Topic: Wastewater

Overview

Wastewater

Water containing wastes – aka wastewater – from residential, commercial and industrial processes requires treatment to remove pollutants prior to discharge. After treatment, the water is suitable for nonconsumption (nonpotable) and even potable use.

In California, water recycling is a critical component of the state’s efforts to use water supplies more efficiently. The state presently recycling about 669,000 acre-feet of water per year and has the potential to reuse an additional two million acre-feet per year. 

Non-potable uses include:

  • landscape and crop irrigation
  • stream and wetlands enhancement
  • industrial processes
  • recreational lakes, fountains and decorative ponds
  •  toilet flushing and gray water applications
  •  as a barrier to protect groundwater supplies from seawater intrusion
  • wetland habitat creation, restoration, and maintenance
  • groundwater recharge
Aquafornia news Chemical and Engineering News

US EPA recommends testing wastewater for PFAS

Some facilities may have to test for the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their wastewater, under a new strategy from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The effort could eventually help reduce the level of environmentally persistent and toxic PFAS in drinking water drawn downstream of such facilities as well as in fish and river sediment.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

How safe is the water off the coast of the San Onofre nuclear plant?

Though many may not know it, throughout its existence the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station has discharged wastewater that contains very low levels of radiation. All nuclear plants release some effluents, though the nature and amounts can vary by plant site and configuration. In the case of San Onofre, the “liquid batch releases” go right into the Pacific. Southern California Edison, the plant’s operator, insists the levels are safe for marine life and the humans who swim and surf at San Onofre State Beach.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Model filter system removes antibiotics from wastewater

A model for an economical filter system that can remove antibiotics from wastewater has been designed by Agricultural Research Service and University of California-Riverside collaborators.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: UC San Diego detects coronavirus in wastewater samples from five areas of campus

UC San Diego says it detected traces of the novel coronavirus in five areas of campus over the weekend after it greatly expanded its search for the pathogen in wastewater samples drawn from dozens of buildings.

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Aquafornia news Sonoma Index Tribune

Sanitation district error leads to tax bill overcharge

Property owners in the Sonoma Valley generally receive property tax bills in early October, which includes a lengthy list of percentages levied for various bonds, and direct charges for district fees such as fire, health care and the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District. But for the third time in seven years, said Sonoma resident Scott Pace, that sanitation district charge has been inaccurate.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Agriculture

News release: Model filter system removes antibiotics from wastewater

A model for an economical filter system that can remove antibiotics from wastewater has been designed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of California-Riverside (UCR) collaborators.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Tesla to help power Santa Barbara’s Cater Water Treatment Plant

At a time when every other car on the South Coast seems to be a Tesla, it’s fitting that the City of Santa Barbara will soon be relying on a small mountain of Tesla storage batteries to help move water in and out of its Cater Water Treatment Plant…

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

Windsor floating solar panel project up and running

The solar installation consists of 4,959 high-output solar panels mounted atop a floating solar racking system. The system will generate power for the Windsor Wastewater Reclamation Facility, Public Works Corporation Yard and the Geysers pump station, delivering approximately 90% of the water reclamation facilities’ power requirements while saving about 30% of the electricity cost based on the facilities’ existing grid service…

Aquafornia news Water & Wastes Digest

Benefits bubble up: Wastewater treatment

Bear Republic Brewing Company started by trucking three 6,000-gallon trucks of waste from the Cloverdale brewery location to a facility in Oakland roughly 90 miles away one-way. This solution was simply unsustainable for many reasons, and Bear Republic eventually partnered with Cambrian Innovation to install two anaerobic reactors on site.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Paradise Post

Sewer line to Chico back in front of Paradise town council

A sewer pipe to Chico as part of a Paradise sewer project is back on the front burner, just 17 months after it voted to look to secure funding for preliminary engineering work (environmental review, project design, and right of way) on a local treatment plant. The town heard a report from HDR Engineering on Tuesday night that recommends the Town Council walk away from its May 2019 decision

Aquafornia news Forbes

Who knew CX could make a huge difference in DIY toilet repair?

Fluidmaster, headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, California, is the #1 toilet repair brand worldwide. They boast more than 80% U.S. market share, sell their products in over 90 countries, have about 1,500 employees worldwide, and produce about 100 million toilet repair products annually.

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

‘Kicking the can down the road:’ Deferred maintenance at root of Cloverdale water rate increases

This Wednesday, Nov. 11, the Cloverdale City Council’s lone new agenda item is a costly one to Cloverdale residents — a proposed hike in the city’s water and sewage rates. The increases in both water and wastewater rates … is something that city officials say is needed to help start capital improvement projects related to the city’s water and wastewater systems.

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: Tensions around a wastewater reclamation collaboration in Southern California

There’s some fascinating tension around a proposed wastewater reclamation collaboration in Southern California. The project, if it goes forward, would provide some 150 million gallons per day (~170,000 acre feet per year) of treated effluent. Water now being discharged into the ocean would instead be available for aquifer recharge within Southern California.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa County moves idea of a single water agency to future talks

Napa County has achieved a degree of peace – at least for now – over big ideas involving water governance and how possible changes might affect farmland preservation. Some finessing of language paved the way for the Local Agency Formation Commission of Napa County (LAFCO) to adopt a Napa Countywide Water and Wastewater study.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Water board enforcement actions being taken on dairies

Dairy producers will need to be mindful of enforcement actions from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Paul Sousa of Western United Dairies said enforcement typically occurs during the rainy season. Enforcement actions have been taken on six California dairies.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

California landfill sued over alleged stormwater pollution

A 340-acre landfill facility in Richmond, Calif., is releasing contaminated stormwater into nearby waters in violation of its federal water pollution permit, a conservation group says in a lawsuit filed in federal court.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Appeals court denies rehearing request over Oxnard wastewater ruling

On Friday, the state appellate court denied the petition by Aaron Starr, who successfully led a repeal of wastewater rates at the ballot box but the city is challenging it in court. The appeals court ruled the rate repeal known as Measure M did not provide sufficient funds for the city to operate its wastewater treatment plant… On Sunday, Starr indicated he will now petition the California State Supreme Court..

Aquafornia news EdScoop

UC Berkeley builds pop-up wastewater lab to aid local public health agencies in COVID-19 response

The University of California, Berkeley set up a temporary laboratory where it is testing sewage water to spot signs of COVID-19 in the San Francisco Bay Area. University leaders said the new high-throughput pop-up lab is helping health officials collect data on where the virus may be spreading, circumventing some of the limitations of testing people individually.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Farms work on nitrate control requirements

Local leaders, farmers and others in the Central Valley report additional progress in addressing salinity in surface water, and salt and nitrates in groundwater, in compliance with a program adopted last fall by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

New snapshot of what’s in the Tijuana River is as gross as you’d expect

What’s in the Tijuana River? Ammonia, a byproduct of raw sewage. Phosphorous, an ingredient in soaps and cleaners that’s banned in the U.S. Metals used in the industrial plating industry. Parasitic worms. And DEHP, a chemical added to plastics. And of course, there’s poo.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

Non-revenue water: An opportunity for water utilities, now more than ever

Conservative estimates from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies suggest the industry as a whole is expected to lose at least $12.5 billion due to the coronavirus when all is said and done. Revenue concerns are spurring utilities to find new infrastructure investments that can help offset shortfalls. The persistent problem of non-revenue water is a good place to start.

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

How testing sewage could help slow the spread of COVID-19

Craig Johnson’s company Clipper Controls supplies organizations with automatic water samplers, a tool that can be used to detect COVID in wastewater. The device is dropped into a manhole and collects sewage samples. Recently, Johnson said demand for the device has greatly increased.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

The Napa River was an ‘open cesspool’ for a century, then NapaSan came along

Napa Sanitation District is marking a county-transfiguring anniversary—it formed 75 years ago to turn the Napa River from an “open cesspool” with raw sewage into a water recreation draw. Signs of success abound.

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

City of Mt. Shasta agrees to pay $166,000 fine after sewer line leak

The overflows were caused primarily by a buildup of debris and root intrusion from aging infrastructure that could not accommodate heavy flows during intense rainfall, said Pope. In 2017, the heavy rains also caused channel bank erosion at a pipe crossing that resulted in failure of the pipe and a sewage spill into Cold Creek, a tributary to Lake Siskiyou.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Judge backs farm groups in water-quality lawsuits

Environmental groups’ challenges to agricultural waste discharge requirements for the eastern San Joaquin River watershed have been denied by a judge in Sacramento, which a California Farm Bureau Federation attorney described as a legal victory for affected farmers and for farmers statewide.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Could recycled water help balance the basin?

If all goes according to plan, recycled water from the city’s planned $45 to $60 million wastewater treatment facility may be used to help balance the Indian Wells Valley groundwater basin as mandated by the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Grant for septic system repairs coming to aid Camp Fire rebuild

Grant funding was just made available to begin to address the hurdles being faced by Paradise residents trying to rebuild — due to the lack of a sewer in the town. Residents have expressed frustrations with the process for approving permits to move through the septic process in order to rebuild, and a grant organized by North Valley Community Foundation represents much-needed funding…

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Morro Bay gives tour of new water reclamation facility

After about six months of construction, Morro Bay’s new water reclamation facility is well underway — and it remains politically divisive this election season, with three candidates talking about halting or undoing the project, which is the largest-ever infrastructure project in city history.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

EPA announces $108M loan to improve water quality in the California Delta

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $108 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Stockton Public Financing Authority to help modernize the city’s wastewater treatment facility and reduce nitrogen discharges to the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Vast new reservoir in south Orange County gets its first drops of water

It’s still dry as dirt, but promises to be a central component of future water supplies for the 165,000 people served by the Santa Margarita Water District. While the district currently imports 100% of its drinking water from the Colorado River and northern California, the new Trampas Canyon Reservoir is part of a plan to generate 30% of potable water supplies locally and to recycle more wastewater.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

UC Davis testing sewage to ID coronavirus infections

The goal is to monitor progress of the pandemic on campus and catch outbreaks before it’s too late to control them. Some schools, such as UC San Diego and others have been testing wastewater since August and September.

Aquafornia news Holtville Tribune

Imperial County wants to help draft New River bill

Imperial County Supervisor Ryan Kelley wants the board to work with Congressman Juan Vargas, D-Chula Vista, and the county’s lobbyists in Washington, D.C., to draft a legislation to fully fund a wastewater treatment project to clean the New River.

Aquafornia news Environmental Monitor

Blog: San Francisco Bay’s nutrient phenomena

Water from every toilet flush, shower and load of laundry is treated and pumped back into the bay. San Francisco’s wastewater management processes have kept cities going and scientists busy for quite some time. The San Francisco Estuary Institute researchers are committed to monitoring contamination levels in the bay and studying the associated ecological impacts.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Bishop demands quick passage of water rights legislation

House Natural Resources Committee ranking member Rob Bishop wants the House to fast-track legislation that would pave the way for hundreds of millions of dollars for water and sanitation development across Indian Country.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Pre-election meltdown at Montecito Sanitary

Some call it a “quiet revolution.” Others, a “hostile takeover.” Either way, on the heels of a severe drought, a group of wealthy Montecitans, many of them members of the Birnam Wood and Valley Club golf courses on East Valley Road, will gain control over all aspects of water policy on November 3 and for the foreseeable future in this exclusive enclave of one-acre lots and large estates.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Mexican governor, California mayor launch war of words over cross-border sewage spills

The mayor of Imperial Beach and governor of Baja California are in a public spat over cross-border sewage spills. Gov. Jaime Bonilla has held three separate press conferences this month demanding Mayor Serge Dedina apologize for his public criticisms of Mexico’s inability to stop sewage from flowing into the United States.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

With its beaches and creeks deemed ‘impaired,’ Santa Barbara takes steps to improve water quality

All of Santa Barbara’s beaches and creeks are designated as “impaired” under the federal Clean Water Act. … The council voted 7-0 to send its proposed changes to stormwater runoff to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board… The list of changes are extensive, and are proposed over four tiers based on various types and levels of new construction development. They involve landscape changes and stormwater treatment for new impervious construction.

Aquafornia news Lompoc Record

Lompoc to fix deficiencies in wastewater treatment system after EPA finds violations

The violations stretch from June 2015 to June 2020 and involve effluent discharges, monitoring and reporting, operation and maintenance, pretreatment, and fats, oils and greases, according to an administrative order on consent issued by EPA Region 9.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California oil: Companies profit from illegal spills; the state lets them

Along with being a global leader on addressing climate change, California is the seventh-largest producer of oil in the nation. And across some of its largest oil fields, companies have for decades turned spills into profits, garnering millions of dollars from surface expressions that can foul sensitive habitats and endanger workers, an investigation by The Desert Sun and ProPublica has found….Under state laws, it’s illegal to discharge any hazardous substance into a creek or streambed, dry or not.

Aquafornia news DanvilleSanRamon.com

Six candidates vie for three seats on Central Contra Costa Sanitary District board

The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board of Directors is one of the special districts set to appear on San Ramon Valley voters’ ballots during the Nov. 3 election, with six candidates vying for three at-large seats on the sewer board.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News release: EPA facilitates progress of national water reuse action plan

On Wednesday, at the virtual 35th Annual WateReuse Symposium, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency facilitated a “charrette” to identify challenges and map solutions to continue advancing the National Water Reuse Action Plan… “Water reuse must be a central theme in EPA’s efforts to meet 21st century demands for water,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California watchdog clears Costa Mesa Sanitary District of campaigning against Measure TT in 2016

A California Fair Political Practices Commission investigation has determined Costa Mesa Sanitary District officials did not spend ratepayer funds to actively campaign against 2016’s Measure TT, which sought to merge the sewer and trash service provider with Mesa Water District.

Aquafornia news Chino Champion

City supports sewer study, cautions against development

The Monte Vista Water District Board commissioned a feasibility study on Sept. 2 to replace hundreds of old septic tanks in the unincorporated area of Chino with a sewer system operated by the water district. Sewage service would be a new area for the district, which provides water services in Montclair and small pockets in northwest Chino.

Aquafornia news The Pew Charitable Trusts

Strained rural water utilities buckle under pandemic pressure

Rural water and wastewater systems have largely been left out of federal and state pandemic relief, and yet they play critical roles in local economies. … As the virus stretches further into smaller communities, these systems are fighting for their survival under long-standing economic and structural weights.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Colleges combating coronavirus turn to stinky savior: sewage

Ryan Schmutz was one of about 300 students quarantined to their rooms last week at Utah State University, but not because of sickness reports or positive tests. Instead, the warning bells came from the sewage.

Aquafornia news Water Environment Federation

Blog: Water utilities commended for transformational programming

The Utility of the Future Today recognition program celebrates the achievements of water utilities that transform from a traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience of the communities they serve.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

News release: SFPUC extends popular emergency customer assistance program through end of year

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is extending its Emergency Residential Community Assistance Program, designed to help customers struggling to pay water, sewer and Hetch Hetchy power bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, which launched in May, was originally set to expire Sept. 4, but will now be expanded through the end of the year

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Santa Rosa orders sudden curtailment for farm irrigators after miscalculation on recycled water supply

Santa Rosa miscalculated its stored water forecast near the beginning of the irrigation season, leading to sudden limits on water use that farmers say will cost them dearly in an already dry year. In mid-June, the agricultural users were put on notice: There would not be enough irrigation water for all to last through the growing season, according to the city.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News release: Scientists collect water quality data prior to wastewater treatment plant upgrades

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) is currently completing major upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant. In anticipation of these upgrades, USGS scientists are gathering data to establish baselines for current nutrient levels and dynamics in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta).

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

A new kind of college exam: UCSD testing sewage for COVID-19

As the beginning of the school year nears, UC San Diego is preparing to ramp up its testing of sewage for the coronavirus. The goal: Monitor the progress of the pandemic on campus and catch outbreaks before it’s too late to control them.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

EPA to pay for cleaning Mexican sewage mucking up U.S. beaches

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Wednesday the agency would pay for more water treatment south of the border, and work with San Diego to control trash coming into the United States from Mexico by way of the Tijuana River. Wheeler made the announcement during a visit to Southern California, a region long plagued by sewage, water, trash, and other contaminants flowing from Mexico.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

Cause of ‘unprecedented’ power failure that led to sewage dump into SF Bay still unknown

In the Aug. 14 outage, multiple redundant power sources failed at the plant in West Oakland, something that hasn’t happened since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Major flooding at the pump station led sewage to flow from an outlet into the estuary more than nine hours later. The incident occurred amid hot weather when people like to swim in the estuary running between Oakland and Alameda,

Aquafornia news E&E News

Wheeler, Calif. Gov. Newsom clash over coal plant rule change

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and California Gov. Gavin Newsom clashed Thursday over the Trump administration easing restrictions on wastewater discharges from coal-fired power plants.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Thursday Top of the Scroll: EPA announces short-term projects to plug border sewage flow

The two projects — which will cost $25 million and are funded by the EPA’s Border Water Infrastructure Program — will control sewage and wastewater, sediment and trash that flows from the Tijuana River across the U.S.-Mexico border into San Diego, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said during a press conference Wednesday at the U.S. Coast Guard station in San Diego.

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Aquafornia news Paso Robles Daily News

Paso Robles water treatment plant wins global water award

The project was nominated after it won California’s Engineering and Research Achievement Award. This project was among a short list of wastewater projects from Eqypt, China, and India.

Aquafornia news Environmental Health News

Microplastics in farm soils: A growing concern

Microplastics arrive on farms through processed sewage sludge used for fertilizer, plastic mulches, and are even intentionally added as slow-release fertilizers and protective seed coatings. In just the last few years, an uptick in research has uncovered alarming potential impacts of this contamination on all aspects of agricultural systems from soil quality to human health.

Aquafornia news KQED News

‘Unlikely’ power failure and series of equipment mishaps led to massive Oakland sewage spill

A major release of raw and partially treated sewage into the Oakland Estuary earlier this month was triggered by a rapid-fire series of electrical failures at the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s main wastewater treatment plant, the agency says in a report filed with state regulators.

Aquafornia news Sen. Dianne Feinstein

News release: Feinstein secures GAO review of EPA’s San Francisco enforcement actions

“We need to know whether the EPA has applied a consistent approach to enforcement against all cities with combined sewer systems or if San Francisco was being punished at the direction of the White House. This review of EPA actions will get to the bottom of this issue.”

Aquafornia news Waste360

California waste district and wastewater treatment plant partner to boost their bottom lines

In California, Monterey Regional Waste Management District and its neighbor, wastewater treatment plant Monterey One Water, have entered a somewhat unusual relationship with unique benefits to each. And the relationship has payoffs for its shared customers too.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

COVID-19 pandemic should be a wake-up call for water security

In a comment article published in Nature Sustainability, the researchers are urging policy makers across the world to focus on behavioural change, knowledge promotion and investment in water infrastructure.

Related article:

Aquafornia news CalEPA

News Release: Study finds wastewater treatment plants could profit by processing food waste while reducing greenhouse gasses

A new report issued today by the California Environmental Protection Agency shows that at least half of California’s landfill-bound food waste could be processed at the state’s wastewater treatment plants and serve as an innovative power source.

Aquafornia news EurekAlert

News release: Make wastewater drinkable again

Using Houston as a model, researchers at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering have developed a plan that could reduce the need for surface water (from rivers, reservoirs or wells) by 28% by recycling wastewater to make it drinkable once again.

Aquafornia news WestsideToday.com

State must analyze practice of dumping billions of gallons of wastewater into sea

Every day Hyperion Water Treatment Plant discharges enough treated wastewater into the ocean to fill the Rose Bowl 2.5 times over. Now a court has instructed state water officials to analyze whether it is “wasteful” and “unreasonable” to dump billions of gallons of wastewater into the sea.

Aquafornia news CNBC

The CDC wants state and local sewage systems tested for coronavirus

The CDC in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other federal government agencies will begin working with state, local, territorial and tribal health departments to collect data on the sewage samples, an effort they call the National Wastewater Surveillance System, or NWSS, according to CDC guidance updated on Monday.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Marketplace

What sewage water can tell us about the spread of COVID-19

Testing for COVID-19 is still limited, and results come far too slowly to keep ahead of the pandemic. Now, dozens of cities and countries are turning to the sewers to try to figure out if COVID-19 is spreading in their community.

Related article:

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

City of Galt agrees to six-figure settlement in sewage spill case

The city of Galt has agreed to pay $110,715 to settle a case that began two years ago when 301,000 gallons of untreated sewage overflowed into Dead Man Gulch, a tributary of South Laguna Creek. The spill occurred during a power outage when a faulty alarm system failed to alert city staff about malfunctioning pumps at a sewage lift station.

Aquafornia news MyMotherLode.com

Tuolumne Utilities District tabbed for $4.2-million grant for wastewater treatment plant

The Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment plant, visible from Highway 108, is nearly 50 years old, with outdated technology. Working with the USDA, TUD has been approved to receive a $4.2 million grant, and $15-million loan, to make extensive improvements.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Sanitation District harvests Napa’s sewage sludge for fertilizer

The dredging is taking place in a vast sewage treatment pond. And the material being removed is biosolids, which is another way of saying sewage sludge. About 3,500 tons of biosolids will be piped from the pond this summer to be dewatered. It is ultimately trucked a short distance and spread over a NapaSan field where a farmer grows sorghum.

Aquafornia news SF Weekly

Sea level rise a major threat to San Francisco

Sea levels on the California coast could rise as much as seven feet by 2100 and put tens of thousands of vulnerable San Franciscans at risk of daily flooding, according to a new report from the California State Legislative Analyst’s office.

Aquafornia news E&E News

House Republicans push using wastewater to track COVID-19

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are probing the extent to which EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are using wastewater to track the spread of the coronavirus.

Aquafornia news Santa Monica Mirror

Santa Monica-based group wins historic wastewater recycling suit

Every day Hyperion Water Treatment Plant discharges enough treated wastewater into the ocean to fill the Rose Bowl 2.5 times over. Now a court has instructed state water officials to analyze whether it is “wasteful” and “unreasonable” to dump billions of gallons of wastewater into the sea.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Wineries worry about impact of water rules

A new statewide order affecting how wineries dispose of water could undermine existing regional solutions, winery owners and their advocates say, and would impose new costs as the wine business struggles with tasting room closures and other measures intended to assure employee safety.

Aquafornia news Waste Today

California wastewater treatment site earns LEED Platinum certification

The Lakewood, California-based Water Replenishment District announced that its Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest rating offered to environmentally sustainable buildings. Only 5.7 percent of LEED projects in the U.S. have achieved this designation.

Aquafornia news Business Wire

News release: Los Angeles Waterkeeper prevails in historic wastewater recycling suit

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a historic ruling, in favor of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, that compels the State Water Resources Control Board to analyze whether it is “wasteful” and “unreasonable” to dump billions of gallons of wastewater uselessly into the sea, when it could instead be used productively to ensure the sustainability of California’s water resources.

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

Blog: Regional San’s landmark recycled water program gets new name

Regional San’s landmark recycled water program—previously known as the South County Ag Program—has been rebranded. Now known as Harvest Water, the program will be one of the largest water recycling projects in California and will deliver up to 50,000-acre feet per year of tertiary-treated recycled water to an estimated 16,000 acres of farm and habitat lands in southern Sacramento County.

Aquafornia news National Law Review

Wastewater treatment plants subject to California’s new PFAS initiative

The order is one of the most far-reaching of its kind with respect to PFAS, mainly because it requires testing and reporting for 31 different types of PFAS – more than any state has regulated in water sources for PFAS to date.

Related article

Aquafornia news Smart Water Magazine

Major role for wastewater epidemiology in tackling COVID-19

Wastewater-based epidemiology has a significant part to play in identifying ‘silent’ COVID-19 cases in the community, research presented at the latest Water Action Platform webinar demonstrates.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Agriculture

News release: Trump administration invests $462 million to modernize water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities

The Trump Administration Monday announced that the United States Department of Agriculture is investing $462 million to modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across rural America.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: The virus detectives: Tracking COVID-19 in Bay Area wastewater

With COVID-19 cases rising, public health officials are struggling to keep up with testing and monitoring. Because wastewater carries the virus, it can provide a window into outbreaks. We talked to Eileen White, director of wastewater at the East Bay Municipal Utilities District, about the agency’s role in tracking the spread of the virus.

Aquafornia news Wine Industry Advisor

New winery wastewater regulations could cost small and midsize wineries thousands every year

The California state water board is working on an update to a permitting process with water discharge requirements that make sure wineries are in compliance with water quality regulation and allows them a pathway to compliance. The new order will affect over 2,000 wineries that discharge winery waste to land for the purpose of disposal or reuse for irrigation and soil amendment.

Aquafornia news Sen. Dianne Feinstein

News release: Feinstein bill would reduce border pollution, improve water quality

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced the Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act, a bill to reduce pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border and improve the water quality of the Tijuana and New rivers.

Aquafornia news BenitoLink

San Benito Foods sues Hollister over permit, claims extortion

In a court filing, San Benito Foods accused the Hollister City Council of “extortion of fees” for removing sludge from pond #2 at the city’s industrial wastewater treatment plant, which the cannery uses to dispose of its wastewater, and that it is in breach of an agreement between the city and the company.

Aquafornia news Record Gazette

City and developer reach sewer capacity agreement for massive industrial project

The city of Beaumont and the owner of two previously approved industrial buildings with a combined 2.89 million square feet of space … have agreed to cap sewer capacity so as to not overwhelm the city’s sewer capacity. … Tuesday’s amendment to the development agreement establishes a maximum daily sewer flow of 139,679 gallons . For perspective, a residential home typically produces 330 gallons a day.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Federal agencies warn foreign hackers are targeting critical infrastructure

The agencies specifically warned that internet-connected operational technology assets, used throughout U.S. defense systems, were often the targets of malicious cyber actors attempting to hit critical infrastructure, such as systems providing water, gas and electricity. As a result, the agencies recommended that critical infrastructure operators and owners take “immediate action” to secure their systems.

Related article:

Aquafornia news InterestingEngineering.com

Wastewater treatment processes are the foundation of today’s civilized society

Believe it or not, much of the modern wastewater management technology we consider standard in any 21st century home, things like toilets and sewer pipes, are actually relatively new in the grand scheme of history.

Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

Why wastewater testing is critical in the fight against COVID-19

A company paving the way for sewage testing called Biobot, located in Boston, Massachusetts, has assembled a team of biologists, epidemiologists, data scientists, urban planners and engineers to track SARS-CoV-2 in stool that is making its way into the sewers and to our wastewater treatment plants.

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

EchoWater California megaprojects

The nearly $2-billion EchoWater project aims to meet a 2010 requirement issued by California and local authorities. They have called for cleaner discharge into the Sacramento River by 2023 from the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Elk Grove. With 21 projects, the EchoWater program’s largest components are now under construction and, despite complexities, remains on track to complete major work in 2022.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego homes, businesses subsidize industrial wastewater polluters by millions of dollars

San Diego homes and businesses have been improperly charged tens of millions of dollars for a program that keeps toxic sewer water from being discharged into the Pacific Ocean, the City Auditor’s Office has found. A new report from Interim City Auditor Kyle Elser said the city has failed to charge Industrial Wastewater Control Program permit holders enough to cover the costs of the program.

Aquafornia news KUSI News

Mayor pro tem: Tijuana corruption audit result in Imperial Beach sewage crisis

Imperial Beach Mayor Pro Tem Paloma Aguirre joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss a new report claiming that an audit done by Baja California governor accuses big US companies of water theft and contributed to raw sewage and hazardous pollutants ending up in the Tijuana River.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

East County Advanced Water Purification program receives $86m

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Board of Directors recently approved the East County Advanced Water Purification Program for its Local Resources Program, providing approximately $86 million in funding for this important water supply project.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Lathrop seeks discharge of treated wastewater into San Joaquin River

The City of Lathrop wants to secure a permit that will allow for the discharge of treated wastewater into the San Joaquin River. And last week they agreed to spend more than $400,000 to take steps towards achieving that longstanding goal.

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

Blog: Meet CWEA’s 2020-21 president, Wendy Wert

As environmental professionals work to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st century, is time dedicated to the California Water Environment Association well spent? The answer from an active volunteer, Wendy Wert, P.E., BCEE, is a resounding yes and a compelling story.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

There were no reports of coronavirus in Yosemite. Then they tested the park’s sewage

No park employees or residents tested positive. No visitors reported being sick. The fresh air and open space seemed immune. That’s until local health officials started looking for the coronavirus in the park’s raw sewage… This week, lab analysis of feces at two wastewater treatment plants serving Yosemite revealed the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. Dozens of people in Yosemite Valley are believed to have been infected.

Aquafornia news KPBS

Mexico says help is on the way for communities suffering from cross-border pollution flows

The Consul General of Mexico in San Diego said there are things happening in Tijuana that will help. In a written statement responding to questions by KPBS, Carlos González Gutiérrez said there are several projects underway.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Governor says Baja used water as a piggy bank. Critics worry about his bigger plan

Baja California’s new governor, Jaime Bonilla, says he is battling to clean up widespread corruption that for years ate away at the state’s water agency. Even Bonilla’s critics acknowledge the corruption and the failing water system, which results in frequent sewage spills that foul Tijuana and San Diego beaches.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

News release: SFPUC to resume work on critical infrastructure upgrade

The work, which begins June 29, will complete critical improvements to the North Shore Force Main (NSFM), a pressurized sewer pipeline that transports wastewater in northern San Francisco to the Southeast Treatment Plant in the Bayview, which treats 80 percent of the City’s wastewater.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Risk of COVID-19 in recreational water is low

Studies conducted in multiple countries in recent months have detected the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in treated and untreated wastewater, but to this date there has been no evidence of a person contracting the virus through wastewater or swimming areas.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Cross-border sewage lawsuits halted in California for EPA action

The state of California, city of Imperial Beach, and the Surfrider Foundation have agreed to a 12-month stay in litigation over cross-border sewage flowing in from Mexico while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency focuses work on the Tijuana River Valley.

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Eastern Municipal Water District approves San Jacinto Basin groundwater monitoring equipment

The June 17 meeting of the Eastern Municipal Water District included approving the purchase of groundwater monitoring equipment for the West San Jacinto Basin, approving a consultant contract for the final design of the Hemet Water Filtration Plant sodium hypochlorite tank replacement, and awarding Pacific Hydrotech Corporation a contract to replace the booster engines at the Pat Road facility.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Hundreds of U.S. cities testing sewage for early signs of coronavirus hotspots

Local officials in Oregon, California, New York, Utah, Florida and many other places are collecting sewage samples to test for coronavirus, which experts say could allow for detection of hotspots for the disease before the diagnosis of clinical cases.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Water recycling project promises supply for farms

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District is constructing the $375 million South Sacramento County Agriculture & Habitat Lands Recycled Water Program, or the South County Ag Program. As part of the wastewater provider’s $2 billion treatment plant upgrade, the district will construct new distribution pipelines to deliver recycled water from its to irrigation systems in southern Sacramento County.

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

Blog: Ironhouse Sanitary gets creative dealing with wipes, then pandemic causes debris to spike even higher

We checked in with Chad Davisson, General Manager of Ironhouse Sanitary District in eastern Contra Costa County. He and his team are getting wipes problems under control with technology, monitoring, operational changes and widespread public outreach. Then the pandemic hit, a TP shortage occurred and the amount of trash entering their sewer system spiked to unprecedented levels. We asked Chad how they dealt with these new challenges…

Aquafornia news WaterOperator.org

The Lytton Tribe manages government-to-government wastewater agreements

The Tribe has been working with Sonoma County to develop 147 housing units as well as a resort and winery. Now that this ongoing development can be performed on land officially held in trust by the U.S. federal government, the Tribe is no longer subject to local land use restrictions. As such, the Lytton Tribe must assess all potential options to best meet future wastewater needs. Collaboration with their Windsor neighbors as well as an environmental assessment identified two primary options…

Aquafornia news Action News Now

Wastewater samples showing possible spike in coronavirus cases in Corning

Tehama County has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases. A number of cases have been identified in the Corning area, according to city officials. … The county says a private company, Biobot Analytics, tested samples from the Corning Wastewater Treatment Plant each week in May to estimate the actual number of people who might be infected.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tijuana sewage runoff prompts county to extend beach closure to Imperial Beach

Water pollution from Tijuana sewage runoff has once again shuttered the Imperial Beach shoreline. The County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health on Saturday extended north the existing beach water-contact closure area at the Tijuana Slough shoreline to now also include the Imperial Beach shoreline.

Aquafornia news City News Service

Friday Top of the Scroll: San Diego and Tijuana announce plans to improve Tijuana River water treatment

Both United States and Mexican officials announced separate plans Tuesday to upgrade Tijuana River wastewater facilities. The international river has been a longtime problem for residents of Imperial Beach and Tijuana, as sewage and trash from the river have spilled into the Pacific Ocean for decades, often closing beaches near the border and damaging natural habitats along the river.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Advancing reuse through tertiary treatment

Water agencies in California typically include water recycling in their water supply portfolios, but the ones that serve smaller populations may not be able to implement full-blown reuse programs all at once. The City of Paso Robles, home to approximately 30,000 residents, shows it’s possible to build water resilience without building an advanced purification plant.

Aquafornia news Coronado Times

County identifies projects to dramatically reduce Tijuana River Valley sewage

The County of San Diego has released a report that identifies 27 projects that could potentially reduce the flow of sewage from Mexico into the U.S. and Tijuana River Valley each year by as much as 91%, from 138 days to 12. The report, the Tijuana River Valley Needs and Opportunities Assessment, identifies strategies to manage impacts from sewage, trash, and sediment on the U.S. side of the border.

Aquafornia news Patch.com

San Mateo pile driving begins on wastewater treatment plant expansion

The City of San Mateo’s Clean Water Program is progressing to Phase 2 of the upgrade and expansion of its wastewater treatment plant on Detroit Drive. … The wastewater treatment plant upgrade is the largest component of the $1 billion, decade-long Clean Water Program.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Enthusiasm but obstacles in using sewage to monitor coronavirus

In places like the United States where testing of residents has lagged, a central sampling point has the added appeal of simplicity, compared to the rigors of clinical testing. Why jab thousands of people per day with nasal swabs if sewage holds the same answers?

Aquafornia news Lake County News

COVID-19 virus detected in May 12 raw sewage samples from two wastewater treatment plants

On Wednesday, Special Districts received results for samples taken on May 12, showing the presence of the virus at the Southeast Regional and Northwest Regional Plants. Officials said results have been significantly delayed as consultant Biobot has become overwhelmed with hundreds of agencies and municipalities joining their project. Results for May 19 and May 26 samples remain pending, the county reported.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Equal representation on a critical water board is denied due to political fighting

Thousands of people in Marina are being blocked from full representation on the board of a regional water agency, a casualty of a larger battle over the water future of the Monterey Peninsula. The agency is Monterey One Water, and it is responsible for treating sewage.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News release: U.S. EPA officials, federal and local partners charted path forward on transboundary sewage challenge

EPA will convene an Interagency Consultation Group comprised of senior-level members from key U.S. federal, state, and local agencies, as listed in the USMCA legislation. EPA will also manage a binational technical expert consultation process to ensure infrastructure options are informed by the best available technical and scientific information.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Epidemic of wipes and masks plague sewers, storm drains

While drain clogs aren’t new, most of the more than 15 cities contacted by The Associated Press said they’ve become a more costly and time consuming headache during the pandemic. Home-bound Americans are seeking alternatives to bathroom tissue because of occasional shortages, while stepping up efforts to sanitize their dwellings and themselves.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Opinion: San Diego and Tijuana’s shared sewage problem has a long history

U.S. policymakers understand quite well the impact of Mexico’s wastewater management on American communities. What they fail to comprehend is that the ongoing border sewage crisis is rooted in a longer history of U.S. imperialism and private enterprise in the San Diego-Tijuana region.

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Aquafornia news The Daily Nexus

UCSB researchers investigate the “untapped gold mine” of wastewater testing for COVID-19

The lab aims to understand not only the current circulation of the novel coronavirus, but also project what capacity must be built in the future to combat a potential second wave, according to Laurie Van De Werfhorst, a senior staff scientist who’s worked with Dr. Patricia Holden for almost 19 years.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News release: EPA announces $196 million water infrastructure loan to Inland Empire, California

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $196 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Inland Empire Utilities Agency in San Bernardino County, California. The loan will help finance expanded wastewater treatment capacity to support public health and the environment in this growing community.

Aquafornia news 60 Minutes

Raw sewage flowing into the Tijuana River brings toxic sludge to California

The term “crisis on the border” typically refers to immigration issues or drugs being smuggled into the country. But it has one more meaning, as we discovered, when we went to the border in early February: tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage that spill every year into the Tijuana River on the Mexican side and flow across the border right into Southern California, polluting the land, air, and sea.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Inland Empire water agency gets $196 million loan from EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, May 28, gave a $196.4 million loan to the Inland Empire Utilities Agency to expand its wastewater treatment plant in Chino. … More wastewater treatment capacity is needed as Chino and neighboring cities served by the plant add residential and commercial development.

Aquafornia news Windsor Times

Windsor agrees to start the process of connecting wastewater services to Lytton Tribe

It’s been more than a decade since discussions began about what would happen to wastewater if the Lytton Tribe were to have their lands west of town put into federal trust. At its May 20 meeting, the Windsor Town Council voted unanimously to move forward to the next step, creating an agreement to have the wastewater treated in the town’s facility.

Aquafornia news USA Today

Coronavirus: Sewage can indicate virus spread before symptoms appear

In hundreds of cities across the USA, scientists hope monitoring systems will provide an early warning if coronavirus infections reemerge as communities in some states cautiously reopen. These monitors don’t rely on testing patients or tracing contacts. All that’s required? Human waste.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Trump EPA’s targeting of San Francisco pollution may bring investigation

The nation’s environmental watchdog may investigate federal enforcement of water policy in California after Democratic lawmakers accused the Trump administration of “irregular” interference targeting San Francisco, according to a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Opinion: Computers in our sewers: Digitization of the water sector

Technology is revolutionizing wastewater systems, which require a lot of maintenance but are difficult to access under the surface. Ari Goldfarb and Itai Boneh of Kando, a wastewater solutions company, examine how technology is improving wastewater systems and how Covid-19 is having an impact.

Aquafornia news Windsor Times

Council to discuss managing wastewater for Lytton tribe

The council will consider a resolution approving an agreement between the town of Windsor/Windsor Water District and the Lytton Rancheria of California for the extension and provision of wastewater services for residential development and ancillary cultural, community and tribal government facilities on the land located west of Windsor.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

SFPUC offering reduced rates for certain residential customers during pandemic

Rates will be reduced by 35 percent for sewer bills, 30 percent for Hetch Hetchy public power utility bills, and 15 percent for water bills for those who have a SFPUC residential account under their name, have experienced income loss due to COVID-19 or the resulting shelter-in-place order, and a maximum income under 200 percent of the area median income.

Aquafornia news Water Environment Federation

Residuals and biosolids issues concerning COVID-19 virus

To provide further clarification on the virus that causes COVID-19 infections, and concerns about how it relates to residuals, sludge, and biosolids for water resource recovery facilities as well as the wastewater sector at large, this article includes a review of available data related to the virus and surrogates as well as their potential associations with residuals, sludge, and biosolids.

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Aquafornia news City News Service

EPA wants to spend $300 million for border sewage problem

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed spending $300 million to address the problem of toxic sewage flowing across the border into San Diego County, legislators announced Tuesday. The money would be part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, and will be used for the engineering, planning, design and construction of wastewater infrastructure at the border, officials said.

Aquafornia news UC Riverside

Blog: Rethinking (waste)water and conservation

As a result of compliance with conservation measures through lower indoor water use, the amount of wastewater effluent was reduced. This reduction means less water for recycling and reuse — a source of water often thought of as drought-proof — and less water for stream augmentation, with a consequence of potentially impacting streamflow and downstream water quality…

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Poop tests in sewage might predict coronavirus surge

Scientists across the nation are examining Southern California’s poop — maybe even yours — with the hope of more quickly identifying COVID-19 hotspots and better preparing for future surges. The information could also signal when stay-at-home orders can be safely eased in specific communities.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Lake County News

Latest raw sewage testing at Lake County facilities does not detect virus that causes COVID-19

The latest testing of raw sewage at Lake County Special Districts’ four treatment facilities found no presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 at any of the plants late in April, despite the fact that samples earlier in the month confirmed its presence.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Water utilities want a bailout. Will Congress listen?

The industry and its advocates … are backing a two-phase plan to extend a lifeline to water utilities and customers who cannot pay their bills during an economic crisis, and to invest for the future. Step one in the plan is the provision of emergency assistance to both groups. There is still a debate about the size of an aid package for utilities and the most efficient and effective way of helping customers. But $1.5 billion in customer assistance is a common starting point in discussions.

Aquafornia news Politico

Poop could help stop the pandemic. Really

While wastewater surveillance has been used for years in developing countries to detect outbreaks of polio, in the U.S., it has been used more recently to track opioid use within communities. A spokesperson for the CDC confirmed that the agency is eyeing wastewater as part of its response to the pandemic, though it is not yet doing so.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

An early warning system for coronavirus infections could be found in your toilet

Researchers say the virus can be detected in untreated wastewater within days of infection and as much as two weeks before a person grows ill enough to seek medical care — that is, if symptoms ever materialize at all.

Aquafornia news Water Environment Federation

Water Environment Federation releases first coronavirus roundtable

The Water Environment Federation has published the first of a series of video roundtable discussions with executive leaders from across the water sector. These discussions will discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting operations, business, and people.

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

CalWARN distributing free cloth facemasks to water, wastewater utilities

FEMA, through a joint effort with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Water-Wastewater Agency Response Network … is providing a limited supply of cloth facemasks to California water and wastewater agencies. Although the distribution is being handled by CalWARN, you do not need to be a CalWARN member to request and pick up the cloth facemasks.

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

Blog: West County Wastewater and EBMUD strike agreement saving valuable drinking water

West County Wastewater and East Bay Municipal Utility District announced a recycled water partnership that will preserve valuable drinking water for the region and support West County Wastewater’s ongoing mission of environmental stewardship and protecting public health.

Aquafornia news Fox 5 San Diego

South Bay leaders call for emergency repairs to Tijuana sewage system

South Bay leaders are once again calling for action to fix cross border pollution. … Tuesday, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina told FOX 5 that the Tijuana sewage system has collapsed and is spewing about 60 million gallons of untreated sewage each day in the river.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Poop may tell us when the coronavirus lockdown will end

From Stanford to the University of Arizona, from Australia to Paris, teams of researchers have been ramping up wastewater analyses to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Initial studies show that sewage monitoring, or “wastewater-based-epidemiology,” could not only tell us how much the virus might actually be spreading in a community — but also when the virus has finally gone away.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Coronavirus causes delay in EPA’s rule for managing wastewater

The EPA has been too busy responding to the deadly coronavirus to work on its long-awaited proposal to manage huge volumes of pathogen-infested sewage and stormwater during heavy rains, the agency’s top wastewater official said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news KUSI News

60 million gallons of waste per day continues to flow from Mexico into San Diego’s ocean

While most of the Earth has been singularly obsessed with an invisible virus from a foreign land, in this California beach town, it’s a “crisis on top of crisis’. Not only dealing with the creepy disease we can’t see, but a river of toxic waste from a foreign land that we can see, but chose to ignore.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

Poll: 84 percent of Americans want investment in water

A new poll by the Value of Water Campaign released today shows that 84 percent of American voters want state and federal leaders to invest in water infrastructure. The near-unanimous support amid the COVID-19 pandemic reveals that voters value water and want elected officials to prioritize investing in infrastructure — specifically, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

Aquafornia news KQED News

One way to monitor a community’s coronavirus infections: Test the sewage

Ten Bay Area counties, coordinated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District, are giving samples of sewage water to researchers at Stanford for testing. The scientists have received samples once a week for about the past two months, and results are expected soon.

Related article:

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Supreme Court ruling finds old, new middle ground on Clean Water Act’s application to groundwater

The Court decision introduces the concept of a “functional equivalent of a direct discharge” as a guideline for when a point source discharge must obtain a permit. It cites the case of an injection well receiving pollutant discharge that then travels a few feet through groundwater into navigable waters as a clear case of “functional equivalent” to direct discharge.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Coronavirus, toilet paper shortage could hit sanitation districts

Most businesses across the country and certainly in the Coachella Valley are dealing with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis on a daily basis. Beverli Marshall, however, believes her business might not feel the sting of the coronavirus for months yet — ultimately, about the same amount of time it’ll take something that shouldn’t be flushed down a toilet or rinsed down a drain to make it through the waste water system of Valley Sanitary in Indio.

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Aquafornia news The New York Times

Friday Top of the Scroll: Clean Water Act covers groundwater discharges, Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Clean Water Act applies to some pollutants that reach the sea and other protected waters indirectly through groundwater. The case, County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, No. 18-260, concerned a wastewater treatment plant on Maui, Hawaii, that used injection wells to dispose of some four million gallons of treated sewage each day…

Related articles:

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

Blog: Member surveys show PPE shortage, wipes struggles

For the April 15th collection systems webinar, we asked attendees if their agency is experiencing INCREASED maintenance because of wipes? 64% of the 165 agencies represented said yes they are experiencing O&M problems due to more wipes in the system. … Another startling finding was 77% of 191 agencies surveyed said they are struggling to find PPE supplies. The most common items those agencies are looking for are face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Protective gear in low supply for U.S. water utilities

Utilities are reporting in industry surveys that they are low primarily on the specialized N95 masks that block viruses and other tiny particles. If the virus rampages throughout a utility’s work force the way it has in meat-processing facilities in Colorado, Iowa, and South Dakota, it could jeopardize the treatment and delivery of drinking water and the proper handling of sewage and stormwater.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Senate water bills need more funding due to pandemic: Witnesses

Two bipartisan draft water infrastructure bills unveiled this week by the Senate environment committee are a good start but will need even more funding in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, water agencies and other groups said Wednesday.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Lake County News

Testing detects COVID-19 virus in raw sewage at Lake County sewer plants

Results from recent testing conducted at all of the sewer treatment plants operated by Lake County Special Districts have revealed the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. … The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that while SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19, the amount of virus released from the body in stool, how long the virus is shed and whether the virus in stool is infectious are not known.

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Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: San Diego mayor thanks water treatment plant employees

Following efforts to increase safety measures throughout all City departments to stop the spread of COVID-19, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer toured the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant on Friday to observe increased safety protocols. He also thanked City employees as they continue to deliver safe, reliable water to over 1.4 million San Diegans.

Aquafornia news Brookings Institution

Blog: COVID-19 is a chance to invest in our essential infrastructure workforce

As federal, state, and local leaders look to provide economic relief, they must pay special attention to the support and protection of our current infrastructure workforce. Additionally, this moment offers an opportunity that we may not see again anytime soon: the chance to jumpstart long-term infrastructure careers for millions of prospective workers nationally.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Green groups sue after EPA suspends enforcement of pollution monitoring due to coronavirus

Environmental groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a March memo signaling that the agency would not seek penalties against companies that do not monitor their pollution during the coronavirus outbreak.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Coronavirus: More members of Congress support water aid

The number of supporters in Congress for utility assistance in the next Covid-19 package continues to grow. One hundred ten Democratic members of the House and Senate sent a letter today to congressional leaders, requesting financial aid to utilities and the people they serve during the coronavirus pandemic.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Industry survey indicates revenue challenges for U.S. water utilities

Two-thirds of water utilities say that changes in water demand and customer payments during the coronavirus pandemic will cause cash flow problems within the next two months or more. That’s one of the takeaways from a survey of more than 500 water utilities conducted at the end of March by the American Water Works Association

Related articles:

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Onofre sewage spill linked to blocked line, worn out pump switch

Southern California Edison, the operators of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, is still investigating what caused the release of 7,000 gallons of sewage into the ocean last month but it appears the culprits were a blockage in the facility’s sewage treatment plant and a worn out pump switch.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Wastewater treatment kills most pathogens, including COVID-19 virus

Californians reuse treated wastewater as a water supply, to irrigate crops, and to support freshwater ecosystems. To get answers to questions about managing the new coronavirus in the “sewershed,” we talked to two experts: Kara Nelson, an expert in waterborne pathogens at UC Berkeley; and Adam Link, executive director of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa Sanitation District to repair an essential sewage-carrying pipe

Napa Sanitation District is planning a $15 million project to rehabilitate a deteriorating pipe that carries 90 percent of local sewage to the wastewater treatment plant and has no backup. … The half-century-old, 66-inch-diameter concrete pipe transports raw sewage three miles from the city of Napa to the wastewater treatment plant near the airport industrial area. A district report calls it the “backbone” of the sewer system.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Price of reclaimed water still too high for ag

If you’re a Central Valley farmer and haven’t yet been hit up by someone about reusing crummy water for irrigation — just wait. Companies are springing up all over with the latest gizmo they believe will take nasty, salty water, mostly from shallow aquifers on the valley’s west side or oilfield produced water, and make clean “new” irrigation water.

Aquafornia news Wired

Thursday Top of the Scroll: One way to potentially track COVID-19 — Sewage surveillance

How many people have been infected with the new coronavirus? A group of Bay Area researchers aims to find out—by tracking what’s in the local wastewater.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Audio: Pandemic’s effects on environment are good, bad, weird

On this episode of our podcast, Parts Per Billion, we speak with California correspondent Emily C. Dooley about some of the strange environmental trends that have popped up in her state and elsewhere as a result of the pandemic and its economic aftermath.

Aquafornia news PlanetWatch

Opinion: The low down on the EPA’s National Water Reuse Action Plan

In a time when many people in the world are inside their houses to stop the spread of covid-19, it is easy to forget that good news still exists. The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Water Reuse Action Plan is a bit of good news. The Plan, announced on February 27, 2020, by EPA Administration Andrew Wheeler, prioritizes the use of recycled water.

Aquafornia news Western Municipal Water District

News release: Western Municipal Water District declares local state of emergency

Today’s declaration of a local emergency grants general manager, Craig Miller, increased flexibility to make critical operational decisions and acquire vital financial, material, and human resources to support business continuity. This action ensures the essential water and wastewater (sewer) services that Western provides remain as reliable as ever.

Aquafornia news KQED News

Coronavirus cruise ship is still anchored on the Bay. Handling its sewage is a chore

The effluent is hauled ashore on barges, hit with a dose of disinfectant, then deposited into a huge East Bay Municipal Utility District sewer main called the Alameda Interceptor. From there, the material joins the underground river of everything else that’s been flushed down local toilets and flows to the agency’s wastewater treatment plant at the foot of the Bay Bridge.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

San Onofre treatment plant problem leads to release of 7,000 gallons of partially treated sewage into ocean

In an alert to state regulators, Southern California Edison, which operates the power station, said an unexpected surge of wastewater led to an “upset” at the treatment plant that morning, triggering an alarm but allowing the sewage to flow through a 6,000-foot pipe out into the ocean before workers could turn off the pumps.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Friday Top of the Scroll: Virus-related delays cause states to rethink water permit compliance

States around the country say they won’t penalize water and wastewater utilities for failing to meet Clean Water Act permit requirements due to delays caused by the deadly coronavirus if those delays are justified and documented. Delays, for example, could be caused by utility staff who test and monitor water quality—or lab workers who analyze it—being quarantined with Covid-19.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

7,000 gallons of sewage from San Onofre nuclear plant spills a mile into the ocean

A sudden influx of water at the sewage treatment facility at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station early Wednesday morning led to about 7,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater being released about a mile into the Pacific. Officials at Southern California Edison, the plant’s operator, said the sewage amounted to a “non-radiological release”…

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

Because of the TP shortage, people are using wipes, T-shirts with predictable results

Thanks to people hoarding toilet paper during the coronavirus pandemic, some Californians have completely run out of bathroom tissue. So what do they do when nature calls? They improvise. And that, communities are discovering, can cause problems. Big, stinky, overflowing problems.

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Aquafornia news KUNC

Thurday Top of the Scroll: Coronavirus outbreak tests resilience of Western water workforce

Water agencies throughout the West are changing their operations during the coronavirus outbreak to make sure cities and farms don’t run dry. Their responses range from extreme measures to modest adjustments to ensure their most critical workers don’t succumb to the virus.

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Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Coronavirus: Worker at San Jose wastewater plant tests positive

Highlighting the threat that coronavirus poses to basic public health systems around California and the nation, a worker at San Jose’s wastewater treatment plant — a facility that treats the sewage from 1.5 million people in San Jose and seven other cities — has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is a janitor working as part of a contract company.

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Aquafornia news The New York Times

Americans coping with the coronavirus are clogging toilets

Many are then tossing the disinfectant wipes, paper towels and other paper products they used into the toilet. The result has been a coast-to-coast surge in backed-up sewer lines and overflowing toilets, according to plumbers and public officials, who have pleaded with Americans to spare the nation’s pipes from further strain.

Related article:

Aquafornia news CBS Los Angeles

Coronavirus: State Water Board warns ‘flushable’ wipes could clog sewer systems

As the state grapples with the ripple effects of the coronavirus outbreak, California’s Water Board says residents should not flush disinfecting wipes or paper towels, or risk dealing with backed-up plumbing and sewers.

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Aquafornia news San Bernardino City News

Water and school district partner on new career pathway

The Water and Wastewater Pathway at Indian Springs High School is strategically located near East Valley Water District’s new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility. The Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) will provide a sustainable new water supply to boost the region’s water independence.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Coronavirus: California issues warning about disinfecting wipes

Wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper does in water. They are stronger, and many wipes include plastics and materials like nylon. That means bad news for sewer systems, some of which already are experiencing problems during the coronavirus crisis.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

California Public Utilities Commission: Certain services won’t be shut off due to inability to pay

California residents who are not able to pay their water, sewer, energy or communications bills during the state’s novel coronavirus state of emergency will not be at risk of having their services shut off, the California Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday.

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Aquafornia news The Guardian

UK’s sewage system in danger of gridlock from toilet paper substitutes

Innocent consumer substitutions due to shortages caused by fears about the spread of coronovirus could create serious consequences which are critical to society and life, according to leading supply chain academic Prof Richard Wilding. The warning comes amid panic buying sweeping UK supermarkets…

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Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

COVID-19 guidance for wastewater workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidance for wastewater workers, reporting that coronaviruses are vulnerable to the same disinfection techniques used currently in the health care sector.

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Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

California district partners with other utilities to meet all of its customers’ irrigation needs

In a part of the country where freshwater supplies are often scarce, the Olivenhain (California) Municipal Water District is doing its part. The 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility recycles some 1 million gallons of high-quality effluent each day for irrigation and shares even more with neighboring communities.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tijuana River sewage pollution shutters beaches as far north as Coronado

Beaches were closed on Tuesday from the Mexico border to Coronado as rain flushed sewage-contaminated runoff from Tijuana into the San Diego region. “Things have gotten worse than ever,” said Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina.

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Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Advocating for clean water

As the nation’s water and wastewater treatment systems of pipes, pumps, and plants reach the end of their intended lifespan, investing in water infrastructure has taken the spotlight.

Aquafornia news KSBY

Morro Bay secures EPA loan for new wastewater treatment plant

The City of Morro Bay is getting a $62 million loan from the Environmental Protection Agency to replace its aging wastewater treatment plant. The new facility will be located near the intersection of South Bay Blvd. and Highway 1.

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

San Bernardino schools and East Valley Water District open career pathway

The new career prep program was created out of a partnership between the school district and water district that is linked to the development of East Valley Water District’s Sterling Natural Resource Center water recycling plant now under construction across Sixth Street from the high school.

Aquafornia news Mountain View Voice

Lawsuits against Mountain View and Sunnyvale allege sewage water leaking into creeks and Bay

An environmental watchdog group has filed lawsuits against the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale alleging that the cities’ aging sewer systems are leaking bacteria from human feces into stormwater drainage systems, contaminating local creeks and ultimately the Bay.

Aquafornia news KPBS

California wants feds to address cross-border sewage

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board issued an investigative order in February that requires more monitoring of sewage-tainted cross-border flows. The order requires the International Boundary and Water Commission to monitor more than a dozen locations over an 18-month period.

Aquafornia news KPBS

Protesters gather at Mexican consulate, demand end of cross border sewage spills

A handful of protesters marched outside the Mexican Consulate in Little Italy, protesting cross border sewage flows. They want Mexico to do more to fix the problem. Polluted water has routinely flowed from Mexico into the United States since December. “We feel like we’re not getting heard,” said Mitch McKay, president of Citizens for Coastal Conservancy.

Aquafornia news Laguna Beach Independent

Laguna Beach moves to hike sewer rates in wake of Thanksgiving spill

A sewage spill that occurred a day before Thanksgiving last year prompted the Laguna Beach City Council to move forward with a one-time sewer rate increase Tuesday that will account for the financial fallout. Pending the result of a protest vote by ratepayers, the 10% increase ups bills for single-family homes to $800 annually, or $66.67 per month. The hike could take effect as early as July 1.

Aquafornia news Tehachapi News

Tehachapi City Council OK’s sewer, water fees for new development

Officials in the city of Tehachapi approved new water and sewer fees — in case new housing developments start moving in — to support the construction of infrastructure that can’t quite support projected growth in the next 10 years.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Citizen

Fairfield spends $4 million on hardening project for wastewater treatment plant

The town of Fairfield is moving forward with a project to better protect its wastewater treatment plant from large storms and sea level rise. According to a press release from First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, the project will cost a total of $7.4 million but $3.33 million will be funded through a grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Developments’ (US HUD) Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery.

Aquafornia news Sierra News Online

Mariposa Utility District upgrades wastewater treatment facility

Reportedly a number of Mariposa County residents don’t believe the Mariposa Public Utility District’s (MPUD) decades-old sewage management system could provide service to potential new motels or hotels and multi-family housing units. … In fact, upon completion of the current retrofit and upgrade, MPUD officials say the wastewater treatment facility could easily handle three times as much capacity as it now processes.

Aquafornia news Pleasanton Weekly

Studying potable reuse water for Pleasanton

City staff recommends Pleasanton sign on to a potentially $1 million task order with three other Tri-Valley public water agencies for preliminary studies and community outreach … to explore the possibility of supplementing the local water supply with recycled water treated for drinking purposes, better known as potable reuse water.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Sewage in creeks prompts lawsuits against Sunnyvale, Mountain View

A Bay Area environmental group has sued the cities of Sunnyvale and Mountain View, saying they are in violation of the federal Clean Water Act for discharging raw sewage and polluted storm water into creeks, sending bacteria pollution to levels more than 50 times legal limits.

Aquafornia news KQED News

State fines North Bay water agency over massive sewage spill

This week the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District agreed to the financial settlement over one of the district’s largest sewage spills in recent memory.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Unlikely allies push the White House to back cleaning pollution from the Tijuana River

With the backing of an unusual mix of local Democrats, Republicans, Border Patrol agents and environmental groups, House Democrats leveraged their support for the trade bill — one of Trump’s highest priorities — to secure the administration’s rare backing for an environmental project. Each group played a part.

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