September 2018

OCWD Board Members


Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.

First Vice President


Second Vice President

Shawn Dewane 

Cathy Green
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Vicente Sarmiento, ESQ.
Stephen R. Sheldon
Tri Ta
James Vanderbilt
Bruce Whitaker
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.

General Manager

Michael R. Markus

In This Issue:

President’s Message—OCWD Welcomes Tri Ta as Division 4 Board Director

On behalf of the OCWD Board of Directors and the District staff, I would like to welcome Westminster Mayor Tri Ta as our newest board member, representing division 4.  Division 4 includes the cities of Los Alamitos and Seal Beach and parts of Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton, and Westminster. 

The seat became vacant upon the death of Philip Anthony in July, who served on the board for nearly 37 years. Director Ta was appointed to the board on September 5.

Tri Ta was elected to serve his third term as mayor of Westminster in November 2016.  He was first elected to the city council 10 years earlier and re-elected in 2010.  In 2008, he was selected to serve as mayor pro tempore.  In 2012, Director Ta became the first Vietnamese-American elected mayor in the United States.  He was re-elected as mayor in November 2014. Read More…

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Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.





NWRI Clarke Prize 25th Anniversary Oct. 26

The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize and invites you to join them at the presentation ceremony on October 26 in Orange County, Calif. Registration and sponsorship opportunity information is found at

The Clarke Prize is one of the most prestigious water awards in the world and celebrates outstanding achievement in civil and environmental engineering, water sciences, biological sciences, health sciences, political sciences, physical and chemical sciences, and planning and public policy.

The 2018 prize will be presented to Dr. Janet G. Hering,  director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) in Switzerland. Read More... 

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Join the Riverwalk on Oct. 18 to Document Aquatic Habitat

The annual Santa Ana Riverwalk to document the quantity of aquatic habitat in the Santa Ana River will take place Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8 a.m. and volunteer sign-ups are being taken through Oct. 1.

The primary purpose of the Riverwalk is to survey the Santa Ana sucker fish’s habitat. The Santa Ana sucker has disappeared from most watersheds of Southern California. The Santa Ana River Watershed is a rare exception. Since 1995, OCWD has been actively participating in the development of studies and programs to restore habitat needed for recovery of the species and is a sponsor of the Santa Ana Riverwalk. Read More... 

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Registration Begins for 23rd Annual Children’s Water Education Festival

Calling all teachers of third, fourth and fifth grades students in Orange County! Registration is now open for the 23rd annual Children’s Water Education Festival, the premier education outing that teaches students about local water issues, the environment and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). The Festival will take place March 27 and 28, 2019. All presentations support Next Generation Science Standards.

About 7,000 students from 25 cities in Orange County attend the Festival each year.

The award-winning event is presented by the Orange County Water District (OCWD), Disneyland Resort, National Water Research Institute, and the Orange County Water District Groundwater Guardian Team. The largest of its kind in the nation, the Festival is provided at no cost to Orange County schools—public, private and home schools. Some bus subsidies are available and applications will be available in January for those schools already registered and accepted to attend Festival.

Hosting  an event of this magnitude is made possible by many generous sponsors, presenters and dedicated volunteers. Learn how you can be a part of this exciting event by visiting

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Be Ready for the Great ShakeOut

Shake, rattle and roll to your vinyl LP, not during a disaster. It’s back! Join millions of people worldwide to practice how to drop, cover and hold on during the Great ShakeOut on Oct. 18 at 10:18 a.m.

Begun in California in 2008, the Great ShakeOut prepares individuals, families and organizations to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from large earthquakes magnitude 7.8 or greater, whether home, at work, at school, or on the road. Learn more at


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Groundwater Adventure Tour Seats Available

There are seats available for the Groundwater Adventure Tour, a popular Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) behind-the-scenes look at District facilities that provide water to north and central Orange County.

This unique opportunity features all facets of the District’s operations, including the Groundwater Replenishment System, Philip L. Anthony Water Quality Laboratory, Anaheim recharge facilities, and Prado Wetlands.

The excursion is free and includes bus transportation, breakfast and lunch. Priority is given to new attendees. Please visit the Groundwater Adventure Tour website to learn more and to register online. A moderate degree of walking on uneven ground, climbing stairs, sitting, and standing is involved. Sunglasses, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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Annual Santa Ana River Water Quality Monitoring is Complete

Each year in August, Orange County Water District’s (OCWD; the District) Water Quality Department performs comprehensive water quality monitoring of the Santa Ana River and its tributaries. The water quality staff travel upstream to more than 20 different locations in San Bernardino, Riverside, Chino, Corona, and many other cities in the upper watershed to collect water samples representing the baseflow conditions for the Santa Ana River. The information and water quality obtained during this extensive monitoring event is used by OCWD to assess water quality of the Santa Ana River baseflow conditions. The water quality data will also be provided to other agencies such as the United States Geological Survey, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority. Read More...

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Out 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 recently participated in the following: 

•   Executive Director of Engineering and Water Resources John Kennedy provided a presentation at WACO regarding potential new water supplies.

•   At the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County Green and Health Expo, Director of Special Projects Bill Hunt was a panelist and spoke about the GWRS and other OCWD water sustainability projects. The District received an Emerald Award for Best Sustainability Company -Government/Public Agency, and staff tabled.

•   Recharge Planning Manager Adam Hutchinson participated on a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to develop statewide criteria for stormwater capture dry infiltration well systems. This TAC was convened by the State Water Resources Control Board.

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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:

•   myScience: Animation Based on Satellite Data Shows SoCal “Breathing” Water

•   The Mercury News: ‘Toilet to tap’ water nearly matches bottled H20 in taste test, California university researchers discover by David Downey

•   UCR Today: Improved Oxidation is Water Wizardry Against Drought by Holly Ober

•   NWRI: On August 1, 2018 NWRI celebrated Dr. Jack Skinner for his 20 years of service as an Expert Panelist for the Orange County Water District’s Santa Ana River Quality Study (1996-2004) and Santa Ana River Monitoring Panel (2004-2015). Thank you, Dr. Skinner for your service!

•   California Water News Daily: Groundwater Resources Association Announces their First Annual Western Groundwater Congress

•   OCWD’s newest video: “Water is Life,” featuring former supervising chemist, Anny Lau

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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.

New Hires


Congratulations to our retiree Menu Leddy, who devoted 30 years to the District. We salute you for your tireless service to the people of Orange County and wish you well in the years ahead.

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Upcoming Events

Oct. 3: 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (Boardroom)

Oct. 4: 8:00 a.m. Communications/Legislative Committee Meeting (C-2)

Oct. 5: 7:30 a.m. Water Advisory Committee of Orange County (WACO) Meeting (Boardroom)

Oct. 10: 8:00 a.m. Water Issues Committee Meeting (Boardroom)

Oct. 17: 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (Boardroom)

Oct. 23: 8:00 a.m. Retirement Committee (C-2)

Oct. 26:  noon  Property Management Committee Meeting (C-2)

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August Tours 

Thank you to the more than 200 guests who toured OCWD’s facilities in August. They included students from Orange Coast College and the Western Governors University Nursing Program, Educational Resource Development Trust (ERDT) exchange students from China, and UCI exchange students from Japan; members of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers and the Orange County Grand Jury; representatives from Teano Group and Heyes Filters; and 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

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