Outgoing President’s Message

By: Mary Thompson

Greetings fellow TriCounties Section members!  I hope that you had a safe and happy holiday season.  I am wishing each of you a positive and prosperous 2022.  As we closed 2021, another unprecedented year of a global pandemic, and we open 2022, I remain optimistic that we will slowly begin to recover and restore normalcy.  The Tricounties Section leadership continue to support its almost 700 members and volunteers.  We will also maintain our unwavering support for our vendors who have supported us during these challenging times.

First, I want to give a special thanks to Past President, Mark Bennett, whose leadership helped our section maintain its support for our members as we navigate a continuing pandemic. The rules changed frequently, so, we had to adapt quickly.   I want to also thank the rest of the Board of Directors for their leadership and guidance throughout 2021.  We could not have offered things like webinars, trainings, Annual Safety Meeting (Turkey of the Year) and hosting our section’s Annual Past Presidents’ Golf Tournament without them.     Other accomplishments of the TriCounties Section include contributing $5,239.28 (one of the highest amounts to date contributed by our section) to the Kirk Brooks Scholarship fund, and contributing $4000 to the CWEA’s rebranding project.  We have also sponsored several discipline based webinar trainings.  Members, kudos to you, as those topics came from member suggestions.

I have had the honor of welcoming our new P3S chairperson, Katrina Dorsey, of the City of Oxnard.  I have had the pleasure of working with Thomas Stevens, our new Flowline editor.  Joe Bernabel, who is giving our new website a fabulous makeover.   We will also bid bon voyage to Bradshaw Pruitt, who has been our two year director or 2020-21, and we welcome Thomas Welche to this role.  Thomas has been a past president, Turkey #38 and past board member.

Here is my reminder on what keeps our section one of the largest, strongest local sections in the State.  Participation. Participation. Participation.  I will forever encourage members to join the local section leadership.  I started out volunteering my time just helping out wanting to gain knowledge and network with other wastewater professionals.   Now, here I sit many years later, gaining valuable professional knowledge and long-lasting friendships.  Please reach out to any board member if you are interested in getting involved.

Hopefully we can get back to our traditionally formatted workshops and trainings, following all local and federal guidelines, of course, but in the case that we cannot, we will still support our membership by adapting to online training and providing members with available resources to be successful in certification continuation.

New Changes!

By: Mary Thompson

Greetings fellow TriCounties Section members! I hope you are all doing well.  We are excited to be hosting our Annual Past President’s Golf Tournament on Friday, October 8, 2021.  Hope to see you there.  We want to again thank the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn Golf Course, in Ojai, CA for having us there and hosting us.

Changes are coming to our Local Section Website!  The TriCounties website will be getting a facelift.  With that, I want to start featuring a “Local Section Heroes” article, recognizing some of our valued TriCounties members.  If you would like your (or a coworker’s, employee’s, etc) profile featured please contact me!

And, it’s again time to recognize the outstanding efforts your colleagues, coworkers, team members, and/or organization by submitting nominations for CWEA awards in the categories listed below. The awards nomination period is now open, and you can access it here: https://www.cwea.org/awards/

Individual Awards:

  • Collection Systems Person of the Year
  • Community Outreach Person of the Year
  • Electrical/Instrumentation Person of the Year
  • Laboratory Person of the Year
  • Mechanical Technician Person of the Year
  • Operator of the Year
  • Outstanding Young Professional of the Year
  • Pretreatment Pollution Prevention & Stormwater Person of the Year
  • Supervisor of the Year
  • Administrative Person of the Year (TriCounties Local Section Award)
  • Maintenance/Laborer Person of the Year (TriCounties Local Section Award)
  • Manager/Director of the Year (TriCounties Local Section Award)

Agency and Project Awards::

  • Collection System of the Year (Small, Medium, Large)
  • Plant of the Year (Small, Medium, Large)
  • Tertiary Recycled Water Plant of the Year (New Category!)
  • Community Engagement & Outreach – Project of the Year (Small & Large)
  • Community Engagement & Outreach – Best Use of Social Media
  • Engineering Achievement of the Year
  • Research Achievement of the Year
  • Safety Plant of the Year (Small, Medium, Large)

Let’s start getting those nominations in, the Tricounties nominations deadline is November 1, 2021!

New CWEA Award Category

By: Mary Thompson
July 30, 2021

CWEA’S Plant of the Year award recognizes accomplishments in compliance, innovative practices, cost effectiveness, and superior plant performance in small, medium and large categories.

New for 2021 the Leadership Committee is proud to introduce a new category “Tertiary Recycled Water Plant of the Year.” For purposes of the statewide Plant of the Year competition, applicants applying under the “Tertiary Recycled Water” category above will not compete in the small, medium or large categories.

For this year, the new award will use the same treatment plant of the year online application, simply select the fourth category “Tertiary Recycled Water (w/o solids handling).”

Will your recycled water plant win CWEA’s inaugural award?

By Mary Thompson

Greetings fellow Members and Volunteers.  Before I became active in CWEA, since 2005, I participated as a member and attended many workshops in my local area, and even some of the larger events outside of my area.  Through the years, I have been able to network with other industry professionals, and gained knowledge from them all.  I have seen the fruits of countless hours of planning and collaboration to host training events that are beneficial to folks both seasoned professionals, and entry level persons just starting out in our field.  I became involved in CWEA because I wanted to give back to this tight-knit community.  Early in my career, I worked in the Laboratory and then moving to Pretreatment.  I was humbled to be invited to join the Board of Directors a few years back and it has been will be my honor to serve the section as its President.   I have big shoes to fill as TriCounties Local Section remains one of the largest, most active sections in the state.

As we closed 2020, an unprecedented year of a global pandemic, and we open 2021, I remain optimistic that we will slowly begin to recover and restore normalcy.  The Tricounties Section leadership will continue to support its almost 700 members and volunteers.  We will also maintain our unwavering support for our vendors who have supported us during these challenging times.

First, I want to give a special thanks to our outgoing President, Mark Bennett, whose leadership helped our section maintain its support for our members throughout the beginning of the pandemic.  I want to thank the rest of the Board of Directors for their leadership and guidance throughout the years.  I want also thank our committee chairs (Mr. Pujol, and Mr. Offerman, as their words of wisdom keep us on our toes).

Hopefully we can get back to our traditionally formatted workshops and trainings, following all local and federal guidelines, of course, but in the case that we cannot, we will still support our membership by adapting to online training and providing members with available resources to be successful in certification continuation.