Cal Water honored with NAWC awards

The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) has announced California Water Service (Cal Water) as the winner of two 2018 NAWC Management Innovation Awards. The company was recognized in October at the 2018 NAWC Water Summit in San Antonio, Texas.

Two of Cal Water’s submissions – one for its large-scale treatment installed to meet the new regulation for 1,2,3-trichloropropane and the other for its sample tap adapter kit – came out on top of the impressive entries received this year from across the nation.

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“The submissions we received this year for the Management Innovations Awards are a wonderful representation of the incredible innovation of NAWC members,” said Robert Powelson, NAWC’s President and CEO. “Entries ranged from the creation of programs to spur employee engagement and educate customers to cutting-edge technologies that are advancing the delivery of water service. Today’s innovation is tomorrow’s industry standard, and our members are moving water forward through their leadership and work at the forefront of the water industry.

Entries were judged on degree of innovation, short- and long-term benefits to the company, value to water utility industry, the idea’s ability to be replicated at other companies, and presentation quality.

Award Winner: California Water Service

Large-scale treatment installed to meet the new regulation for 1,2,3-trichloropropane

With a new regulation for 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) looming for California water utilities, Cal Water conducted detailed analysis that determined six of its districts could be impacted, including 38 facilities in three Central Valley districts that would need treatment installed in potentially a very short period of time. Additionally, installing this large-scale treatment would be a costly endeavor.

Ahead of the regulation being set, Cal Water began actively monitoring groundwater supplies, researching best available treatment technologies, beginning design for the treatment facilities, and securing contractors to construct and install treatment at impacted well sites, so that the company could proceed quickly once the standard was adopted. Ultimately, the standard was adopted in mid-July 2017, with compliance monitoring to begin less than six months later in January 2018. The team chose granular-activated carbon treatment to be concurrently installed at the 21 sites with the highest TCP concentrations before year-end 2017. Treatment was installed at the remainder of the sites in summer 2018 to enable districts to bring additional sources back online to meet demand. Cal Water also reached a settlement with Dow and Shell, the manufacturers of the soil fumigants that contained TCP, which enabled the company to construct the facilities without impacting customers’ rates.

Award Winner: California Water Service

Sample tap adapter kit

In many states, water utilities flame or bleach the sample tap prior to collecting water for bacteriological testing; however, this practice is not endorsed by the California State Water Resources Control Board. As a result, when California water utilities collect non-routine bacteriological samples, they must collect samples from hose bibs or other non-dedicated sample sites, which can create non-representative samples or false positives.

Cal Water’s innovative sample tap adapter kit helps eliminate non-representative samples, saving anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs for additional collection, testing, and customer notification. It also provides the benefit of avoiding unnecessary loss of customer confidence in the utility and the quality of the water it provides. The hose bib adapter has been used throughout Cal Water’s operations in California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Washington with great success.

For over 40 years, the NAWC Management Innovation Awards has recognized members for their unique, industry-defining ideas. The National Association of Water Companies represents regulated water and wastewater companies, as well as ones engaging in partnerships with municipal utilities. NAWC members provide 73 million Americans with safe and reliable water service every day and have an exceptional record of compliance with federal and state health and environmental regulations. Ensuring this high standard of quality requires extraordinary amounts of capital investment. NAWC estimates that its six largest members alone are collectively investing $2.7 billion each year in their water and wastewater systems.

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