October 2016

OCWD Board Members


Cathy Green

First Vice President

Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.

Second Vice President

Philip L. Anthony

Jordan Brandman
Shawn Dewane
Jan Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.

General Manager

Michael R. Markus
P.E., D.WRE.

In This Issue:

President’s Message — Advocating for Water Reliability Projects

OCWD Receives Inaugural IDA Award

Task Force Monitors Salinity in Water

Fletcher Basin Dedication Oct. 27

Groundwater Cleanup Update

Groundwater Adventure Tour Fun and Learning

Register for 2016 Clarke Prize Conference

Fountain Valley Opens Reclaimed Water Fill Station

Salinity Management Summit Nov. 17

Out in the Community

OCWD in the News

OCWD Employees—Employee of Third Quarter Kim Dusky

Upcoming Events

September Tours


President’s Message—Advocating for Water Reliability Projects

The Orange County Water District (District; OCWD) works to influence legislative fiscal policy and funding in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to ensure Orange County’s groundwater basin is protected and supports a reliable, affordable and safe water supply for the 2.4 million people it serves.

Maintaining an active presence in the government arena is a vital part of what the District does to forge and maintain long-term, positive and proactive relationships with legislative offices and create opportunities for policy makers to obtain a greater, in-depth knowledge about the complex world of water.

The Orange County Water District actively engages on legislation in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. by communicating its policies and positions to state and federal legislators and government officials, and by working closely with these decision makers to advance the District’s objectives. OCWD also participates in legislative work groups and coalitions and hosts workshops at its headquarters, such as State Board state-wide workshops to provide input on the Prop 1 funding guidelines for water reuse and groundwater cleanup grants.

Significant funding and public support are needed to secure and maintain water supplies from the State Water Project and Colorado River, to expand water reuse, enable the development of new water supplies, expand the use of new technologies, and to promote water conservation, among other needs. There is money available through the Proposition 1 Water Bond and OCWD needs to position the region to access as much as possible to fund local water projects. Read More…

Cathy Green


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OCWD Receives Inaugural IDA Award

Mehul Patel and Dr. Emilio GabbrielliThe Orange County Water District received the inaugural Exceptional Utility Leader in Water Reuse and Conservation award from the International Desalination Association (IDA) at its recent International Conference on Water Reuse and Recycling in Nice, France.  This was one of three new awards presented by IDA that recognize leadership and innovation in advancing water reuse and conservation. The other two are Outstanding Professional in Water Reuse—top award given to Dr. Masaru Kurihara of Toray Industries Inc.; and Conservation and Industry Technology and Innovation Leader in Water—top award presented to Veolia Water Technologies, France. The award recipients received a commemorative award, a one year IDA membership and are invited to be part of the Committee for the next IDA Water Reuse and Conservation Awards in 2018.

Shown in the photo, OCWD Director of Water Production Mehul Patel (left) receives the Exceptional Utility Leader in Water Reuse and Conservation award from IDA President Dr. Emilio Gabbrielli.

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Task Force Monitors Salinity in WaterSanta Ana River Watershed Map

In 2004, wastewater treatment plant operators and water districts in the Santa Ana Watershed, including the Orange County Water District, joined with the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board to form the Santa Ana Watershed Basin Monitoring Program Task Force (Task Force). This group meets on a regular basis to monitor salt levels (salinity) in surface water and groundwater basins in the watershed and assists the agencies in complying with the regulations that manage salinity in discharges to waterbodies like the Santa Ana River.

Typical methods used to manage salt levels include desalinating brackish groundwater, improving wastewater treatment, and recharging groundwater basins with lower salinity supplies. On-going drought conditions have made it more difficult to manage salinity. Without significant precipitation, surface waters are not sufficiently diluted by rainwater, which results in rising total dissolved solids (TDS) in surface waters. The Task Force recently joined in an effort with the Southern California Salinity Coalition to study this issue and propose solutions to this challenge. Read More…

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Fletcher Basin InvitationFletcher Basin Dedication Oct. 27

The community is invited to the Fletcher Basin dedication that will take place Oct. 27. The program will begin at 4 p.m. Fletcher Basin is the 26th recharge basin in the Orange County Water District and the fourth in the city of Orange. Recharge basins help capture rainfall and Santa Ana River water and naturally percolate the water into the Orange County Groundwater Basin, adding to our water supply. The new basin is located on West Fletcher Avenue between North American Way and North Batavia Street in Orange. Street parking is available on West Fletcher Avenue and surrounding streets. Please register by Oct. 24 to attend.

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Groundwater Cleanup Update

North Basin Areas: Fullerton, Anaheim and Placentia
South Basin Areas: Irvine, Santa Ana and Tustin 

After working closely with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for several months, the Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) has entered into a formal agreement to perform a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for the North Basin groundwater cleanup project. The EPA has issued a press release regarding this project milestone.

This agreement calls for OCWD to perform a detailed scope of work under EPA oversight. Upon completion of the prescribed investigatory work and analysis of cleanup options, the EPA will then select one of those options as a preferred interim remedy. It is envisioned that the remedy will capture the most contaminated portion of the plume, cut off its continued spreading and begin clean it up so that it no longer threatens the Orange County Groundwater Basin. Read More…

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Groundwater Adventure Tour Fun and LearningHappy GAT Guests

Community engagement is important to the Orange County Water District. The District hosts and sponsors tours and events throughout the year to educate and inform stakeholders. One of the most thorough and favorite events is its Groundwater Adventure Tour. One hundred forty guests visited OCWD’s H2O Learning Center, Groundwater Replenishment System and Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory locally in Fountain Valley. Then, they boarded buses to see OCWD’s recharge basins in Anaheim and the Prado Wetlands in Riverside. Expert staff provided presentations and explanations of how OCWD effectively manages the county’s groundwater basin, providing water supplies in an environmentally and financially sound manner. Please click on the photo to see additional photo highlights of the October 20th Groundwater Adventure Tour on the OCWD Facebook page.

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NWRI logoRegister for 2016 Clarke Prize Conference

Register now for the 2016 NWRI Clarke Prize Conference, a 1-day premier event featuring presentations on the most innovative research and activities today in urban water sustainability. The conference will be held by the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Newport Beach, Calif.  

The conference is supported by NWRI’s member agencies, corporate associate sponsors, and the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation. The California State Water Resources Control Board's Drinking Water Operator Certification Program has approved up to 5 Continuing Education Hours for attending the conference. Read More…

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Fountain Valley Opens Reclaimed Water Fill Station FV Reclaimed Water Fill Station

As a step to conserve water during California’s historic drought, the Fountain Valley Public Works department has recently opened a reclaimed water fill station at the Sports Park, utilizing OCWD’s Green Acres Project (GAP) water, which is safe to use for irrigation and other non-potable needs like:

  • •     Street Cleaning          
  • •     Sewer Flushing
  • •     Soil Compaction
  • •     Dust Control

Irrigation It is the city’s goal to make reclaimed water available to street sweepers, construction companies and landscape companies for purchase in the near future because every drop of reclaimed water used is a drop of drinking water saved.

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Salinity Management Summit Nov. 17 

The Southern California Salinity Coalition (SCSC) is partnering with the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) and Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) to present the Southern California Salinity Management Summit on November 17, 2016, at the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles, from 9:30 am until 3:00 pm.

The Summit is intended to provide a forum for water and wastewater agencies in Southern California to share current practices for managing salinity in the water supply and to discuss how the current drought has affected water quality in California. Topics to be discussed include:

  • •     Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Permitting Strategies to Promote Greater Conservation and           Recycled Water Use
  • •     Regulatory Issues Associated with Salinity (Panel Discussion)
  • •     Bureau of Reclamation's Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program
  • •     Current and Emerging Technologies or Concentrate Management (Panel Discussion)
  • •     Management of Salinity in the Southern California Region (Panel Discussion)
  • •     Effects of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant on Water Quality

There is no cost to participate, but registration is required. Visit http://www.socalsalinity.org/ to view the agenda and register online.

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Water Supply BriefingOut in the Community

As part of its standard to forge and maintain long-term, positive and proactive relationships with members of the local community and greater water industry and to be transparent about its operations and programs, OCWD board members and staff speak regularly before groups and at events. We participated in the following during September:

  • •     OCWD Board Director Roger Yoh Director Roger Yoh and BP Rotary Presidentpresented to the Buena Park Rotary Club and the Placentia Rotary Club about the District’s facilities and projects and provided an update on current water supplies.

  • •     OCWD General Manager Mike Markus participated in a water reuse panel that was part of the Statewide Reuse Forum hosted by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in Sacramento.

  • •     OCWD Assistant General Manager Mike Wehner participated in the first WateReuse California-sponsored workshop on the findings of the Expert Panel on Direct Potable Reuse and the SWRCB Division of Drinking Water (DDW) draft report to the state legislature. Mike attended as a representative of the Advisory Group assembled by DDW to advise the Expert Panel and DDW regarding practical aspects of developing criteria for Direct Potable Reuse in California, including recommendations for training and certification of operators of advanced water purification facilities.

  • •     OCWD Executive Director of Engineering and Water Resources John Kennedy gave a presentation on the District’s Santa Ana River stormwater capture programs and projects to the Southern California Water Committee Stormwater Task Force Workshop.

Read More…

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OCWD in the News

OCWD continues to be recognized for its leadership in the water industry. Below are a few of the District’s recent media highlights that feature OCWD and the GWRS:

Read More…

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OCWD Employees

OCWD’s employees are its most valuable resources. It is committed to recruiting the best and enriching their lives to grow within the water industry and the District family.

Kim DuskyEmployee of the Third Quarter: Kim Dusky

The Employee of the Quarter and Year Program is established to recognize outstanding Orange County Water District (OCWD) employees and to acknowledge their contributions to OCWD. The program hopes to encourage quality work, process or continuous improvement, teamwork, savings, customer service, and a high level of dedication. The program recognizes that OCWD employees are the source of our strength, reputation and innovation.

Human Resources Specialist Kim Dusky goes above and beyond to ensure new and existing staff are well trained. She follows up and takes time out of her day to help others even when she is very busy.

Kim has taken on a very heavy load with the increase in recruitment this past six months. The amount of effort to keep the recruitment efforts going is high and Kim has stepped up her game. Aside from all the administrative work involved with getting a job posted, she coordinates interviews with multiple staff, with complicated schedules. She follows-up with applications for additional interviews or testing and then the offer and post-offer activities.

Kim is the point of contact for all applicant questions and issues. It takes a tremendous amount of effort and she has stayed on top of it, as well as her other work tasks. While recruitment is part of her normal job responsibilities, the increased workload is more than OCWD has had in years. She performs her duties very effectively and tries very hard to meet the manager’s expectations and needs. As overwhelmed as Kim might be at times, she keeps a positive attitude and takes it one day at a time.

New Hires

Emma Griffie          Juliett Gutierrez          Ashley Sepulveda
Emma Griffie                           Juliette Gutierrez                       Ashley Sepulveda 
Hydrogeology Intern               GIS/Database Supervisor          Temporary HR Clerk 
Hydrogeology Department     Hydrogeology Department       Human Resources



Don JacksonCongratulations to Don Jackson on his recent retirement from OCWD after 28 years of service.




     Don Jackson
     Former Property Manager
     Property Management

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Upcoming Events

October 25: 8:00 a.m. Retirement Committee Meeting (C-2)

October 27: 3:00 p.m. Fletcher Basin Dedication (Fletcher Basin)

October 28: 12:00 p.m. Property Management Committee Meeting (C-2)

November 2: 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (Boardroom)

November 3: 8:00 a.m. Communications/Legislative Committee Meeting (C-2)

November 4: 7:30 a.m. Water Advisory Committee of Orange County (WACO) Meeting (Boardroom)

November 9: 8:00 a.m. Water Issues Committee (Boardroom)

November 10: 8:00 a.m. Administration/Finance Issues Committee (C-2)

November 11: Veterans Day Holiday

November 16: 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (Boardroom)

November 22: 8:00 a.m. Retirement Committee (C-2)

November 24-25: Thanksgiving Holiday

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September Tours                                     

CSULB & West Coast U. Nursing StudentsThank you to the nearly 200 guests that toured OCWD’s facilities in September:

La Habra City Manager, Director of Public Works, and Council Member Tom Beamish; new O.C. Register Science/Environment Reporter Lauren Williams; Representatives from NV5 technical engineering and consulting firm, Meiden America, Inc. and Meidensha Corporation of Japan; staff from Las Virgenes Water District, Los Angeles Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant and Orange County Association of Realtors; nursing students from West Coast University and California State University, Long Beach; exchange students from the University of California, Riverside; students from Costa Mesa High School; and a Korean delegation; and members of the general public.

Public tours of the Groundwater Replenishment System are offered at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of every month; reservations are required. Tours may be scheduled for other days of the week, depending on staff availability. To schedule a tour, request more information or schedule a speaker, please visit www.ocwd.com.

Shown in the photo are nursing students from West Coast University and California University, Long Beach.

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                                               www.ocwd.com 18700 Ward Street
                                                      Fountain Valley, CA 92708


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