P3S 42nd Annual Conference will be held in Napa, CA. Save the Date!

Join your colleagues for the 2015 P3S (Pretreatment, Pollution Prevention and Stormwater) conference being held in the beautiful Napa Valley. The event will focus on Pre-Treatment, Pollution Prevention and Stormwater issues that affect California and its agencies.  You’ll be able to participate in valuable learning and education featuring EPA and State Water Board representatives while making new connections that can help you solve problems well after the event.

The education sessions will cover topics that include Leadership for the 21st Century, Grease Interceptor Safety and Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Customer-Youth Outreach Techniques, just to name a few. Look for more information in your email soon.

Mike MarKus, General Manager of the Orange County Water District was featured on 60 Minutes last night for their Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), an award-winning water purification system that takes treated wastewater from the Orange County Sanitation District and purifies it to meet or exceed drinking water standards. See the segment at the 11:42 mark, or watch the entire clip on “Depleting the Water” to see why GWRS is playing such an important role in California’s drought.

Over the past 2,000 years, humans have engineered complex systems to deliver water to population centers and carry away wastes.  Many of these systems are now experiencing stress caused by climate change and population growth, and are in need of replacement.  This year’s Clarke Prize Lecture, delivered by David L. Sedlak, Ph.D., focuses on strategies for developing and implementing new technologies to provide our cities with a reliable water supply while also protecting public health and the environment.
Sedlak received the $50,000 Clarke Prize and presented a lecture entitled “Delivering the Fourth Water Revolution” at the Twenty-First Annual NWRI Clarke Prize Conference and Award Ceremony, held on Friday, November 7, 2014, in Huntington Beach, California.  The Clarke Prize is administered by National Water Research Institute (NWRI) in Fountain Valley, California, and is sponsored by the Joan Irvine Smith & Athalie R. Clarke Foundation, which helped established NWRI.  The prize is awarded each year to recognize researchers in the U.S. who solve real-world water challenges and to highlight the need to continue funding this type of research.  More than 160 guests from universities, water districts, and consulting firms attended this year’s event.

A professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1994, Sedlak is a pioneer in water resource treatment and management.  His research group published one of the first papers on steroid estrogens (which are endocrine disrupters) in wastewater and the environment.  In 2000, Sedlak’s team made a breakthrough when they developed a method to decrease the concentration of the contaminant N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a carcinogen, in water supplies.  More recently, Sedlak has focused his research on natural system processes, such as using engineered treatment wetlands to remove chemicals from wastewater-impacted waters.  His efforts have advanced techniques for improving water quality.
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The State Water Resources Control Board recently published a chart comparing key elements of the 3 certification programs they now oversee:  Drinking Water (Treatment), Drinking Water (Distribution), and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator. You can find this informative chart here:


The following information is pulled from The State Water Resources Control Board website:

As of July 1, 2014, the Drinking Water Operator Certification Program transitioned from the California Department of Public Health to the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Financial Assistance. For additional information regarding this transition, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

The site contains additional information on exam changes and important certification contacts in addition to the information about the reorganization.

Posted by: Mike Zedek, OCSD

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Mary Sue Thompson passed away on November 11, 2014.  Mary Sue became an employee with the Orange County Sanitation District on April 14, 1986, and worked as a Sr. Environmental Specialist in the Source Control Division.

She touched many of us with her passion for the Source Control Inspection business and it’s important role in protecting the environment and GWRS. She also established and nurtured many great working relationships with other cities and agencies and was a great Ambassador for Orange County Sanitation District. She will be deeply missed by the OCSD team.

The initial ceremony for Mary Sue will be private.  A celebration of life will occur at a later date, details will be forthcoming.

In lieu of sending flowers, donations can be made to the following on Mary Sue’s behalf:

• Sequoia Natural History Association - http://www.sequoiahistory.org/default.asp?contentID=621

• The Living Desert  - http://www.livingdesert.org/support-zoo/tribute-giving/

• A charity of your choice