CWEA Leader Link- June 2012
California Water Environment Association                                                                                               June  2012
Leader Link

News, insights, and advice for CWEA's volunteer leaders                     

In This Issue:

TCP Turns 75

New Operator Certification Program Regulations Proposed

CWEA Awards Program Kicks off on July 1

How to get More Impact from Online Newsletters

Regional Committee Meetings

Students and Young Professionals' Website Launched

Staff Contacts

Leadership Calendar

TCP Turns 75


Happy birthday TCP! I first met you on your 55th birthday. We’ve been together for some time now. There have been a lot of changes over the years; all for the better. I have met many of my peers and became friends with many of them, all while preparing for you, working with you and ultimately, getting certified by you. Looking at that certification on the wall is like looking at a family photo. Thanks for everything TCP. I’m glad I met you.

-Lenny Rather, Oro Loma Sanitation District
Field Supervisor
Collection System Maintenance Grade IV, earned 1995
Technical Certification Program Chair and CWEA Boardmember

This year is CWEA’s Technical Certification Program's 75th year anniversary. TCP has grown from offering one professional certification back in 1937 (then called Voluntary Certification Program) to 24 certifications in 2012. Thousands of certifications are earned and renewed by water professionals annually throughout California and in Michigan, Missouri and Hawaii. CWEA keeps up with demands from the industry and remains ahead of the curve by offering computer-based testing and by investing in re-validating a vocation test each year. This is to make sure the test content remains effective to the industry it serves.

The future of the program remains bright as we continue to provide the best wastewater certification program in the west. Help us celebrate 75 years of TCP by sharing a testimonial like Lenny's above on the E-bulletin.


Amendments to Operator Certification Program Regulations Proposed
From Hugh Logan, CWEA WEF Delegate Director

The State Water Board’s Office of Operator Certification (SWRCB) recently published proposed amendments to regulations for Wastewater Treatment Plant Classification, and Operator Certification, and Contract Operator Registration.  The update to these regulations has been long anticipated and significant changes are expected.  The package is available on the Op Cert website:

CWEA plays an active role with the SWRCB's Operator Certification and Training Advisory Committee and in providing training to Operators throughout the State.  CWEA recommends two nominees to the Advisory Committee.  Two CWEA Operators, Hugh Logan and Chris Berch, currently serve on the Advisory Committee.  They  provide input to the State on a regular basis and keep the CWEA State Board up-to-date on pending changes and issues.

We believe the proposed changes will be significant and encourage all stakeholders to review and comment during the public comment period, which is now underway.  Public written comments are due July 30th. Please share widely in local section newsletters, website and in committee meetings.

The proposed regulations include changes to the definitions section (such as “Full Time” and “Lone Operator”), new concepts (such as  “Dedicated Operator In Charge” and “Provisional Operator”), and  extensions for Operators-In –Training (OITs) to gain required experience. This update is comprehensive and should be reviewed by all interested parties.

The CWEA State Board expects to provide written input to the SWRCB during the Public Comment period and encourages individuals to participate directly with the SWRCB as they see fit.   Many public agencies will also decide if it is in their best interest to provide agency-specific input, or join with other agencies for a unified response. Once the amendments to the regulations are codified, CWEA will work with the Office of Operator Certification to provide training workshops throughout the state at our upcoming training events. 

We encourage individual Operators to get involved with the CWEA Operator & Maintenance Training Committee and help formulate training programs to help Operators comply with the new regulations.  Contact CWEA’s O&M Training Committee Chair Donald Hurdle, with Southern California Edison, at


CWEA Awards Program Kicks Off July 1

Awards forms for 2012 will be available online by July 1. Please make sure to turn in your banquet dates and plaque orders as soon as you’ve made your installation and awards decisions. Contact Victoria Rawson with banquet questions and to schedule the President’s attendance. Contact Lola Dvorak to order your awards plaques.

Applying for an award takes time, which is becoming increasingly scarce as resources decline. However, participating in the CWEA awards program should be a priority for all water environment professionals. Participation is valuable because it:

  • Acknowledges team and individual excellence.
  • Boosts employee morale and agency pride.
  • Celebrates and recognizes good work.
  • Benchmarks accomplishments in the field.
  • Analyzes and evaluates annual progress.
  • Raises organizational profile in the community – and with ratepayers, public officials and board members.
  • Gives the media something constructive to report. Free positive publicity.
  • Increases results and productivity though friendly competition.
  • Attracts and retains talent. Adds a vote of confidence for new hires. Helps identify best candidates.
  • Reinforces agency and industry direction. Adds credibility to claims of excellence in regards to environmental record, public health or employee safety, among many others.


How to Get More Impact from Online Newsletters

Due to the expensive and time-consuming process of publishing a print newsletter, more and more groups – including most CWEA local sections – are saving resources by communicating to members via electronic newsletters. Local sections and committees are using a wide range of distribution methods including listserves like Yahoo groups, mailing and web design services like Constant Contact, emails with .pdf attachments and messages sent through social media like Facebook. Whichever method you’ve chosen, here are some tips for e-newsletter success.

  1. Make it personal. Consider including a note from the president or the editor to put a human face on your content.
  2. Keep it short. Messages online need to be shorter (and sweeter?) than in print. We’re addicted to our in-boxes, but we get so many messages that we scan quickly to pick out what’s relevant.
  3. Picture it. A photo says a million words and can break up text for an easier read.
  4. Gather a team. While you may still want a point person, many hands make light work. An extra set of eyes helps catch type-os, check links and come up with snappy headlines.
  5. Ask for feedback. Find out what subscribers would like to see in future e-newsletters. Ask them what they like and dislike about your current e-newsletter.
While we’re on the topic…Do you find Leader Link useful? What content do you want to see? Would you prefer that it was in an interactive blog format like E-bulletin so you could share your comments and best practices? Let us know by dropping a line to .


Regional Committee Meetings

Don't forget that the summer regional committee meetings will feature leadership training from CWEA Board Member Connie Leonard. We'll also share a new resource - a CWEA style guide - to help you communicate the value of your volunteer efforts. Check the dates in the calendar below and bring ideas for more ways the regional committees can serve you!

Learn more about David Stoops, the new Northern Regional Committee Chair, from his recent note to NRC members:
First of I would like to introduce myself as the incoming NRC Chair, as Rick Staggs is now the Past Chair. We also now have Steve Caswell from Carollo Engineers as the incoming Vice Chair and Polly Villareal from EBMUD as the committee Secretary.

My name is David Stoops and I am the Operations Manager for the City of Livermore. I have been in the wastewater field for now going on 20 years and have been fortunate to work at several different plants in the San Francisco Bay Area in many different capacities. The one common in all of my career has been my association with CWEA. From my first involvement with CWEA as a young operator, I recognized that what made CWEA a great organization was the many wastewater professionals that donated their time to increasing the knowledge of others. Today, that still holds true with the time that each one of you spend volunteering your time.

Make a difference and meet other water environment professionals at the next Regional Committee meeting near you.
Contact Barbara Langley in the South and David Stoops in the North.


Students and Young Professionals' Website Launched
From Amanda Schmidt, Students and Young Professionals Chair

Attention young and seasoned professionals! The SYP committee has a new website to showcase topics of interest to you. We've got links to topics such as how to attend the Annual Conference, apply for an award or scholarship, submit to our student paper competition or start an SYP chapter near you. Check it out and get involved today.

STAFF CONTACTS - 510-382-7800
  Staff Concierge: 
Lola Dvorak
Contact Lola if you need help and don't know who to contact.  



Latasha King x 110


Awards, Publications & Advertising
Lola Dvorak
  x 114


Local Sections & Committees

Chris Lundeen  x 104

Board Meetings

Victoria Rawson  x 113



Renu x 102



Elaine Fuller x 109


Conferences & Exhibits

Julie Taylor x 103

Leadership Reference Materials Online
Local Section Orientation Packet: 
Committee & Liaison Orientation Packet: 
Leadership Web Pages:

Leadership Calendar      





June 28 CWEA Leaders CWEA Northern Regional Committee Meeting David Stoops
June 29-30 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
July 11 CWEA Leaders CWEA Southern Regional Committee Meeting Barbara Langley
September 12 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
September 12-14 CWEA Members 2012 Northern Regional Training Conference Julie Taylor
January 25 & 26 CWEA Board of Directors CWEA Board Meeting Victoria Rawson
Full CWEA Event Calendar
Leader Link: Linking Local Sections, Committees, Board Liaisons, and Past Presidents
For more info contact us at