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January 24, 2018: Press Release: Update on Release of Untreated Wastewater

An inadvertent release of approximately 4.4 million gallons of untreated wastewater from the Monterey One Water Regional Treatment Plant in Marina closed several Monterey County beaches over the past weekend. The release of the wastewater into the Monterey Bay occurred from the Agency's ocean outfall discharge pipe. The pipe carries the wastewater 2.5 miles from the coast line and is at a depth of approximately 130 feet.

The monitoring and collection of water samples has been underway at multiple sites including off shore and at beach locations, immediately following the release. Eleven offshore samples were taken the day of the release (Jan 20) and indicated findings below regulatory limits. One beach sample near Monterey Wharf #2, over 9 miles from the discharge point, exceeded the actual required limit on the day of the release as set by the State of California's Ocean Plan limits. Samples at seven beach locations were taken the next day, Sunday (Jan 21), and all seven of these samples were below the required limits.

Beach closures due to the spill were lifted at 5:30 p.m. on Monday evening (Jan. 22) by the Monterey County Health Department as indicator bacteria levels were safe for recreational contact. The most up- to-date information on beach closures can be found at www.mtyhd.org/beach or by calling 1-800-347- 6363.

Monterey One Water also consulted a hydraulic model to estimate the dilution effects of the ocean on the wastewater being discharged from the outfall. Using the current ocean conditions, most of the dilution occurred two miles from the shore. Given the buoyancy of the wastewater, the model also suggested the dilution occurred relatively quickly and in a confined area around the discharge pipe.

In response to the incident, Monterey One Water is utilizing an independent consulting firm, Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technology, to review all aspects of the equipment control failure. The on-going evaluation has yielded recommendations the Agency has implemented to provide additional reliability for the treatment facility.

Monterey One Water recognizes the contributions of the many entities that assisted the Agency to quickly and efficiently respond to the release.

View or Download the Release as a PDF

January 22, 2018: Water Sampling Results from Untreated Wastewater Release to Ocean

SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 2018 SAMPLES

Sites 1-11: Receiving Surface Water (RSW) surrounding the outfall

All samples below the Ocean Plan limits for Total Coliform, E. coli, and Enterococcus

Offshore Results Summary

Greatest observed Total Coliform—100 MPN/100 mL (limit 10,000 MPN/100 mL)

Greatest observed E. coli—none detected (limit 400 MPN/100 mL)

Greatest observed Enterococcus—30 MPN/100 mL (limit 104 MPN/100 mL)

Sites 12-16: Area beaches*

1 of 5 samples exceeded required limits for Enterococcus (Monterey Wharf #2)

Greatest observed Total Coliform—644 MPN/100 mL (limit 10,000 MPN/100 mL)

Greatest observed E. coli—175 MPN/100 mL (limit 400 MPN/100 mL)

Greatest observed Enterococcus—108 MPN/100 mL (limit 104 MPN/100 mL) Monterey Wharf #2

Site 12 also exceeds 30-day geometric mean limit of 35 MPN/100mL

SUNDAY, JANUARY 21, 2018 SAMPLES

Sites 12-18: Area beaches*

All samples below the Ocean Plan limits for Total Coliform, E. coli, and Enterococcus

Site 12 still exceeds 30-day geometric mean limit of 35 MPN/100mL


*Area Beaches

Site 12: Monterey Wharf #2

Site 13: Del Monte Beach at Tide Ave

Site 14: Seaside State Beach at Bay St

Site 15: Marina State Beach at Reservation Rd

Site 16: Salinas River State Beach, Moss Landing at Sandholt Lot

Site 17: Pacific Grove at Ocean View Ave and Acropolis St - not tested Saturday due to unsafe high tides

Site 18: Pacific Grove at Lover's Point - not tested Saturday due to unsafe high tides

From County of Monterey Health Department 1/22/2018 5:31:00 PM | www.mtyhd.org/beach

Beach Closure Lifted: Sewage Spill - Rain Advisory Posted for All Monterey County Beaches. The Beach Closures due to the sewage spill have been lifted. However, all Monterey County Beaches have been posted with a rain advisory due to the current weather. The public is advised not to have ocean water contact for three days after today's rain event.

Site map available in PDF

January 21, 2018: Press Release: Water Sampling Results from Untreated Wastewater Release to Ocean

As a result of an equipment control failure at the Monterey One Water Regional Treatment Plant in Marina, approximately 4.4 million gallons of untreated wastewater were inadvertently discharged into the Monterey Bay through the ocean outfall discharge pipe 2.5 miles off shore. This event occurred late Friday evening (1/19) and into the early morning hours of Saturday (1/20). Because of this release, Monterey County Health Department immediately issued beach closures from Moss Landing to Stillwater Cove. The Health Department is advising the public not to have any ocean contact at this time. Information on beach closures can be found at www.mtyhd.org/beach or call 1- 800-347-6363.

Five water samples from local beaches and eleven samples from the receiving surface water (RSW) surrounding the outfall pipe were obtained on Saturday. Sampling from the same local beach locations plus two more sites occurred on Sunday. All eleven of the open ocean results from the Saturday sampling event were below the Ocean Plan limits for Total Coliform, E. coli and Enterococcus. For the five local beach samples taken on Saturday, only one sample (Monterey Wharf #2) had an elevated Enterococcus measurement of 108 MPN/100mL. The single sample limit for Enterococcus is 104 MPN/100mL.

Sampling results for the seven local beach locations will be made available on Monday afternoon. The Agency is continuing to investigate the cause of this event and will post new information including additional sampling results on the Agency's website as soon as it becomes available.

For any additional information regarding the wastewater release, please contact Paul Sciuto, General Manager for Monterey One Water, at paul@my1water.org or 831-645-4600 or Mike McCullough, Government Affairs Administrator, at mikem@my1water.org or 831-645-4618.

View or download as a PDF.

January 20, 2018: Press Release: Agency Responds to Wastewater Release to Ocean

Monterey One Water (M1W) formerly known as Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) encountered an equipment control failure at the Regional Treatment Plant in Marina this morning and discharged untreated wastewater into the Monterey Bay through their ocean outfall discharge pipe. The discharge pipe extends out into the ocean two miles.

The Agency is still calculating the exact amount of wastewater released into the ocean but estimates are over a million gallons. M1W promptly notified the offices and appropriate personnel of the Marina Fire Department, Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Monterey County Environmental Health Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). M1W staff immediately started sampling the local beaches near the spill site for elevated bacteria levels.

Results from these samples will be posted on the M1W's website immediately after they are compiled. Subsequent information will be provided on the Agency's website as it becomes available.

Paul Sciuto, General Manager for Monterey One Water can be contacted at paul@my1water.org or 831-645-4600 for any additional information regarding the wastewater release.

View or download as a PDF.

September 5, 2017: GM Paul Sciuto Featured in Industry Publication

"The concept of One Water has firm roots in California, and the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency, which changed its name this year to Monterey One Water, is about to become a big part of it. General Manager Paul Sciuto is helping to diversify the Monterey Peninsula's water supply portfolio with an ambitious project called Pure Water Monterey. BC Vice President Grace Chow talked with Sciuto about the project and the agency's commitment to resolving the area's water supply challenges." Read the full story (offsite link)

December 16, 2016: Local Public Entities Awarded $10 Million State Grant

A $10 million state grant will help boost and protect this region's water supply.

Recently the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency and the City of Salinas were awarded a $10 Million Grant to assist with storm water management projects. The grant money will be applied towards the design and construction of storm water capture projects in and around the City of Salinas. All of the project components will benefit the Pure Water Monterey program, an innovative replacement water supply project.

Pure Water Monterey has three primary goals: provide a sustainable source of water supply through advanced water purification and groundwater injection, provide additional recycled water for agricultural irrigation, and mitigate seawater intrusion. The anticipated results from the implementation of Pure Water Monterey are greater regional self-reliance through the recharging of groundwater for use in drought conditions, and reduced water quality impacts on the Salinas River and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The Grant money was made available as part of the Water Quality, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) approved by California voters in the general election on November 4, 2014. The final list of awardees was announced Dec. 1 by the State Water Resources Control Board. The competitive program saw 84 projects apply for state grant funds which requested over $320 Million for storm water projects. The MRWPCA and City of Salinas application was one of 27 projects awarded grant funds. Only 3 of the 27 approved applications were awarded $10 Million. A full list of all of the selected projects can be seen at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/swgp/docs/prop1/prop1_swgp_imp_r1_funding_list_approval.pdf

"This grant enhances the success of the Pure Water Project plus helps meet several of the City's storm water goals and objectives," said Gloria De La Rosa, Salinas City Councilmember for the City of Salinas and Board Chair of the MRWPCA. "It really shows what can happen when people cooperate."

More information on the Pure Water Project is available at http://purewatermonterey.org or by contacting:

Paul A. Sciuto, MRWPCA, General Manager at 831-645-2385 or

Mike McCullough, MRWPCA Government Affairs Administrator, at 831-645-4618 or MikeM@my1water.org

View or download the Press Release (PDF)

December 11, 2015: Transparency Certificate of Excellence Awarded to Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency

The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance.

"This award is a testament to Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency's commitment to open government," said Paul Sciuto, General Manager. "The entire district staff is to be commended for their contributions that empower the public with information and facilitate engagement and oversight."

In order to receive the award, a special district must demonstrate the completion of eight essential governance transparency requirements, including conducting ethics training for all board members, properly conducting open and public meetings, and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the State Controller in a timely manner.

The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency also fulfilled fifteen website requirements, including providing readily available information to the public, such as board agendas, past minutes, current district budget, and the most recent financial audit.

Finally, the district demonstrated outreach to its constituents that engages the public in its governance, through a special community engagement project and community transparency reviews. PDF version

June 17, 2015: General Manager Retires After 27 Years of Service ... New General Manager Selected

Keith Israel and Paul Sciuto

Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) Board of Directors announced the retirement of General Manager Keith Israel and has named Paul A. Sciuto as the new General Manager.

Israel, who has served as the Agency's General Manager for the past 27 years, will be retiring on June 19. MRWPCA's Board Chair, Gloria De La Rosa, presented Israel with a Resolution of Appreciation at the June 8, 2015 Board of Directors  meeting. The resolution highlighted many of the Agency's accomplishments during Israel's tenure. De La Rosa also stated, "Keith is a very dedicated employee and his contributions to the advancement of the Agency are very much appreciated. We want to thank him for his service and wish Keith and his family the best as he enters this new chapter in his life."

Entering the General Manager position is Paul Sciuto. With over 26 years of experience in the water/wastewater/recycled water industries, Sciuto has been serving as the Deputy General Manager for MRWPCA since August 2014. Prior to his arrival at MRWPCA, Sciuto was the Assistant General Manager and Legislative Advocacy representative at South Tahoe Public Utility District for 11 years.  In addition to his role at South Tahoe, Sciuto has served as a private consultant for two San Francisco Bay Area companies as well as an Assistant Engineer with Central Contra Costa Sanitary District. Sciuto is registered as a Professional Engineer with the State of California, has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from U.C. Davis, an M.S. from Pepperdine University, and an MBA from California State University – Hayward. Sciuto and his family reside in Carmel.

MRWPCA Board Chair, Gloria De La Rosa says, "The Board was unanimous in their support and selection of Sciuto as the next General Manager for the Agency."

Outgoing General Manager Keith Israel says, "Paul has come in and done a great job of working with the staff, and understanding the issues that face the Board. He understands what steps need to be taken in the future. The Agency is in very capable hands."

December 9, 2014: Supplement to the May 2013 NOP for the Monterey Peninsula Groundwater Replenishment (Pure Water Monterey) Project EIR

The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) is the Lead Agency for preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the Monterey Peninsula Groundwater Replenishment Project (now called the Pure Water Monterey GWR Project). MRWPCA commenced the CEQA process for the proposed project on May 31, 2013 when a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an EIR was circulated for a 30-day public review period (SCH#2013051094). MRWPCA considered and incorporated comments on the May 2013 NOP, and the Draft EIR for the project is well underway. On a parallel track, as a result of ongoing engineering and technical evaluations and regional coordination efforts, MRWPCA has updated the project description. For details, view or download the PDF

May 18, 2015: Agency Responds to Wastewater Release to Ocean

Pump Station 13, Pacific Grove

Pictured above: The area of the spill. The beaches are now open; the Public Health advisory has been lifted.

Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) encountered mechanical problems on Monday, May 18th at their pump station #13 in Pacific Grove and discharged untreated wastewater into the Monterey Bay. The station is located at Ocean View Boulevard and 15th Street along the recreation trail in Pacific Grove.

A MRWPCA contractor was working at the station and was conducting by pass pumping of wastewater. The bypass pumping allowed MRWPCA staff to perform maintenance inside the pump station. During the maintenance procedures a discharge valve did not properly seal which allowed wastewater to fill up the pump station. At this point the Agency had two options, the first option would allow the wastewater to fill up the pump station and destroy all electrical components and pumping equipment. This would have resulted in an extended outage at the pump station and wastewater would have spilled onto the recreation trail and then into the ocean. The second option for MRWPCA was to control the discharge through a pipe and allow the wastewater to be released into the ocean. The MRWPCA choose the second option and the release of wastewater started at 10:42 a.m.

According to the MRWPCA, approximately 220,000 gallons of wastewater was released into the ocean from Pump Station #13. MRWPCA promptly notified the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Monterey County Environmental Health Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

There were a number of factors that led to the extended release of wastewater to the ocean. These included disconnecting power to the pump station, using multiple vacuum trucks to help pump out the wastewater out from the pump station and repairing the faulty valve. Once the pump station was cleared of wastewater and repairs were made, the bypass pumping resumed. Wastewater releases to the ocean ceased at 5:22 p.m.

MRWPCA was assisted during this event by the Pacific Grove Police Department, Pacific Grove Public Works Department, Monterey Fire Department and the Marina Coast Water District. MRWPCA expresses their gratitude to these entities for their assistance.

December 9, 2014: Supplement to the May 2013 NOP for the Monterey Peninsula Groundwater Replenishment (Pure Water Monterey) Project EIR

The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) is the Lead Agency for preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the Monterey Peninsula Groundwater Replenishment Project (now called the Pure Water Monterey GWR Project). MRWPCA commenced the CEQA process for the proposed project on May 31, 2013 when a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an EIR was circulated for a 30-day public review period (SCH#2013051094). MRWPCA considered and incorporated comments on the May 2013 NOP, and the Draft EIR for the project is well underway. On a parallel track, as a result of ongoing engineering and technical evaluations and regional coordination efforts, MRWPCA has updated the project description. For details, view or download the PDF

November 3, 2014: MRWPCA, SeaMist Farms Recognized at One Water Innovations Gala in New Orleans

Ocean Mist Farms and MRWPCA were honored at the One Water Innovations Gala held in New Orleans on Sept. 28. An award was presented to both entities for their creative partnerships in demonstrating how public agencies, industries and producers can work together to promote the beneficial uses of recycled water. Full story and photos

March 31, 2014: Harley Thompson Receives Science and Engineering Fair Special MRWPCA Award for Recycled Water, Pollution Prevention and/or Seawater Intrusion Project

Ms. Harley Thompson, an 8th Grade Student at San Carlos School, Monterey, is the 2014 Special Award winner in the Junior Pharmacology/Toxicology Division for her  "Mercury: Not Just in Fish" project. She was recognized at the March 31 MRWPCA Board of Directors meeting. Pictured at left are Board Chair Dennis G. Allion, Ms. Thompson, and Community Relations Specialist Karen Harris. Details and abstract (PDF)

January 25 & 26, 2014: Whalefest Monterey 2014

Visit the MRWPCA booth at Whalefest Monterey 2014. The Monterey Old Fisherman's Wharf Association will hold the 4th Annual Whalefest Monterey at and around Fisherman's Wharf, 1 Old Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey, CA. This popular event celebrates the migration of the gray whales. It is designed to educate and inspire the public about many of the outstanding marine organizations that are involved in the Monterey Bay area and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. View Info or visit the Old Fisherman's Wharf Association Whalefest Monterey page

September 4, 2013:  MRWPCA Reduces Energy Use (Kera Abraham, M.C.Weekly)

Energy efficiency is a primary goal at Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency’s wastewater treatment plant.  The Agency recently teamed up with Candi Controls to find ways to cut peak energy consumption by deploying a cloud-enabled energy management system.  Candi Controls is the creator of a breakthrough unifying platform for machine-to-machine communications which enables MRWPCA to monitor more than 100,000 real time data points per day.

View MCWeekly article (PDF) and Press Release (PDF)

July 20, 2013: Options for Getting Rid of Old Meds (Kathryn McKenzie, Monterey County Herald)

The majority of us are on drugs these days. That's what a Mayo Clinic study found recently, with 70 percent of Americans saying they take at least one prescription medication. That's a lot of pills and other items out there. Now many of us have concerns about the best way to dispose of unused or expired medicines, either our own or those of family members. Full Story (PDF)

March 10, 2013: Monterey County Science Fair Participants Recognized by MRWPCA Board

On March 10 at the Monterey County Science Fair at California State University Monterey Bay, two student projects were selected by Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency staff for special recognition. View the story as PDF.

MRWPCA is an ENERGY STAR PartnerJanuary 11, 2012: MRWPCA Becomes ENERGY STAR® Partner

MRWPCA is committed to continually improving our management of energy resources, which reduces both operating costs and carbon footprint. We are proud to partner with ENERGY STAR. On January 11, 2012 MRWPCA signed an agreement to share its power reduction practices with other wastewater treatment plants to promote energy saving measures.  It will also continue to measure, track, and report energy consumption; develop and implement a plan to minimize power demand; and promote ENERGY STAR and its successes within the community.

June 30, 2011: MRWPCA Honored with 2011 Clean Air Award. Details and photos

See also: California Water Environment Association E-Bulletin and Water Environment Federation WEF Highlights

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Videos

Learn how wastewater is turned into safe water

Dale Huss of Sea Mist Farms talks about the Monterey County Reclamation Projects