Sanitary District No. 5 is seeking qualified applicants for the WWTP Maintenance/ Collection System Technician position. The salary range is $5,041.34/month – $6,755.88/month, depending on qualifications, plus excellent benefits.
Sanitary District No.5 of Marin County Ordinance 2014-02 has new lateral inspection requirements that apply ONLY if you are (1) buying or selling a property, (2) doing more than $50,000 worth of building or remodeling within a 3 year period, or (3) if there is a sewer main or road resurfacing project is taking place in a vicinity near you. Additionally, you may voluntarily have your PSL checked to be in compliance with the SD5 Sewer Use Ordinance when you are having work performed on the lateral without meeting any of the triggers.
Exceptions from the PSL Triggers
Your PSL is excepted from these new requirements if:
- It was originally installed or has been replaced within 20 years prior to the date of application for a building permit, listing the property for sale, or the road work of sewer repair.
- It was inspected within 3 years of the date the inspection would have otherwise been required and all necessary repairs were carried out.
Complying with the PSL Inspection Requirements
Generally, to comply with PSL inspection requirements, the following steps should be taken:
Contact Sanitary District No.5 of Marin County @ 415-435-1501 or 2001 Paradise Drive and get additional information and questions answered about the new requirements
- Hire a contractor to inspect your PSL. Commonly, this consists of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) inspection allowing for the contractor and you to visually see the condition of your PSL, including instances of offset joints, root intrusion and cracked or broken pipe segments which would prevent your PSL from compliance.
- The CCTV inspection should be on DVD for submission to the Sanitary District for review.
- If your PSL does not comply with ordinance 2014-02, have your PSL repaired or replaced.
- If your PSL is free of leaks and in compliance with ordinance 2014-02 a permit will be issued confirming compliance
Ordinance Effective Date
Ordinance 2014-02 went into effect on March 4, 2015 District wide.
Our District service area covers the City of Belvedere and the Town of Tiburon East of Gilmartin Drive.
Completion of the Main Plant Rehabilitation Project:
The District, in 2010, conducted a condition assessment that found the main wastewater treatment plant well maintained, although considerable signs of aging were apparent. Due, in part, to the close proximity to the San Francisco Bay, which creates a very harsh and corrosive environment for the treatment plant’s machinery and electrical components, the main plant’s equipment was at or beyond its expected useful life and below efficient energy, environmental, and safety standards.
The main plant was last rehabilitated in the early 1980s, with the original primary plant dating back to the 1960s. It was anticipated that routine maintenance costs would rise to significant annual expenditures. The Board of Directors of Sanitary District No. 5 of Marin County, therefore, authorized a report for the Preliminary Design of the Main Plant Capital Rehabilitation and Replacement Project that was completed in 2011. Upon receipt of that report the District then deemed the Main Plant Rehabilitation (MPR) Project appropriate for the District's needs, and construction began in June, 2012, and was completed in October, 2014.
Update as of November, 2015
On October 22, 2014, the District filed a notice of completion on the MPR Project completed by low bidder Auburn Constructors, Inc. (ACI), of Sacramento, CA. ACI began construction on June 11, 2012. The total bid amount for the construction of the project was $8,922,300. The total paid to Auburn Constructors was $9,636,402 which amounts to an 8% increase due to change orders encountered during construction. Major change orders included: removal and replacement of the primary and secondary clarifier sludge skimming equipment, solids dewatering automation, replacement of 2 check valves on the critical wet weather pumps, replacement of the main switch board receiving PG&E power, and radio communications from remote pump stations to the Main Plant.
Overall, the project was a huge success for the District. The District remained well within permit limits for the duration of construction in spite of the multiple shutdowns and pump-arounds required throughout the project. SD5 and Auburn Constructors staff worked closely together on the project, producing positive results and with no accidents. In the end, Sanitary District No. 5 of Marin County was left with an up-to-date, reliable and efficient treatment plant, which will serve the community for many years to come.
Non- Chlorinated Treated Wastewater Release from Sanitary District No. 5’s Main Wastewater Treatment Plant at Paradise Drive and Mar West Street
On May 15th at 6:45 p.m. a Sprint/ Nexgen contractor accidentally broke a small pipe while replacing batteries at their Cellphone Substation and caused the released of 3,300 gallons of non-chlorinated treated wastewater to a storm drain that leads to San Francisco Bay at Raccoon Straits, near the Sanitary District No. 5’s Main Wastewater Treatment Plant at Mar West St. and Paradise Dr. District staff notified the Environmental Services Department of Marin County and placed wastewater spill warning placards at the shoreline where the spill entered the bay. Bay water samples have been collected for bacterial testing to determine the level of hazard posed to the public in connection with water contact recreational activities near the shoreline.
Sanitary District No. 5, in partnership with five other wastewater treatment agencies in Marin County, won the Dr. Teng-chung Wu Award in 2010. This annual award recognizes Dr. Teng-chung Wu's dedication to improving water quality through- out his career and, in particular, his leadership in pollution prevention.
After Bay Area utilities spent billions of dollars during the 1980s to implement traditional treatment technologies, Dr. Wu believed pollution prevention was the most cost-effective next step in improving water quality.
To advance pollution prevention in the Bay Area, Dr. Wu introduced a collaborative regional approach involving many public agencies and utilities in pollution prevention. His efforts lead to the formation of the Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group (www.bacwa.org).
Because the public is ultimately the source of pollutants in wastewater, Dr. Wu believed strongly in the public outreach and awareness elements of pollution prevention programs. The award reflects Dr. Wu's pollution prevention philosophy by encouraging submissions from agencies that have worked together on pollution prevention projects or have shared their ideas and experiences with others to foster new and expanded pollution prevention programs. Awards are based on leadership, innovation, commit- ment, measurable results, and benefit to the environment and community.
The District has invested $1.95 MM on construction of the new Paradise Cove treatment facility and the new Paradise Drive sewer main. The new facility serves Paradise Drive residents from Trestle Glen to Teaberry Lane, including the residents of the Seafirth subdivision who recently decommissioned their private treatment facility and connected to the new forced main.
Though the plant is now fully operational, only a few property owners along Paradise Drive have taken advantage of the opportunity to decommission their aging septic systems and connect to the new forced main to contribute to cleaner, safer, and more environmentally sound sanitary service. The District has done its part. It's time to do yours.
In 2008-2009, the Board of Directors voted not to enact the previously approved 9% rate increase (approved as part of the last "Prop. 218 process"). It did vote to enact the previously approved 2009-2010 4% rate increase and has initiated a new 218 process to investigate rate increases which would take effect in 2010 through 2014. Stay tuned for more information.
Financial Statements Are Online
Audited financial statements for the District's 2010-2011 Fiscal Year, as well as the District’s FY 2012-2013 Budget, are now posted. You are encouraged to peruse them both.
Despite the diligence of the District's maintenance program, overflows do still occur. Culprits include: diapers and other hygiene products that should not have been flushed down the toilet; fats, oils, and grease (FOG) that should not have been poured down the drain; and construction debris introduced into the collection system. In short, overflows are usually preventable. Overflow cleanup is costly and has the potential to introduce pathogens into the environment. If an overflow reaches a storm drain or watershed, the District is required to report the incident to environmental agencies, raising the potential for fines or litigation (under provisions of the Clean Water Act) by environmental watchdog groups. In fact, the District recently settled (for $17,000) with such a group whose cause of action was based simply on the fact that overflows had occurred.
If a blockage occurs in the sanitary sewer system, sewage will rise through a manhole and overflow to the surrounding area. However, if your house plumbing is below the level of the overflowing manhole, the sewage can backup through your house side sewer lateral and enter your home through your plumbing drains. Backflow prevention devices are designed to prevent sewage from entering your home and are mandated by building code as well as District ordinance. When the need for a backflow prevention device is overlooked or ignored, the consequences can be devastating.
With cost estimates approaching $600,000, limited storage capacity and a lengthy payback period (40+ years), a program to deliver "Title 22" recycled water to the community-at-large is difficult to justify even if funds were available. Undaunted however, the District is pursuing opportunities with individual home-owners where their proximity to its facilities makes it feasible.
Although the main plant is located in a south-facing, "solar-power sweet spot," the District's facilities are without sufficient roof-area or adjacent real-estate for the installation of photovoltaic panels to make a meaningful contribution to its energy needs. However, through its participation in PG&E's demand reduction programs and through the use of the methane gas that is a byproduct of operations, the District was able to reduce its utility costs by 1.5% over the previous year.
Sanitary District No. 5 will be performing smoke testing of its collections system on September 28, 2009 and will continue testing through September 30, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Smoke testing of sanitary sewer collection systems was initiated in 1961 at McPherson, Kansas.
The Environmental Protection Agency endorses smoke testing as a way to identify where infiltration of storm water into the collection system, may be occurring. (Usually roof drains or storm drains plumbed to the collection system.) Smoke testing uses no explosive material and will leave no visible residue.
The District will start testing in the Belvedere Zone along the following streets. Lower Beach Road, all of San Rafael Ave, Leeward, Windward, Edgewater, Lagoon Road andPeninsula Road.
During the testing period, do not be alarmed if you see smoke emanating from a storm or roof drain.
Please contact the District Office at 435-1501 if you have any question or concerns.
Paradise Cove's new self-contained wastewater treatment plant is slated for delivery and installation in June and will replace an existing plant that is currently twenty years older than it's projected twenty year service life. The new 'plant' is actually two plants that will operate in tandem, increasing capacity, reducing the load on any single plant and also facilitating regular preventative maintenance. One plant can stay on-line while the other is undergoing maintenance.
Kudos to the District's staff for keeping the existing Paradise Cove plant operational and incident-free for over forty years!
The engineering firm responsible for installation of the new plant had planned to use a helicopter to deliver the equipment, but our ever vigilant District Manager, Bob Lynch, convinced them that he could have it delivered by barge at significantly less expense and without the disturbance to the neighborhood that the helicopters would have created. This saved the District between $60,000 and $80,000.
On May 13, 2008 between 12:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. the main treatment facility located at 2001 Paradise Drive released 67,500 gallons of water into Raccoon Straits in the usual method. However, the discharged water had undergone only Primary treatment and Disinfection, not the usual Secondary treatment. Under our NPDES Permit, releasing water with only primary treatment is allowed only during extreme wet weather. Therefore, the District immediately notified the State Office of Emergency Services, Regional Water Quality Control Board, Directors of Environmental Health, Marin County Department of Health Services and the County Public Health Officer. Within thirty minutes of reporting, warning signs were placed along the Bay notifying the public to stay out of the water.
Sewer Service Charge Increase Proposed to Ensure Continued Public Health and Environmental Protection
Although wastewater collection and treatment is a service we all rely on many times each day, it works so well that most of us never stop to think about it.
But now, a sewer service charge increase is needed, and we are working to inform our customers about it. Without the increase, the District will not be able to pay for critically needed upgrades, increasing the risk of having to pay far more to regulators for not complying. In the event of a spill, there could be astronomical fines, and potential damage to the environment and public health.
Although we have taken every reasonable step to lower costs and stretch funds, it has been determined that rate increases are necessary to cover the costs of the upgrades.