Babcock Labs Fully Approved for UCMR 4 Testing!

Babcock Laboratories, Inc. is officially an EPA approved laboratory for UCMR 4! We are now fully approved by the U.S. EPA for all UCMR 4 analyses. Click here to view our approval certificate.

Starting in 2018, approximately 6,000 public water systems (PWSs) must participate in the UCMR 4 program, including all community water systems (CWSs) and non-transient non-community water systems (NTNCWSs) serving more than 10,000 people (i.e., large systems), as well as a selected list of 800 small CWSs and NTNCWSs serving between 25 – 10,000 people (i.e., small systems). For more information about UCMR 4, view our FAQ sheet or contact a member of our team.

Babcock Labs has received certification for each round of UCMR since the inception of the program. Our experience with the program and our expert staff make Babcock Labs an excellent resource for UCMR 4 questions and testing services. Whether you have questions about program requirements, are looking for a quote or to begin the planning process, or are interested in sample collection, analysis, and reporting services – we are here to help!

Contact a member of our Business Development team today:
Cathy Iijima, Director of Client Services (951-653-3351 ext. 235)
Nick Marz, Business Development Associate (951-653-3351 ext. 262)
Taylor Cariaga, Business Development Associate (951-653-3351 ext. 240)
Or, contact your Project Manager

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Lead in Our Schools: The Case for Testing

Many school districts have participated in the State Water Resources Control Board’s new lead testing program, which requires local water agencies to provide free lead testing to any K-12 schools they service. One such school district, San Diego Unified, has identified yet another one of its schools as having elevated levels of lead in drinking water fountains.

Birney Elementary School is the third school in the district found to have lead levels that exceed State drinking water standards. In March, test results at Emerson-Bandini Elementary and the San Diego Co-Operative Charter School 2 showed drinking water with more than twice the acceptable level of lead. Moreover, San Diego is not the only area affected, as testing has identified elevated levels of lead in drinking water at schools in San Ysidro and San Marcos.

Under the State Board program, if a K-12 school official requests lead testing its public water system is responsible for collecting water samples within three months of the request, having the samples analyzed by an ELAP-accredited laboratory, and reporting the results to the school within two business days of receiving the results—all free of charge. The water system is required to collect up to 5 samples at each school requesting assistance. To view the sampling plan and protocols, visit the DDW’s Lead Sampling of Drinking Water in California Schools website.

Babcock Laboratories is both ELAP and NELAP accredited and has over 20 years of experience determining ultra-trace amounts of lead in drinking water using EPA method 200.8, which is the testing method required by the State Board for this program. In addition to lead, Babcock Laboratories offers a suite of heavy metal testing services for drinking water. If you are interested in our heavy metal testing services, including lead testing, please contact our Director of Client Services, Cathy Iijima.

As is evident by these recent cases in San Diego, this testing program is helping schools and water agencies address potential safety issues so that they can take immediate action to ensure that our children and teachers are consuming clean and safe drinking water. We are proud to lend our support to public water systems as they continue to protect public health under this new program.

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Water Quality: New Objectives for Mercury

The State Water Resources Control Board has adopted new water quality objectives for mercury. These new rules are meant to protect public health and wildlife by limiting mercury in all inland surface waters, enclosed bays, and estuaries in California.

The rules include three new beneficial use definitions for certain types of fishing, five new water quality objectives that set safe consumption levels for mercury in fish tissue, and an implementation plan to achieve the reduced mercury levels in fish.

The State Board press release states, “The rules also include a program of implementation outlining methods for determining limits for waste water dischargers, pollution prevention activities for urban storm water, and focuses on controlling sediment from non-point sources particularly in areas known to be contaminated by mercury to achieve the water quality objectives.”

For the State Board’s press release on the new rules, click here.

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Water Reclamation and Reuse: $23.6 Million for Projects and Studies

The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded $23.6 million for water reclamation and reuse projects and studies. California is among seven states to receive funding, with many projects located in Southern California. As the press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior reads:


U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke [announced] that the Bureau of Reclamation awarded $23,619,391 to communities in seven states for planning, designing and constructing water recycling and re-use projects; developing feasibility studies; and researching desalination and water recycling projects. The funding is part of the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse program.

“This funding  provides essential tools for stretching limited water supplies by helping communities reclaim and reuse wastewater and impaired ground or surface waters,” said Secretary Zinke. “These tools are just part of the toolkit for bridging the gap between water supply and demand and thus making water supplies more drought-resistant. In addition to this funding, Reclamation is actively supporting state and local partners in their efforts to boost water storage capacity.”

Title XVI Authorized Projects are authorized by Congress and receive funding for planning, design and/or construction activities on a project-specific basis. Six projects will receive $20,980,129. They are:

• City of Pasadena Water and Power Department (California), Pasadena Non-Potable Water Project, Phase I, $2,000,000

• City of San Diego (California), San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, $4,200,000

• Hi-Desert Water District (California), Hi-Desert District Wastewater Reclamation Project, $4,000,000

• Inland Empire Utilities Agency (California), Lower Chino Dairy Area Desalination and Reclamation Project, $5,199,536

• Padre Dam Municipal Water District (California), San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, $3,900,000

• Santa Clara Valley Water District (California), South Santa Clara County Recycled Water Project, $1,680,593

Title XVI Feasibility Studies are for entities that would like to develop new water reclamation and reuse feasibility studies. Thirteen projects will receive $1,791,561. They are:

• City of Ada Public Works Authority (Oklahoma), Reuse Feasibility Study for the City of Ada, Oklahoma, $136,193

• City of Bartlesville (Oklahoma), Feasibility Study to Augment Bartlesville Water Supply with Drought-Resilient Reclaimed Water, $150,000

• City of Garden City (Kansas), Strategic Plan for Reuse Effluent Water Resources in Garden City, Kansas, and Vicinity, $65,368

• City of Quincy (Washington), Quincy 1 Water Resource Management Improvement Feasibility Study for Comprehensive Wastewater Reuse and Water Supply Project, $150,000

• El Paso Water Utilities – Public Services Board (Texas), Aquifer Storage-Recovery with Reclaimed Water to Preserve Hueco Bolson using Enhanced Arroyo Infiltration for Wetlands, and Secondary Reducing Local Power Plant Reclaimed Water Demand, $150,000

• Kitsap County (Washington), Feasibility Study for a comprehensive water reuse project at the Kitsap County Kingston Wastewater Treatment Plant, $150,000.

• Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (California), Pure Water Project Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, $150,000

• North Alamo Water Supply Corporation (Texas), Feasibility Study of Energy-Efficient Alternatives for Brackish Groundwater Desalination for the North Alamo Water Supply Corporation, $90,000

• Oklahoma Water Resources Board (Oklahoma), Feasibility Study of Potential Impacts of Select Alternative Produced Water Management and Reuse Scenarios, $150,000

• Soquel Creek Water District (California), Pure Water Soquel – Replenishing Mid-County Groundwater with Groundwater with Purified Recycled Water, $150,000

• Valley Center Municipal Water District (California), Lower Moosa Canyon Wastewater Recycling, Reuse, and sub-regional Brine Disposal Project, $150,000

• Washoe County (Nevada), Northern Nevada Indirect Potable Reuse Feasibility Study, $150,000

• Weber Basin Water Conservancy District (Utah), Weber Basin Water Conservancy District Reuse Feasibility Study, $150,000

The Title XVI Program will provide funding for research to establish or expand water reuse markets, improve or expand existing water reuse facilities, and streamline the implementation of clean water technology at new facilities. Four projects will receive $847,701. They are:

• City of San Diego (California), Demonstrating Innovative Control of Biological Fouling of Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis Membranes and Enhanced Chemical and Energy Efficiency in Potable Water, $300,000

• City of San Diego (California), Site-Specific Analytical Testing of RO Brine Impacts to the Treatment Process, $48,526

• Kansas Water Office (Kansas), Pilot Test Project for Produced Water near Hardtner, Kansas, $199,175

• Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (California), Pure Water Project Las Virgenes-Truinfo Demonstration Project, $300,000

Reclamation provides funding through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and naturally impaired ground or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental restoration, fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, municipal, domestic, industrial, agricultural, power generation or recreation.

Since 1992, Title XVI funding has been used to provide communities with new sources of clean water, while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. In that time, approximately $672 million in federal funding has been leveraged with non-federal funding to implement more than $3.3 billion in water reuse improvements.

To learn more about Title XVI and these awards, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title.


To read the original press release on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s website, click here.

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The Bold History of Earth Day

Source: Marshall University

Did you know that Earth Day—April 22—marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement of 1970? 

The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a Democratic U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as the national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the country. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 1970 achieved rare political and socioeconomic alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Will Earth Day 2017 be just as historic?

For the original post and to learn more, visit: EarthDay.orgBabcock Laboratories‘ mission is to safeguard public health and the environment through a family of employee owners who consistently deliver analytical expertise. To learn about the testing services we provide to live out this mission, click here

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Leading the Way: Babcock Labs Senior Chemist to Present Innovative Method Development on PFCs

Babcock Labs Senior Chemist David Schiessel and the LC/MS/MS

Babcock Labs Senior Chemist David Schiessel and an LC/MS/MS

We are very pleased to announce that our Senior Chemist David Schiessel has had three presentations accepted to the National Environmental Monitoring Conference (NEMC)! Mr. Schiessel will contribute two oral presentations and one poster presentation on his innovative research and method development concerning the analysis of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs—also known as PFAS).

For the past few years Babcock Laboratories has focused on the evaluation of PFCs, including perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), perfluorosulfonates (PFSAs), perfluorosulfonamidoacetic acids (FOSAAs), and fluorotelomersulfonates (FTSs). These analytes have been of interest as of late because PFCs are commonly used as surfactants in industrial, consumer, military, and firefighting applications, such as Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) firefighting products. PFCs exhibit distinctive chemical characteristics that make them stable in the environment and resistant to degradation, allowing them to bioaccumulate in soil, sediment, groundwater, and animal tissue over time. Given the health risks PFCs pose to the public and environment, it is important that laboratories have the capability to detect these types of analytes even when they are not specifically looking for them. For this reason, Babcock Laboratories’ Senior Chemist David Schiessel has focused his research and development efforts on non-targeted suspect screening strategies using low resolution LC-MS-MS, and will present his data and findings at NEMC.

Mr. Schiessel also co-authored a poster with Scott Krepich and Allen Misa of Phenomenex that will be presented at the conference. The poster is on their collaborative work concerning the evaluation of online SPE sorbents for the analysis of perfluorinated compounds in aqueous matrices. Additionally, Mr. Schiessel has been asked to present on a similar topic at the Thermo Scientific POPs (persistent organic pollutants) Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts next month.

Mr. Schiessel certainly represents the dedication and expertise that our clients have come to expect from the Babcock Labs team and we are very proud of his achievements. Our research and method development efforts allow us to pursue our vision of advancing a legacy of scientific contribution through innovation and laboratory excellence. We cannot wait to listen to his presentations at NEMC in Washington, DC in August!

NEMC is held annually as a part of the Environmental Measurement Symposium—a combined meeting of the NEMC and The NELAC Institute (TNI)’s Forum on Environmental Accreditation. The Symposium is co-sponsored by TNI under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each year hundreds of QA/QC managers, regulatory affairs managers, field sampling management organizations, researchers, and laboratory scientists, analysts, and managers attend this symposium, making it the largest conference in North America focused on environmental measurements. The staff who attend such conferences gain greater knowledge of the various aspects within each of the industries we serve and bring this knowledge back to Babcock Labs so that we can continue to better serve our clients.

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Drinking Water Workshop: Attend the Next DWW at Babcock Labs

DWW_smBabcock Labs will hold its 4th semi-annual Drinking Water Workshop on Thursday, May 18th. To register click here. For more information about what the workshop entails, click here or read below:

It is challenging for any sample technician or operator to take a valid sample without first understanding the “why” and “how” behind the drinking water sample. Proper drinking water sampling requires thorough training, extensive knowledge, appropriate resources, and up-to-date techniques. These elements are vital if an organization wishes to maintain scientific integrity and receive quality, legally defensible data from its laboratory.

Because this information is so valuable to your organization’s endeavor to protect the public health, Babcock Laboratories has created a Drinking Water Workshop tailored to meet the needs of your staff. The workshop includes*:

A Short Course Seminar:

  • Sampling techniques
  • Bottle type and preservation
  • Safety and sample documentation
  • Analytical methods and testing

Interactive Training:

  • Hands-on sampling practice
  • Real-life scenarios
  • Two sample testing stations
  • An analysis observation station

*There will also be a break in-between sessions at which point refreshments and a small snack will be provided.

To ensure that each attendee receives one-on-one time with our trainers, space for this workshop is limited to 30 individuals, with a maximum of 2 individuals per organization.

Both the seminar and training courses will be conducted by laboratory professionals who have years of expertise in drinking water sampling. Each workshop attendee will receive a certificate of completion verifying that they have received proper education and applied training on drinking water sampling.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Is the Drought Drowned Out?: End of Drought Emergency and Release of Long-Term Conservation Framework

JBrown

Photo credit: KTLA

This month Governor Jerry Brown declared California’s drought-induced state of emergency officially over for the majority of the state. Even with the emergency called off, however, future drought remains a real threat to the Golden State. In response, California water agencies released a joint framework for long-term water conservation moving forward. Will water conservation become a way of life in California? Our friends at the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) published the following article explaining where we stand and what’s to come:


Record rains this water year and increased levels of water conservation were cited by the governor in his decision to lift the drought emergency. Water reporting requirements by local agencies and the prohibition of wasteful water practices such as watering lawns during or after a rainfall will remain in place.

“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown stated in a written release. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”

ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn issued a statement praising the lifting of the drought emergency.

“We are glad to see the governor’s action today to lift the drought emergency declaration for most of the state. The statewide emergency clearly is over, but it makes sense to continue to assist areas where emergency drinking water projects are still needed in hard-hit areas,” said Quinn.

Quinn also stressed that water agencies across the state are not “letting our guard down when it comes to using water efficiently on an ongoing basis.”

“Local water agencies are committed to conservation and long-term water efficiency as a way of life, and they have not waited for this moment to take action,” said Quinn. “They are actively investing in programs, education and incentives to help their customers adopt sustainable practices and make changes that result in permanent water savings.”

In a media call, State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus said she expects the State Water Board in May to lift the requirement for local water agencies to undergo and report the results of so-called “stress tests” that indicate whether they have enough water supply for three additional dry years.

Marcus also thanked Californians for the ongoing conservation efforts.

“Californians everywhere have risen to the occasion with their conservation actions,” said Marcus.

Officials stressed that the impacts of California’s unprecedented drought remain, and many communities still need assistance.

“We all know how hard hit… our rural communities were hit,” said California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross.

Ross and other state officials pledged support for communities still grappling with the impacts of the drought.

The full text of today’s executive order can be found here.

Brown’s executive order B-40-17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies. The order also rescinds two previous emergency proclamations from January and April 2014 and four droughtrelatedexecutiveorders issued in 2014 and 2015.

Executive Order B-37-16, remains in effect, and is part of the state’s efforts to continue making water conservation a way of life in California. This order maintains water use reporting requirements and pledges the state continued work to coordinate a statewide response on the unprecedented bark beetle outbreak in drought-stressed forests that has killed millions of trees across California.

State agencies today also released a long-term conservation framework that seeks to continue to make conservation a way of life in California.  A draft of the framework was released in November and ACWA and other stakeholders provided significant input to inform the drafting of the final framework. The final framework allows local water agencies to set their own conservation targets based on standards set by the state. The state has yet to set these standards. They are intended to be tailored to meet local hydrological conditions, population, industry and other conditions. The process to establish the standards will begin in 2018. They are expected to go into effect in 2021.

The framework will require new legislation in order to be adopted.


To read the original article by Pamela Martineau published on ACWA’s website, click here

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FSMA Final Rule on Produce Safety: Understanding the Importance of Water Testing Requirements

Last month U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials notified produce industry leaders that there would be a review of the Produce Safety Rule’s water quality requirements to address industry concerns, resulting in a likely delay in compliance.

As of now, the FDA has responded by ensuring the industry that while the water testing requirements are a pricier investment, they save considerable time and cost when it comes to the consequences of foodborne illnesses. Dr. Samir Assar, director of the Division of Produce Safety, explained that the FDA “anticipates that the final rule will bring about a reduction of over 60 percent in the risk of contamination from agricultural water, or a reduction of about 20 percent in the total number of foodborne illnesses associated with produce, with a corresponding reduction of $477 million in the costs of foodborne illnesses.” The cost to produce growers, on the other hand, has been estimated by the FDA to be “approximately $37 million dollars annually, which represents an average cost to a single farm of approximately $1,058 per year,” according to Dr. Assar.

So how did the FDA establish these water quality and testing requirements for irrigation water? In short, the agency has looked to scientific research and the EPA for help determining water quality criteria. Dr. Assar explained that the Safety Produce Rule and its water quality requirements stem, in part, from the EPA’s recreational water criteria because epidemiological studies have shown that people get sick after swallowing recreational water that is contaminated with feces. The types of water used for agricultural water are diverse, but agricultural water is estimated to be the most important pathway of contamination, which is why the presence of generic E. coli is a concern. E. coli is a consistent indicator of fecal contamination, and increased fecal contamination heightens the likelihood that disease-causing microorganisms are present.

While these new regulations may appear daunting to produce growers, it is important to remember that there are professionals who are well-versed in microbial determinations in water that are prepared to help. Babcock Laboratories has been certified to test for microbial contaminants in water for 90 years and in that time we have helped numerous clients—big and small, public and private—comply with regulatory requirements. Moreover, we offer testing services that are specific to the food and beverage industry. We are certain that our experience and team of knowledgeable and friendly professionals will help relieve some of the burden associated with understanding and complying with the water quality and testing requirements outlined in the FSMA final rule.

To read the FDA’s response to concerns regarding the establishment of requirements for water quality and testing, click here. To learn more about Babcock Labs’ food and beverage testing services, click here.

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Water Loss: New CA Law Will Impact Water Utilities

Senate Bill 555, which requires large urban water utilities to file water loss audits, will go into effect this October. These water loss audits are designed to improve water supply efficiency in the State. Under the law large utilities are defined as urban water utilities treating more than 3,000 acre-feet of water annually or with more than 3,000 connections, which means 410 California utilities are subject to the law.

To better understand the new law, Water Deeply recently interviewed Todd Thompson, a senior engineer at the California Department of Water Resources who is in charge of drafting the regulations. Water Deeply reports:

Q: Is this completely new in California?

A: The reporting requirement is completely new. But there are quite a few water suppliers conducting audits either of their own volition as a good practice, or as a part of being with the California Urban Water Conservation Council, which requires its members to estimate losses. I believe somewhere around 60 percent of the 410 large suppliers are already doing some form of water loss audit.

Q: Why is it important to create a formal process and make the results public?

A: It’s part of improving best management practices on the water supply side. And it is a first step in improving system operation and efficiency.

You conduct a water loss audit to get an estimate of where the water is going and how much is being lost as a result of either meter errors, water theft or actual leaks in the system. The water loss audit is the first step in making that determination. It’s important in California, as it is everywhere, to make sure we use our resources as wisely as possible and as efficiently as possible. Water loss auditing is a step in that direction.

Q: How much do we know about water loss today?

A: There have been estimations made. I’m reluctant to cite those because I really have never been able to put my finger on the data where those numbers came from. I’m not sure how accurate it is, so I really don’t want to push numbers that may not have really any value to them. But the rule of thumb is around 10 percent. But it can be higher than that.

Q: But this is really about more than water losses, right?

A: It definitely is. By being efficient with the water that’s being treated and transmitted through distribution systems, a utility can definitely reduce its operations cost, because it’s not losing water that they’ve put value into. In addition to that, it is a way to make sure, if there are any real losses happening that would impact the infrastructure in the area – such as roads and buildings – they can catch those before they become a real problem. There have been plenty of places where a leak has gotten bigger, to a point where it swallows cars or does significant damage to the roads.

In that regard, it’s more than just being proactive toward water conservation. It actually makes good sense in terms of fiscal responsibility – and liability, to some degree – when you talk about damage to roads and existing infrastructure.

Q: What are other states doing about managing water loss?

A: To the level that we are looking at for our requirements, the only state that has an equivalent program is the state of Georgia. That was also a result of a drought they went through. They are at least six years ahead of us. I think their law started in 2010. They’ve had good acceptance with it and actually we are using some of the info they’ve learned in our program. We have gained from their experience.

Q: Is tracking water loss difficult for water agencies?

A: It’s work, but I would say it’s not difficult. They have the data and it’s a matter of gathering the data and putting it into an audit format. There’s some work required, but since they already have the data it’s not extraordinarily difficult for them to do it. The validation step is something that isn’t as widespread, so there will be a learning curve with that. But I don’t think that will be very difficult either. Ultimately, it’s not very hard.

Q: How does the validation work, and why is that important?

A: Validation is basically looking at the data that’s in the audit itself to make sure it accurately reflects the utility. The methodology that’s being pursued is the American Water Works Association methodology. They basically give a scoring for each of the data fields. That is, how strong is that data itself? It looks at how many meters there are on the source putting water into the system, how often those meters are calibrated, and those factors produce a score to see how well it reflects the utility’s practices in the water system. It’s all intended to make sure the information is accurate.

Q: How often will water agencies be required to submit audits?

A: They ultimately will be submitting them annually through our website. The first submittal date is Oct. 1, 2017, and annually thereafter. The period they can audit is either the calendar year or the fiscal year. We did that so municipalities can use auditing techniques that suit them best to serve their needs for their fiscal purposes and planning purposes.

Q: What’s left to do to approve the regulations?

A: We have a process to go through. We’re in the midst of a 45-day public comment period now. Then we’ll have a public hearing on it, respond to all the comments, make changes as appropriate, and either recirculate it or take it before the California Water Commission for adoption. The water commission has to approve them and I’m hoping to have it in front of them by May.

Q: Will the public have access to the water loss reports?

A: Yes. We already have a website for water loss audits, where all the documents will be posted.

All of the agencies subject to these regulations have gone through at least one water loss audit already, because that’s required in their urban water management plans. Those are available on the website now. We’ve looked at that data and we’ve had experts look at it. And what they told us is that it’s very hard to pull any conclusions from this data, because it’s not validated.

Q: How will the data be used once the audits start piling up?

A: There’s going to be performance standards established that will require California water agencies to reduce their water losses. The State Water Resources Control Board will be setting those performance standards, but not until they have two years of validated data. The industry strongly pushed for that to make sure what comes forward as a result of this program is based in solid numbers.

I think you’ll see a required minimum validation score, meaning they want strong data. And there could be a “percent of water supplied” number put forward as the performance criteria for losses, too. The state board will have a public process to establish that. The industry will get to weigh in, and it will be discussed at length. That was the idea of the statute: Something will be imposed to control water losses.

Q: What’s the end game? Is it better water efficiency, more daylight on water losses?

A: The end game will be on several fronts. Certainly water efficiency will go up as a result of the program on the water supply side. I think the public will be better served, because water agencies will be more aware of their water losses and therefore be more efficient with the water resources they’re handling. It may not reduce their operating costs, but it could. It will certainly be more efficient in terms of their operations, which will benefit the consumer.

I think it will also reduce real losses, which could reduce infrastructure damage as a result of leaks down the road. And it’s going to be validated data, so you have an idea how good the data is. But you’ll also have an idea of how efficient they are being in terms of reducing their losses, which ultimately consumers are paying for.

To read the original article published by Water Deeply, click here.

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