OCWD Board of Directors

Cathy Green
First Vice President
Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Second Vice President
Philip L. Anthony
Jordan Brandman
Shawn Dewane
Jan M. Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Roman Reyna
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.
General Manager
Michael R. Markus
P.E., D.WRE.

In This Issue:

Message from the President
Lab Receives EPA Certification for UCMR 3
Recharge Facilities Ready for Stormwater
Director of Natural Resources Inspires
Are You Prepared for the Next Big One?
Employee of the Month
Recent Tours & Speaking Engagements


For the past 16 years the District and its partners, Disneyland Resort, National Water Research Institute and Orange County Water District (OCWD) Groundwater Guardian Team, have proudly hosted the nation's largest water education festival. Since its inception in 1997, the Children's Water Education Festival (Festival) has served more than 95,000 students.

We are excited to announce that we will host the 2013 Festival at a new location, the University of California, Irvine. This location will allow us to serve a greater number of students and teachers, while also accommodating future growth. We are eager to expose nearly 7,000 third, fourth and fifth grade students to a university setting. Registration recently opened and within 48 hours nearly 2,500 students registered.

The Festival, which will take place on March 27-28, 2013, presents a unique opportunity to educate students about local water issues and helps them understand how they can protect water supplies and their environment. Its mission is to educate students about water-related and conservation issues that correspond to California Science Standards.

On behalf of OCWD, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all individuals, companies, agencies and organizations that have generously supported this important educational event. If you would like more information about sponsorship or volunteer, presenter and school registration, please visit www.childrenwaterfestival.com or contact Amanda Gavin at (714) 378-3202, agavin@ocwd.com.

We look forward to a great Festival!
Lab Receives Full EPA Certification for
Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring

OCWD's laboratory, the Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory (AWQAL) received the seven EPA certifications necessary to provide support for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR 3), a federally mandated program that monitors 28 unregulated compounds in distribution systems for three years, 2013 to 2015. The AWQAL is one of six laboratories nationwide approved to provide full UCMR 3 monitoring; 16 laboratories are engaged in partial analytical support. Previously, the District successfully completed the UCMR 2 program.

The UCMR 3 meets the requirements established by the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that require the EPA to establish criteria for a program to monitor unregulated contaminants and publish a list of up to 30 contaminants to be monitored every five years. It provides the EPA with scientifically valid data on the occurrence of these contaminants in drinking water. These data are one of the primary sources of occurrence and exposure information the agency uses to develop regulatory decisions for these contaminants.

OCWD is able to provide this critical support because of its proven water quality record, its state-of-the-art equipment and successful staff collaboration. It is a leader in water quality and its progressive monitoring program will continue to evolve with guidance from local stakeholders and any future state or federal regulations.


The Orange County Water District manages one of the largest groundwater basins in Southern California that provides approximately 70 percent of the drinking water for 2.4 million people. The recharge system is composed of more than a dozen basins that have permeable sides and bottoms that stormwater can soak through to the underlying groundwater aquifers.

The bottoms of the recharge basins (artificial lakes) eventually become clogged with fine silt. This causes permeability to decrease and reduces the overall effectiveness of facility operations. When this happens, draining and cleaning is required. These activities are typically performed during summer months in preparation to capture the maximum amount of stormwater the following winter. This summer the following activities were performed: primary basins were drained and cleaned, hydraulic structures, valves and pumps were repaired and construction projects were completed at Warner, Kraemer and Santiago basins.

All seasonal maintenance work will be completed by the end of October and OCWD will be prepared for the upcoming rainy season. In addition to stormwater, primary water sources that are used to recharge the basin include flows from the Santa Ana River, advanced recycled water and imported water from distant sources.


OCWD is a leader in water and natural resource development, carrying out award-winning environmental programs. At the forefront of its natural resources efforts is Richard Zembal, Director of Natural Resources.

Zembal has spearheaded significant environmental achievements at OCWD including bringing back an endangered California songbird, the least Bells vireo, from less than 20 breeding pairs in the 1980's to more than 400 pairs today. He has also worked on recovering additional endangered species including the light-footed clapper rail, for which he received a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion Award in 2010.

His work on the clapper rail was recently cited in a project affiliated with the Frankenweenie Science Fair hosted by Discovery Science Center and Walt Disney Studios. Daniel Vitenson, of the Rhoades School in Encinitas conducted a study entitled "Influence of Tides on Behavior of Light-Footed Clapper Rails," inspired by Zembal's work. Daniel's project will be on display at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood from September 29 through the beginning of November to coincide with the movie release of "Frankenweeinie."

Congratulations Daniel.


More than 10 million people signed up to participate in a nationwide earthquake drill, the Great ShakeOut, on October 18 (www.shakeout.org). These drills help people in homes, schools, and organizations practice how to be safe during big earthquakes, and provide an opportunity for everyone to improve their overall preparedness.

Scientists are concerned about the potential for a large earthquake on the southernmost section of the San Andreas, where an earthquake has not occurred since about 1680. Such an earthquake could cause destruction throughout much of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Being able to survive and recover from the next big quake starts with simple steps you can take right now.

  • Identify potential hazards and begin fixing them (secure water heater, entertainment center, computer systems, china cabinet, bookcase and other items that could fall and injure you)
  • Purchase and store needed supplies (at least three days of water, food, medications and other supplies such as portable radio with batteries, flashlight, etc.)
  • Practice - 'Drop, Cover and Hold On' and review steps to take after the quake with family members (i.e. if separated, call out-of-state telephone number or meet at pre-designated location)

Here are a few more resources: http://daretoprepare.org; http://myhazards.calema.ca.gov; http://bit.ly/earthquake-tips


The OCWD employee of the month program was established to recognize outstanding District employees and to acknowledge their contributions to OCWD. The program recognizes employees for high quality work, promoting team work, cost saving ideas and a high level of dedication to their work. The District recognizes that OCWD employees are the source of its strength, reputation and innovation.

Congratulations Vickie Nguyen, senior programmer/analyst for the department of information systems, who was recognized by OCWD as the October employee of the month.

Great job Vickie!


As a leader in water reuse and groundwater management, Orange County Water District receives requests to provide tours and briefings for visitors from local colleges, water agencies, the surrounding community and international organizations. Since the GWRS began operation in January 2008 more than 17,000 guests have toured the facility from 20 different countries.

OCWD would like to thank its September tour guests, which included nursing students from California State University, Long Beach; students from Santa Ana College and Chapman University; members of the South Coast Shores homeowners association; staff from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Clean Green Technology, Inc.; delegates from China-Tianjin Municipal Water Authority and students from the Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany. Also a big thank you to the following groups for scheduling an OCWD speaking engagement: Groundwater Resources Association, City of Huntington Beach (4th Annual Green Expo) and WEFTEC.

Public tours of the Groundwater Replenishment System are offered at
10 a.m. on the first Friday of every month; reservations are required. Tours may be scheduled for other days of the week, depending on staff availability. To schedule a tour or to request more information, please contact Becky Mudd at (714) 378-3362 or bmudd@ocwd.com. To schedule a speaker, please contact Rose Wilke at (714) 378-3206 or rwilke@ocwd.com. You may also visit www.ocwd.com to schedule these activities online.

18700 Ward Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 378-3200

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