August/September 2017 - In This Issue:
Dan Child, SBSA Manager

  Manager's Corner:

Evaluating Technology That May Treat Wastewater to Recycled Water Levels

By Daniel Child
SVCW General Manager

We have begun a process to evaluate a technology that may treat wastewater to recycled water levels, with much less energy than SVCW currently requires. This is the background.
The SVCW Commission in January 2016 approved up to $500,000 for a matching funds contribution to allow SVCW to pursue a grant entitled "Advancing Water and Energy Efficient Strategies and Technologies" offered by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The maximum grant award is $2 million.
On July 19, 2016, the proposal submitted by SVCW in collaboration with Stanford University, "Maximizing Water and Energy from New Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment Technology," achieved the highest ranking out of a field of eight applicants and SVCW was offered the $2 million maximum award.
In addition to the $2 million grant award, there are cash contributions from Stanford in the amount of $400,000 as well as in-kind technology/equipment and engineering contributions provided by GE Power Water & Process Technologies, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and LG NanoH2O. With the cash contributions and in-kind equipment and services, the total budget available for the project is $3,220,000. This represents an increase to SVCW's contribution of greater than 6:1.
SVCW has been striving over the past nine years to reach higher energy efficiencies for projects built within the Capital Improvement Program. With the focus towards energy efficiency, especially considering future stricter treatment standards, staff is constantly looking for improved technologies and better operational parameters to reduce SVCW's energy consumption.
Additionally, staff knows that nutrient removal treatment strategies to address upcoming effluent restrictions by the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board will be needed and, therefore, is keeping apprised of technologies available to meet future requirements.

By collaborating with Stanford University and Re-Inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), a National Science Foundation multi-university academic research collaborative, SVCW will evaluate a technology that may treat wastewater to recycled water levels, with much less energy than SVCW currently requires.
Through March 2021, the agreements with the California Energy Commission and the collaborators listed above will examine this technology as well as other complementary technologies through demonstration to achieve regulatory requirements for effluent discharge, nonpotable reuse, and water that can meet potable reuse.

By partnering with these entities, SVCW will be able to examine firsthand and take advantage of key research that is being developed to increase water reliability and reduce energy demands.
Through the grant, SCVW will build a pilot facility that treats primary effluent in an anaerobic MBR process. The process is called Staged Anaerobic Fluidized-Bed Membrane Bioreactor SAF-MBR). In facilities located in other parts of the world, this new technology has shown promise in its ability to treat low volumes of wastewater to recycled water quality with significantly less energy than conventional processes.
If the technology proves itself suitable at SVCW, it could replace our current secondary process train (fixed film reactors, aeration basins, and secondary clarification) as well as the tertiary filters used to produce recycled water. The energy savings that could be realized would be enormous when compared with today's treatment train.
For purposes of a nutrient removal, SVCW has proposed that a second technology be pilot tested along with the SAF-MBR technology. The second technology is also a membrane bioreactor (MBR) process, although it performs treatment in an aerobic environment. The two technologies are anticipated to complement each other if run in a series mode.
To make all of this work, SVCW has entered an agreement with the CEC as the recipient of the grant money, and contracted with Stanford University and Kennedy/Jenks Engineering to develop the process to be funded through the grant. Agreements are also being entered into for contributions provided by GE, SVCWD, and LG Nano for equipment and in-kind services in return for their participation in the study.

SVCW News Briefs 

E.J. Shalaby

E.J. Shalaby Joins SVCW 

Former long-time West County Wastewater District (Richmond) Manager E.J. Shalaby has been hired as a consultant to SVCW and will provide operations, maintenance, and engineering coordination services through DNS Strategic Partners, LLC.

SVCW is looking ahead to at least two new large programs - removing nutrients from the treated water discharged to the bay and increasing recycled water options for the region. These programs require extensive planning, outreach to member agencies and community members, and significant O&M input and buy-in for successful implementation.

"As SVCW is seeking personnel to facilitate transfer and coordination of existing and new facilities to successfully implement its identified major programs, Mr. Shalaby is uniquely qualified to provide such assistance," SVCW Manager Daniel Child reported to the SVCW Commission.

Shalaby has more than 30 years of experience with wastewater agencies including 13 years as manager of the West County Wastewater District, from which he recently resigned to begin a new career in consulting and program/project management.

Shalaby has extensive experience in project and program management, inter-departmental coordination and facilitation, regulatory agency and public outreach and communications, and specialties in a vast number of wastewater agency initiatives (such as grant funding, recycled water programs, energy initiatives, and inter-governmental cooperation).

Child, who has known Shalaby professionally for 20 years, said he "brings significant and excellent credentials to SVCW and has valuable experience and expertise in facilitating coordination between all departments, consultants, contractors and all levels of staff within a wastewater agency."

Employee News

New Employees:
  • Ron Sanchez.  Hired as Plant Mechanic on February 13, 2017.   Previously worked at Andritz.
  • Paul Axiaq. Hired as Sr. Plant Mechanic - Electrician on May 8, 2017.  Previously worked at the City & County of San Francisco.
  • Anthony Bertolucci.  Hired as Utility Worker on July 2, 2017.  Previously worked at PeopleReady as a temporary employee at SVCW.


SBSA Commission

John D. Seybert,  
Redwood City Council  

George Otte
West Bay Sanitary District Board 

Robert Grassilli,
San Carlos City Council  

Warren  Lieberman,
Belmont City Council

Commission Approves Contract for Chlorine Contact Tank Improvements

The SVCW Commission has authorized improvements to the Chlorine Contact Tank (CCT).  An important and critical need, this is why it's important:
The CCT contains the final process for SVCW's wastewater before it is discharged to the bay. After secondary treatment and filtration, hypochlorite (a strong chlorine bleach solution) is added to the plant effluent to disinfect the water. After hypochlorite is added, the water is slowed down and directed into the CCT.
The CCT is comprised of three long "passes" (basically, three separate channels); the three passes are connected such that the water follows a serpentine path. The CCT allows sufficient time for the chlorine to adequately kill the remaining biological activity in the water. At the end of the last pass, sodium bisulfite is added to neutralize any remaining chlorine in the water to avoid discharging chlorinated water into the Bay. This entire process is termed "Chlorination/De-chlorination" and is the final step in the overall treatment train.
The CCT has been in service since the plant began operation in 1980. SVCW hired V&A Consulting Engineers, a consulting firm that specializes in corrosion, to perform an evaluation of the tank. The results of the study indicated that while a majority of the original coating of the tank has failed, the concrete has not significantly deteriorated due to corrosion.
However, the inspection noted hundreds of cracks in the walls of the tanks that were recommended to be sealed. The investigation also noted that some of the steel piping and valves in the CCT are showing signs of deterioration and recommended that these be recoated.
Because the three passes within the CCT are connected in a serpentine manner and due to the criticality of this process it is impossible to take the entire tank out of service at once. It is possible however, to take individual passes out of service. It is intended that repairs on Pass 1 of the CCT will take place this summer and repairs on Passes 2 and 3 will take place next summer.
The Commission on July 13th authorized a $347,900 contract to Redwood Painting Co., Inc., of Pittsburg, CA, to perform the Pass 1 improvements.

SVCW Moving Toward New System for Accounting

SVCW is acquiring and implementing a financial software solution to prepare for the retirement of an existing system and to meet current needs of the Authority related to daily operations and implementation of the Capital Improvement Program.
Since its inception, SVCW has contracted with the City of Redwood City for use of its accounting system. The City's accounting system is a proprietary software platform developed over 30 years ago, and is due to be retired in the upcoming years.
In anticipation of this imminent retirement and in recognition of SVCW's increasingly sophisticated practices, staff assessed SVCW's business and operating needs and recommended an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution. Once implemented, the selected ERP system must fully support finance, human resources, and asset management functions.
Two qualified responses were received. Cogsdale Corporation recommended a Microsoft Great Plains ERP and Tyler Technologies proposed a web-based platform called New World. While different in architecture, both systems were found to meet SVCW's core needs. Each company gave full two-day demonstrations of its functionality, experience, and implementation methodologies. After weighing each option and visiting other utilities where the recommended solution is active, staff recommended Cogsdale for its fully-integrated solution with greater functionality and lower project risk, which the Commission approved July 13.
Full implementation will take two years and be done in three phases. Phase 1, core financial functions, will start in August 2017 and be complete in June 2018. Phase 2 provides the human resources/payroll solutions and will be completed by fall of 2018, and Phase 3 incorporates asset management by late summer 2019.
Once the Cogsdale solution is fully implemented over two years, total capitalized project costs will be $1.814 million. This includes all expenditures associated with software licenses, on-site system development performed by Cogsdale, SVCW's project management staff and needed consulting. 

What You Should Know About SVCW's Laboratory 

An overview:
  • The Laboratory's primary purpose is to provide vital chemical and microbiological analyses to the wastewater treatment plant 365 days a year. Samples are collected and analyzed throughout the various stages of the treatment process to give plant staff quick feedback to maintain plant operations.
  • Laboratory staff analyze wastewater samples from industries in Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, and the West Bay Sanitation District that utilize the SVCW treatment plant. Industrial Pretreatment inspections and sampling is performed by SVCW Environmental Services Inspectors.
  • The Laboratory is staffed by Laboratory Director Dr. Bob Wandro, one senior laboratory analyst, four laboratory analysts, and one part-time laboratory assistant.
  • The SVCW Laboratory is certified by Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) under the State Water Resources Control Board.
  • The Microbiology Section is critical to the plant. Laboratory staff monitor both the effluent discharged to the bay and the recycled water for harmful bacteria. These tests include total coliform, fecal coliform, and enterococcus.
  • Also in the Microbiology Section, staff perform routine 'counting' and evaluation of mi croorganisms from aeration tanks at the treatment plant. The number and relative percentage of various protozoa are directly related to the efficiency and health of the treatment plant processes. 
Wet Chemistry:
  • The majority of wastewater samples are analyzed in the Wet Chemistry Section of the Laboratory. Laboratory staff provide quick feedback (some results in four hours or less) to plant operators, who need to monitor the levels of suspended solids, ammonia, and/or turbidity in the treated wastewater. Laboratory staff also perform long-term tests like Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), which is run for five days.
For more about what the lab does, go to

Silicon Valley Clean Water
f: 650.591.7122

1400 Radio Road
Redwood City, CA 94065