City staff "Imagine a Day Without Water" and share why they value water-October 2023

General Manager's Message

Time is flying! Ventura Water has been so busy with the construction of the Midtown to Westside pipeline and the Ocean Outfall, design of the Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) upgrade at the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility and continuing to work on the damaged areas from the storm events this year. Still, we put aside time to get this informational newsletter out to you because we know that it is important to pass along knowledge to our customers. Another way you can obtain knowledge about Ventura Water is to attend, in person or virtually, the Water Commission meetings, held on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Agendas can be found here.

It is time again to pause and "Imagine a Day Without Water". The availability of water is so fundamental to us that we forget the hard work it takes to get it. The men and women at Ventura Water are here to ensure we have the water and wastewater services needed to make life livable here in Ventura every day. There are times when we must shut off service to make a repair or upgrade and we do our very best to get services back up as quickly as possible. The health and safety of our customers is our top priority when we are out there working. It is rewarding to know that we are keeping the water flowing for Ventura and we take pride in it. I can't imagine doing anything else.


Gina Dorrington

Auto-Dialer System

Increases Water Use Efficiency

One great advantage of Ventura Water’s smart meters is that they can detect continuous consumption—when water, of any volume, is moving through a meter each hour of an entire day. Continuous water consumption may be intentional, but it might mean you have a leak. That’s why this summer we launched an auto-dialer system, so that customers receive an automated phone call if our smart meter detects continuous consumption. If you receive an auto-dialer message we advise you to check for common sources of unintentional water use—like leaky/running toilets, constantly recharging water softeners, or malfunctioning reverse osmosis units or irrigation systems.

To best utilize the auto-dialer system, we invite you to update your contact information by accessing your account online or by calling Customer Care at (805) 667-6500.

Baylie Martinez samples an industrial user's pre-treatment system-Oct 2023

Ventura Water - In Focus

Last month we introduced Ventura Water's Laboratory Team, who perform meticulous sampling and testing to keep the water coming in and out of the City up to water quality standards. This month we focus on a team that also functions to ensure public health and safety. The paramount responsibility of the Environmental Compliance Team is to protect our wastewater infrastructure by preventing illegal dumping of prohibited pollutants. This is accomplished through a rigorous monitoring and inspection program. By extension, they are also safeguarding the natural environment since treated wastewater is discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary and eventually, the Pacific Ocean.

Senior Environmental Compliance Inspector Baylie Martinez is one of a three-member team. Two inspectors monitor sources and perform inspections. Their supervisor oversees the program to ensure adherence to Ventura Water's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, and EPA regulations for effluent—the treated wastewater discharged into the estuary. Baylie explains that not only are they protecting the treatment plant and the environment, but also the safety of plant operators by preventing exposure to dangerous substances.

Baylie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental management & protection and is certified by the California Water Environment Association as a Grade II Environmental Compliance Inspector. Environmental compliance inspectors monitor certain industrial users—businesses whose operations include the use of harmful substances, such as acetone, a solvent used in metal refinishing. Produce processors require monitoring of organics that could alter the wastewater plant's oxygen demand, pH, or the load of dissolved and suspending solids. Identified users must have pre-treatment systems in place to reduce the discharge of pollutants. The team makes sure pre-treatment systems are operating correctly, are not bypassed, and that disposal of regulated pollutants is done properly.

Restaurants are regulated to prevent the discharge of fats, oil, and grease (FOG). When FOG is discharged into the sewer it accumulates in the pipes, eventually creating blockages. Therefore, the Environmental Compliance Team conducts biannual inspections of restaurants and their grease control devices. They also run the Mobile Reuse Program where City residents can pick up recycled water from the treatment plant for specific uses, like dust control and landscape irrigation.

Another part of Baylie's job is public outreach. She leads tours of the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility (VWRF), creates literature to educate users on regulations and she's a regular contributor to the Pipeline Newsletter. Anticipating the City's advanced water purification facility, Baylie is currently helping to develop the enhanced source control program and the necessary outreach.

Baylie says one of the most challenging aspects of her job is helping small businesses understand the importance of regulations while appreciating the potentially prohibitive costs associated with environmental compliance. Her favorite part of a workday is giving local students tours of the VWRF. She says it's fun to see their reaction to the sights and smells of the plant and educate them about such a vital part of the community, one they might not know exists!

Our series on the people and processes of Ventura Water has flowed from the procurement to the treatment of water after it's been used by the community. But there's a lot more to the picture—other groups that support our mission to provide safe and reliable water services, including Administration, Customer Care and Information Technology. Also, the exciting work being done for the VenturaWaterPure program. Stay tuned, there's more to come.


Wastewater influent is the raw, untreated sewage that enters a wastewater treatment plant. It is typically composed of a mixture of domestic, industrial, and commercial wastewater and a small percentage of rainwater and groundwater from infiltration. Influent can contain a wide variety of contaminants including organic and inorganic matter, nutrients, pathogens, and toxic substances. Therefore, influent must be treated to remove pollutants, making it safe for discharge and reuse.

Proper management of wastewater influent is critical to protect public health, the environment, and to ensure sustainable water resources for future generations. Luckily, the City of Ventura has a source control team dedicated entirely to monitoring and preventing wastewater pollution. However, when it comes to protecting our system, we need your help too! To help keep our system safe from contaminants make sure to think before you flush and only flush the 3 p's—pee, poo and (toilet) paper.

For more information, please visit our Think Before You Flush webpage.

Employment Opportunities

View current employment opportunities with the City of Ventura here.

Water Commission

The public is invited to join us in-person for the upcoming Water Commission Meeting on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at the Ventura City Hall, Community Meeting Room, Second Floor.

Click here for meeting agendas and more information.

The Ocean Outfall Project is underway! The construction work remains on schedule and is anticipated to be completed by summer 2024, with Marina Park work estimated to be completed by May 2024.

The contractor began installing pipe casing, the pipe that will stabilize the entrance and exits for drilling, on October 2, and should be wrapping up this portion of the work by October 20. The remaining construction noise should sound similar to the dredge work that periodically occurs near the Harbor in the area.

Want to stay updated on the project? Be sure to sign up to receive email updates today.

For more information, visit our project website at

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