TSD O&M Supervisor Matt Ruge applying novel product on a manhole 

Truckee Sanitary District (TSD) Receives 2021 WEFTEC Operator Ingenuity Award

Technology and Innovation

The Truckee Sanitary District (TSD) is proud to announce that it has received the 2021 WEFTEC Operator Ingenuity Award from the Water Environment Federation. The award recognizes TSD for developing a novel product to reduce infiltration and inflow in the sewer collection system thus preventing spills, backups, regulatory fines, and worker injuries. The product was developed in-house by TSD employees looking for better solution to the problem of storm water overloading the collection system during large rain events.

According to TSD General Manager, Blake Tresan, “our operators came up with an ingenious idea of repurposing an existing plumbing product used for the water industry to effectively seal sewer manholes”. TSD then reached out to the manufacturer of the plumbing product, Oatey Co., through their website to let them know of the market potential of this repurposed product for the sewer industry. Tresan was impressed, “Oatey responded immediately and worked with TSD to refine the product.” TSD and Oatey have now filed a patent on the product and entered into a royalty agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, TSD will receive unlimited product for its own use plus a percentage of gross sales over a 5-year period. The product, called Hercules MH Shutout, is expected to become commercially available in February of 2022. In the meantime, TSD staff plan to present their findings at local, state, and national wastewater conferences.

Although no royalties have been received to date, the TSD Board took action at their November 2021 meeting directing staff to utilize any proceeds from the royalty agreement to support continued innovation as well as towards community outreach and educational activities, including the annual TSD Environmental Leadership Scholarship for Truckee area high school graduates.