April 27, 2018


Congratulations to all the SF Bay Section members and agencies that won state awards at CWEA’s AC18, just held in Sacramento! The local Section winners included:

  • Small Plant of the Year Award: Ironhouse Sanitary District
  • Collection Systems – Collection System Person of the Year: Dennis Lambert, Rodeo Sanitary District
  • O&M – Operator of the Year Award: Jim Petalio, Rodeo Sanitary District
  • O&M – Mechanical Technician Person of the Year: Bernard Martinez, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
  • Community Engagement and Outreach Award – Local Section Newsletter of the Year Award: Ironhouse Sanitary District
  • Community Engagement and Outreach – Person of the Year: Roni Gehike, Ironhouse Sanitary District
  • Engineering and Research – Research Achievement: Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
  • Special Awards – Golden Manhole: Christopher “Country” Brown, Oro Loma
  • Special Awards – Gimmicks and Gadgets: Donald Botelli, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
Ironhouse Sanitary District made a number of trips to the awards podium including one for the Small Plant of the Year Award 2017! Source:
Dennis Lambert received CWEA’s the Collections System Person of the Year Award 2017 from the CWEA President 2017-18, Debbie Lewis, and WEF President 2017-18, Jenny Hartfelder. Source:

In addition to the awards, SFBS members Kevin Calderwood of HDR, Kathryn Gies of West Yost Associates, and Mark Takamoto of Woodard Curran were all sworn in to CWEA’s board. Kathryn will take over Kevin’s previous duties acting as the SFBS’ liaison to CWEA, which means we should be seeing more of her at our local board meetings. The SFBS should be well represented at the state level.

Again, congratulations to all, and a big thank you to all the sponsors, vendors, speakers, track facilitators, room hosts, CWEA staff and other volunteers from our Section who helped make this event a great success.  AC18 had approximately 1,100 registered attendees and included four days of technical sessions and training opportunities.  The conference was co-chaired by our SFBS past president from 2016, Arvind Akela, and was assisted by CWEA staff and a boat load of volunteers, many from the SFBS. Together, they all put together an excellent event.

Next year’s conference will be back in Palm Springs – don’t miss it! Also, it’s never too early to be thinking of awards for next year…


At the local section level, there are a wide range of upcoming events to watch for…

  • Safety Committee’s Supervisor’s Safety Seminar: The Safety Committee’s annual Supervisor’s Safety Seminar will be held on Wednesday, May 9th at the Marina Community Center in San Leandro. This will include specialized sessions for supervisors and lead staff in the wastewater and water industries. They usually have a full house. Register now while space is still available!
  • May Dinner Meeting: Our next monthly dinner meeting will be on Thursday, May 24th at the Dead Fish in Crockett. Details and instructions for registering will be posted on the SFBS website soon.
  • Recycled Water and Potable Reuse Seminar: The Professional Development Committee (PDC) will be holding a full day seminar on recycled water and potable reuse, to be hosted by the City of San Francisco on May 23rd. The seminar will cover regulatory requirements, emerging technologies, operations and maintenance and operator certification for tertiary and advanced treatment systems. In addition, the seminar will include examples of water recycling at large and small utilities, including the SFPUC’s Living Machine system and PureWaterSF research project. Please register by May 17th online.
  • Motor Control Basics Seminar: The PDC is also holding a full-day seminar on motor control basics including motor fundamentals, basic controls, motor control centers and circuits and hand-on exercises . The seminar will be held at the Dublin San Ramon Services District, Field Operations Facility. Space is limited to 20 people. Attendees have a choice of days, either June 6th or June 7th. Please see the website for more details or to register online.
  • Member Appreciation Event – A’s vs. Giants Baseball: We hope you can join us on Friday, July 20th at the Oakland Coliseum for this bay bridge rivalry. We’re planning for a pre-game tailgate party (taco truck), and there will be fireworks after the game. I recommend registering early for this one.
  • Annual Golf Tournament: Save the date for the SFBS’ annual golf tournament on July 13th back again at the Monarch Bay Golf Club in San Leandro. It’s a great opportunity to hit the links. Details will follow. If you have any questions or would like to help with the event, please contact Ed O’Brien.
  • Students and Young Professionals (SYP) Committee – Treatment Plant Tour: The SYP Committee is organizing a treatment plant tour of Oro Loma Sanitary District’s Water Pollution Control Plant for young professionals in May, hosted by Oro Loma and sponsored by Microvi/Westech. The plant includes a couple of interesting new items including a horizontal levee (a full scale demonstration of a leading alternative for sea level rise) and a nitrate removal pilot using a biocatalyst (by Microvi). The tour will be followed by a visit to Drakes Brewery. Watch for details soon.


Planned Event Date of Planned Event
Safety Committee – Supervisors’ Safety Day at Marina Community Center, San Leandro  5/9/18
PDC – Seminar on Recycled Water and Potable Reuse, at SFPUC in San Francisco  5/23/18
May Board & Dinner Meeting – Topic TBD  5/24/18
Collections – O&M Training for Collections, at Service Masters in Concord  6/13/18
PDC – Motors & Electrical Systems for Operations and Maintenance, at Dublin San Ramon Services District; two day of hands-on training  6/6-7/18
2018 Annual Golf Tournament at Monarch Bay Golf Course, San Leandro  7/13/18
SFBS Member Appreciation Event – A’s vs Giants Baseball, with tailgate party pre-game and fireworks after, at Oakland Coliseum  7/20/18
Joint dinner meeting with RES  9/TBD/18
Annual Awards & Installation Banquet, Concord Hilton  1/18/19


Student Career Fair: We are always looking for new and ways to improve our events. If you attended our recent career fair in February, the SYP is looking for your comments, suggestions and feedback. Link:


Current SFBS Board Members:

  • President: Gary Warren, East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • Vice President: Chathu Abeyrathna, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
  • 1st Year Director: Dennis Lambert, Rodeo Sanitary District
  • 2nd Year Director: Mike Walkowiak, Brown and Caldwell
  • Past President: Ed O’Brien, The Covello Group
  • Treasurer: Roya Joseph, West Yost Associates

SFBS CWEA Liaison: Kathryn Gies, West Yost Associates

SFBS Committee Chairs:

  • Awards: Ed O’Brien, The Covello Group
  • Communications: Nick Hansen, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
  • Collections Systems: Tyree Jackson, City of Oakland
  • Golf Tournament: Ed O’Brien, The Covello Group and Lani Good, West Yost Associates
  • Laboratory: Daisy Thach-Dalla Betta, Dublin San Ramon Services District
  • O&M: Joaquin Gonzalez, Delta Diablo Sanitary District
  • Prof. Development: Brooke Wright, Stantec
  • Safety: Jerry Ledbetter, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
  • Students and Young Professionals: Kaitie Zusy, Black & Veatch
  • Technical Certification Program: Meg Herston, Fairfield Suisun Sewer District

As always, please check out our website or contact any board or committee members for additional details. There are a wide variety of ways to get involved! I hope you can join us.

Best regards,
Gary Warren


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