Recorded Webinar: Managing Collection Systems During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Collection Systems, Technology and Innovation


COVID-19 in CA free Webinar – Collection Systems and Coronavirus Pandemic was held on Wednesday, April 15th. The webinar is supported by HDR.

Phil Scott and Sergio Ramirez are utility leaders with the West Bay Sanitary District in the Bay Area. They discuss the procedures and PPE protections their agency is using. They discuss practices they were already using and the importance of following procedures.

Jennifer Seguin is the Division Manager for the Sanitary and Storm Sewer Maintenance Program for City of San José. She discusses the procedures and PPE protections her agency is taking.

Curtis Smith from the Verbal Judo Institute shares quick tips to de-escalate and persuade residents into compliance or understanding.  When the public or media approaches you at a work site what should you do? If you need to go near or into a residence, how do you keep yourself, your team and the resident safe?

In the West Bay Sanitary presentation, Phil covers:

  • Public Announcements
  • Protocols
  • Training provided

And Sergio covers:

  • Field Operations
  • Suspending CCTV and Construction
  • Educate Staff and Calm Nerves


  • Phil Scott, District Manager, West Bay Sanitary District, Past President of CWEA
  • Jennifer Seguin, Division Manager, City of San José
  • Sergio Ramirez, Operations Superintendent, West Bay Sanitary District, Past President Santa Clara Valley Section of CWEA
  • Curtis Smith, Senior National Instructor, Verbal Judo Institute
  • Moderator – Rachél Lather, Carmel Area Wastewater District and Vice Chair, CWEA Collection Systems Committee

Thank you to our webinar supporter

Photos Shared by Members

Speaker Bios

Rachél Lather has been a Civil Engineer for over 36 years with 23 of those years in water and wastewater. She retired from the County of Santa Cruz as the Sanitation Engineer in 2015 and worked part time while pursuing other interests. She was appointed and later elected to the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors in 2017 and she has been supporting the use of indirect potable reuse and stormwater for groundwater replenishment at the District. As a Board member, she was recently elected to be a LAFCO Commissioner in Santa Cruz County. In 2018, an opportunity to work as the Principal Engineer for Carmel Area Wastewater District brought her back to working full time in the public sector. She is enjoying working with the Collections Superintendent to be proactive and efficient in the pursuit of excellence for sewer system management.

Sergio Ramirez has been in the wastewater industry for over 26 years. The last 9 years he’s been the Operation Superintendent for West Bay Sanitary District in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to to this we worked with City of Foster City and Castro Valley Sanitary District. He holds Collection System Maintenance Grade IV certification and is a few classes away from completing his Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the School of Business & Management at Notre Dame de Namur University.

Phil Scott is District Manager at West Bay Sanitary District since February 2010. Phil has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and has a CWEA Grade 4 in Collection System Maintenance, DHS T2 in Water Treatment, and DHS D4 in Water Distribution. He has been in the wastewater business since 1981 and is very excited to unveil the District’s first satellite Recycled Water Treatment Facility in Menlo Park at the Sharon Heights Golf Club.

Jennifer Seguin manages the City of San José’s 125-person Sewer Maintenance Division The team, which is part of the Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure Maintenance group, consists of civil engineers and field staff who team ensure sewage is collected from homes and businesses and safely transported to the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility and stormwater is conveyed to local waterways to prevent flooding. Field staff maintain, clean, and repair more than 2,000 miles of sanitary sewer and 1,000 of separate storm sewer lines, 50 storm and sanitary pump stations, and a variety of large and small trash capture devices.  The City’s in-house street sweeping team is also part of the group.

Jennifer has more than 21 years of public service experience including a 17-year career with the City of San José managing the Infrastructure Maintenance Sewer Maintenance Division, Trash Load Reduction team, Wastewater Pollution Prevention team, Commercial Waste Management team, and the Green Building and Climate Action team, and four years with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Eleven (11) years of increasingly responsible management experience which includes serving as the Division Manager of the City of San José’s Sanitary and Storm Sewer Maintenance Program.  Part of the Department of Transportation, the approximately 120-person team ensures sewage is collected from homes and businesses and safely transported to the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility and stormwater is conveyed to local waterways to prevent flooding. Ms. Seguin also has 15 years of experience in high-tech engineering, sales, and marketing.

Curtis Smith grew up in a violent gang-oriented area of Los Angeles, became a cowboy in Oregon before starting a 32-year career with Oregon State Parks. As a Ranger, Enforcement Officer, manager and trainer, Curtis helped create a highly effective enforcement program and POST Academy. He worked all over Oregon in parks, cared for the Oregon beaches, worked as a legislative liaison, planner, operations analyst, and participated in a Ranger Exchange with South Australia.

As a certified Verbal Judo and Defensive Tactics Instructor for 18 years, Curtis now works full-time for the Verbal Judo Institute training government agencies, security, Health Care, Business & Industry for front-line staff through executives all over America. The program specializes on using techniques to control our own emotions under stress, de-escalate others and persuade them into compliance.

Thank You HDR

Thank you to our webinar supporter