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 virtual events:
- President Sarmiento appeared in a video about the Mid-basin Injection Well Project and its many benefits.
- Director Tri Ta, OCWD staff and the city of Seal Beach hosted an online community meeting regarding the Sunset Gap Seawater Intrusion Investigation project. Another community meeting on the same topic will be hosted at a later date.
- General Manager Mike Markus and Executive Director of Operations Mehul Patel participated as speakers during WateReuse Symposium 2020, which was held in a virtual format. Mike presented a GWRS case study during the panel "Water Reuse 101: A Bootcamp for Beginners" and Mehul participated in "The Great Debate," where he squared off with other water reuse operators to debate reverse osmosis versus carbon-based treatment for potable reuse.
- Mehul was also an expert panelist regarding California’s Water Future at the AC20 Virtual Conference and Expo. One of the largest gatherings for wastewater professionals on the West Coast, it was organized by the California Environmental Association in partnership with the Water Environment Federation—a production partner of the documentary film titled Brave Blue World that examines how new technologies and innovations, including the GWRS, can create a sustainable water future.
- GWRS Program Manager Sandy Scott-Roberts presented on the GWRS at the Aguas do Tejo Atlantico Innovation Pathway conference, an event dedicated to innovation in the water sector, discussion of the future of water, and presentation of innovative case-studies.
- Research and Development staff virtually attended the Groundwater Resources Association (GRA) 3rd Annual Western Groundwater Congress and gave three presentations. Research Scientist Christine Pham presented “Restoring Local Recharge Sources from Invasive Dreissenid Mussels,” Senior Scientist Meeta Pannu presented “Impact of Total Organic Carbon on the Performance of Granulated Activated Carbon Treatments to Remove PFAS from Groundwater,” and Ricardo Medina (recent postdoctorial research candidate with the District, now a professor at California State University, Northridge), presented “Comparison of Bench- Scale and Pilot-Scale Systems to Assess the Performance of Adsorbent-Based Treatment Technologies to Remove PFAS from Groundwater.”
- Under a current Water Research Foundation grant to evaluate new techniques for demonstrating reverse osmosis integrity, OCWD Research and Development staff co-hosted a virtual workshop attended by regulators put on by the study team that includes Carollo, Colorado School of Mines, and SPI.
- Engineering staff presented about the GWRS pipe epoxy lining project at a meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers-Orange County’s chapter of the Environmental & Water Resources Institute.
- Engineering staff also presented about the District and career opportunities during a primarily online environment at a California State University, Long Beach Theta Tau meeting. Theta Tau is a co-ed professional engineering fraternity.