SF Water Board Presents Awards for Excellence in Pollution Prevention: Public Agencies Go Above and Beyond to Protect SF Bay
Recognizing the innovative achievements of the Bay Area’s most proactive and successful municipal Pollution Prevention programs, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board- San Francisco Bay Region, will be granting Water Quality Excellence Awards at its upcoming March 8th Public Hearing.
The awards recognize the achievements and excellence of five wastewater treatment facilities in the region. These awards also reflect the strong commitment to improving water quality in the Bay by the Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group (BAPPG) and BACWA (Bay Area Clean Water Agencies). “The public has a right to expect treatment plants to treat wastewater to make it cleaner and safer,” says Michele Pla, BACWA Executive Director. “What they may not realize, is that wastewater agencies are working in the community to prevent pollutants from ever reaching the treatment plants.”
The goal of the Water Board’s Pollution Prevention program is to reduce the mass of pollutants that reach the environment and threaten water quality by way of the sewer, the storm drain, and solid waste. “When there is a reduction in pollutants coming to the plant, it means that public agencies, businesses, and residential communities have worked together to reduce waste,” says Bruce Wolfe, Water Board Executive Officer. “The Water Board is pleased to recognize the outstanding efforts of the five winners.”
Mt. View Sanitary District, which serves parts of the City of Martinez and the eastern portion of unincorporated Martinez, received an award in the category of “Outstanding Public Outreach.” Mt. View Sanitary District is a leader in developing educational programs and teaching manuals to educate children about pollutants and how they enter the environment. The Mt. View Sanitary District collaborates with the Lindsay Wildlife Museum to conduct an extensive county-wide pollution prevention education and outreach program to over 1,500 third, fourth and fifth graders each year. The Mt. View Sanitary District has developed model educational references about local marsh ecology, aquatic and terrestrial field guides for children, sewer science, and pollution prevention alternatives for the home.
Plant of the Year Award
In February 2006, the Mt. View Sanitary District was chosen Treatment Plant of the Year for 2005 (Small Plant) by the San Francisco Bay Section of the California Water Environment Association. This prestigious award is based on compliance results, innovative practices, cost effectiveness and the evidence of superior plant operations. The District has been honored in the past with this award in 1977, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2001.
Public Education Award
In February of 2006, the Mt. View Sanitary District was awarded the Public Education Award for 2005 by the San Francisco Bay Section of the California Water Environment Association. Dave Contreras, District Manager for the Mt. View Sanitary District, accepted this award for the continued excellence in public outreach and interpretive center programs originally established in 1996.
These two Awards were featured in an article printed by the local newspaper Martinez- News Gazette, Weekend Edition, February 4-5, 2006. Follow the link provided to a pdf version of the front and twelfth page of the weekend edition.
The Associations of Bay Area Governments recognized the Mt. View Sanitary District on March 18th, 2004 for its outstanding accomplishment and exemplary leadership in achieving the Green Business Certification.
To find out how your business or organization can become a Green Business, link to https://greenbusinessca.org/
On January 21, 2003, the Mt. View Sanitary District (MVSD) received a Certificate of Achievement from the National Wildlife Federation ®(NWF). This Certificate was awarded to MVSD for its Environmental Education and Interpretive Center Programs. MVSD has partnered with the Lindsay Museum to conduct field trips to the marsh for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. NWF recognizes our marsh habitat and field trip program and has certified the habitat as a Schoolyard Habitat®.
Mr. Mark Van Putten, President of the NWF is quoted in saying “This Certificate of Achievement acknowledges your school community’s efforts in establishing an official National Wildlife Federation® Schoolyard Habitats® site. The actions you have taken on behalf of wildlife and your school community are commendable, and we gladly recognize the hard work and perseverance associated with such an undertaking.
Neighboring school communities may be encouraged to follow the excellent examples of natural resource conservation, stewardship, and educational initiative you have set while establishing your habitat-based learning site.”
Public Service Award
In August 2001, Mt. View Sanitary District received the Public Service Award from the California Association of Sanitation Agencies for the District’s public information program. The program includes a newsletter sent to all 25,000 District residents 2-3 times per year, an in-class elementary school pollution prevention program that reaches about 300 students annually and the District’s Interpretive Center Field trip program attended by over 2200 students from across Contra Costa County each year. The District is also a sponsor of the Contra Costa Times’ Newspapers in Education program and holds a Wetlands Educator Workshop annually. Manager David Contreras and Environmental Consultant Leslie Engler gave a presentation on the District’s Public Education Program at the CASA state conference in January 2002.
Boys Scouts of America Mt. Diablo Silverado Council
On February 27, 1997, Mt. View Sanitary District was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America for Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Enhancement for 1997. This award recognizes individuals, industry and municipal agencies for their contributions toward improving the environment.
Public Education Award (Small Budget, Less than $10,000)
On April 25, 1997 at the Annual Conference of the CWEA in Long Beach, Leslie Engler from Mt. View Sanitary District (MVSD) was presented with the Public Education Award(Small Budget) for 1996. The Public Education Award ‘s purpose is to recognize individuals and treatment plants for promoting awareness and understanding of water quality and environmental issues. All nominations in this category were limited to a budget under $10,000.
Award to MVSD Engineer
Mt. View Sanitary District’s Board of Directors was presented with the 1996 Engineering Excellence Merit Award by Consulting Engineer W. Edward Nute (President of Nute Engineering) for the “Filters & Ultraviolet Disinfection Project.” The award came from the Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California. Nute Engineering is a small private firm that was competing with large national firms.
Engineering Achievement Award
The Mt. View Sanitary District and Nute Engineering, MVSD’s consulting engineer, received the “Engineering Achievement Award” for the filters and ultraviolet disinfection improvements commissioned in November 1994. The Engineering Achievement Award reflects health and safety improvements, problem prevention, overall environmental improvement, cost effectiveness, new technology, efficiency, and several other important criteria. The UV disinfection system eliminated the hazards associated with transporting gaseous chemicals, accidental release of toxic gasses and discharge of chlorinated compounds to the District’s wetlands.
MVSD Featured in Operations Forum
Mt. View Sanitary District’s Filtration & Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection Project was featured in the Water Environment Federation’s Operations Forum, a national periodical for professionals in the wastewater industry. The article entitled “Let There Be Light” was written by District Manager David R. Contreras, and Consulting Engineer W. Edward Nute. The article focused on the benefits of switching from the use of gaseous chlorine, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide (all acutely hazardous materials) to the much safer and effective UV method of disinfection. UV disinfection allows Mt. View Sanitary District to consistently meet coliform limit requirements while removing toxic chemicals from the workplace. Mt. View Sanitary District is the first publicly owned treatment works in Northern California to use UV.