foams and other industrial materials. The presentation also stressed the importance of engaging in transparent communications with customers about water quality.

San Jose Water’s (SJW) conference presentations included, CALWARN: Fire, Earthquake and Regulation; It’s Not Just a Website Anymore…But a Tool to Meet Your Needs!” and “Right Keys, No Keys…No Problem (New Lock and Key Control Technology).” The utility also joined with Cal Water to present lessons learned and best management practices (BMPs) for “Complying with the Statewide General National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for Drinking Water Systems Discharges.” SJW shared operational changes related to compliance, BMPs for administrative and permitted discharges, and the status of the utility’s revised BMPs manual.

The presentation by Cal Water covered operational changes made by the utility such as implementing discharge management plans, performing staff training, developing a database management system, and improving BMPs.

Cal Water’s Emergency Operations Center Organization Chart
Schematic of GSWC’s Coagulation/Filtration System for Arsenic Treatment
California American Water’s New Perfluoroalkyl Acids Treatment Unit in Rancho Cordova, CA
SJW’s BMP for Permitted Discharges
Examples of Cal Water’s BMP Improvements




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