Like many San Francisco Bay Area residents, those of us who work at SVCW continue to respond to the myriad challenges facing us.

We’ve been living with – and responding to – the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, divisive politics, an uncertain economy, wildfires and more recently, excessive heat. Some SVCW staff live in the Bay Area, while others live beyond it, so many have been impacted by smoke, unhealthy air quality--and in some cases, evacuations.

Through it all, it’s vital for us to remain as calm and centered as possible, and one way to do this is to be prepared. This means have an emergency plan in place and practice your emergency response plans so that the muscle-memory will already be in place should you need to take urgent action.

Another way to prepare for emergencies is to actively engage in practices that support our inner strength and allow us to tap into the brain’s frontal lobes rather than having the amygdala (fight or flight part of the brain) take over. Things like deep breathing, meditation and reasoning are all good practices to bring us to a calmer place. I encourage our staff to participate in stress-reduction techniques, and I recommend it to everyone during these challenging times.

In this edition of the newsletter, you’ll read about some exciting activities and acknowledgements. I am honored and pleased that SVCW was selected as a Utility of the Future by nationally recognized water and wastewater associations, including the U.S. EPA. This is a great honor and I encourage you to read about it. You’ll also read about how SVCW processes solids derived from wastewater (called biosolids) via clean and environmentally sustainable methods. One of the methods is called pyrolysis, which has possibilities to further increase biosolids’ beneficial uses.

I'm proud to say we've accomplished a remarkable feat this month; we’ve gone 592 days without a recordable safety incident as of this publication! Our staff’s dedication to safety and health is truly outstanding.

I hope each and every one of you remains healthy, safe, and centered. Be well. We will get through everything together as a community!