Award Nomination Applications open July 1st!

By: Kaitie Gellerman, President for 2022
July 1st, 2022

Hello San Francisco Bay Members!

I can’t believe we are already halfway through the year! In the past six months, members of our section have successfully attended conferences, dinner meetings, Professional Development Committee events, O&M Committee Events, Students and Young Professional events, Safety Committee meetings, and much more. I wanted to provide you with some updates for our section and for CWEA.

Upcoming SF Bay Section Events:
SYP Happy Hour – Thursday, July 14th
Collections TCP – August 10th
Member Appreciation Baseball Game and Tailgate – Friday, August 19th (flyer)
Northern Safety Day – September 14th

Note: All CWEA events can be found on the CWEA Website.

Awards Nominations:
Awards applications open on July 1st. The application process requires a bit of effort to nominate individuals, agencies and others, so please start the process early! You can read about the awards here: Awards | California Water Environment Association (

New SFBS Treasurer:
The SFBS Board would like to welcome Amanda Roa, the Environmental Programs Manager with Delta Diablo, as our newly appointed treasurer.

The San Francisco Bay Section is always looking for volunteers. If you are tight on time, there are still opportunities to help out. Reach out to any SFBS Board member if you are interested. There is also a section on the CWEA website that can link you to additional volunteer opportunities: Volunteering | California Water Environment Association (

CWEA has implemented a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force to encourage diversity in the water sector. An outcome of this task force is something called JEDI openers. JEDI Openers are stories shared by CWEA members that can help raise awareness of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) topics. Any CWEA member can submit stories and use others’ stories on the site to share at CWEA events. CWEA JEDI-Openers | California Water Environment Association (

If you have any questions, recommendations, comments or concerns, feel free to reach out to me or any SFBS Board members directly. The San Francisco Bay Section is your section, and we want your voice to be heard!

Kaitie Gellerman 

Announcing 2021 CWEA SFBS Award Winners!

By: Michael Walkowiak, President for 2021
February 15, 2022

Join me in congratulating the San Francisco Bay Section’s award winners for 2021! The diligence and pride demonstrated by the winners are keys to keeping our section strong. Thank you for your efforts and contributions toward achieving CWEA’s mission in the Bay Area.

Except for the winners of awards that are specific to the San Francisco Bay Section (Andy Stamatelos Special Service Award and Al Ditman Professional Development Award), the winners will go on to compete against winners from other sections at CWEA’s 2022 Annual Conference and Expo schedule for April 11-14 in Sacramento. I hope to see you there.

It is never too early to think about nominating your agency or colleagues for 2022 awards. The window for submitting nominations will open this summer. Watch for notifications soon.

— Mike Walkowiak, President for 2021

2021 Award Winners:

(Click hyperlink to jump to location of awardee with their photo on this page.)

Ironhouse Sanitary District, Strategic Plan 2021
Community Engagement and Outreach: Project of the Year – Large


Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, 75th Anniversary Experience
Community Engagement and Outreach: Project of the Year – Small


John Springer, City of Burlingame
Collection System Person of the Year


Rodeo Sanitary District, Headworks Fine Screening Facility Addition
Engineering Achievement


Janice Chapman, City of South San Francisco
Laboratory Person of the Year


South San Francisco – San Bruno Water Quality Control Plant
Plant of the Year – Medium


Ironhouse Sanitary District, Water Recycling Facility
Plant of the Year – Small


City of Brentwood
Tertiary Recycled Water Plant of the Year


Irene Lui-Wong, East Bay Municipal Utility District
Supervisor of the Year


Chathura Abeyrathna, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
Outstanding Young Professional of the Year


Jamie Johnson, California State Water Resources Control Board
Andy Stamatelos Special Service Award


Kevin Jim, East Bay Municipal Utility District
Al Ditman Professional Development Award

Hello San Francisco Bay Section Members!

By: Kaitie Gellerman
January 25, 2022

On Friday, January 14, the new SFBS Board was sworn in, and I am officially your SFBS President for 2022. I am so excited to follow in our past presidents’ footsteps along with our new board members to bring you this year’s events. We are looking forward to the year ahead and are carefully planning out events to support you in your educational and networking needs while keeping health and safety top of mind. In February, we will continue to host our shelter-in-place lunchtime presentations with the hopes of returning to Thursday night dinner meetings in the near future. In addition, the Students and Young Professionals Committee will be hosting another virtual career fair. I invite each of you to get involved and engage with these events and our others over the course of the year.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any suggestions or questions you might have.

Happy New Year!

— Kaitie Gellerman

2022 Board Members:

President: Kaitie Gellerman, Black & Veatch
Vice President: Tyree Jackson, City of Oakland
Program Chair: Nick Steiner, Delta Diablo Sanitary District
Secretary: Claire O’Brien, Brown and Caldwell
Treasurer: Laurie Brenner, Union Sanitary District
Past President: Mike Walkowiak, Brown and Caldwell

Top left clockwise: Mike Walkowiak (Past President, Brown and Caldwell), Kaitie Gellerman (President, Black & Veatch), Claire O’Brien (Secretary, Brown and Caldwell), Nick Steiner (Program Chair, Delta Diablo Sanitary District), Tyree Jackson (Vice President, City of Oakland), Laurie Brenner (Treasurer, Union Sanitary District), Inset: Arvind Akela (CWEA President, Silicon Valley Clean Water)

Online Voting for 2022 CWEA SFBS Board of Director Open

By: Michael Walkowiak
December 9, 2021

Greetings fellow San Francisco Bay Section members! Thank you for participating in our call for Board of Director nominees. We would like you to vote for the position. A picture and biography of our candidate is below. This year we had one submission for Secretary.

Candidate’s Statement:

The CWEA SFBS is a vibrant section, and I am fortunate to have served the Section for 4 years through committee participation and leadership. I am a civil engineer with 8 years of water/wastewater experience and a previous member of NYWEA and IWEA and am now seeking your vote as the next member of the SFBS Board in continuation of my service. I have been active in the Section through the Professional Development Committee where I served as chair and vice chair. That experience helped me continue my ongoing education in the water/wastewater industry, learn about innovative topics, stay up to date on Bay Area permit regulations and projects, and most importantly form meaningful professional connections in the Bay Area. This section is full of committed members organizing many exciting events each year. As the newest board member, I would request your ideas and input to ensure our Section is fulfilling the needs of its committees and members. I would be honored to serve on the CWEA SFBS Board to continue to grow connections in our industry and participation in our committees, dinner meetings, career fairs, seminars, and lunch time webinars.

Candidate’s Contact Information:

Claire O’Brien
Brown and Caldwell
Associate Environmental Engineer
[email protected]

Schedule for selecting new Board member:

  • Voting: December 9 through December 31, 2021

Voting Process:

  • All registered CWEA SFBS Member as of December 9, 2021 will receive an email through our newsletter software, Constant Contact.
  • The election is open until December 31, 2020.
  • Members will receive an email which contains a ballot for voting, it is tied to the address you have on file with us.
  • You must vote from the email you receive, we will only send it once.
  • Do not forward this email.
  • Each “select” link is specially coded to link directly back to your email address.
  • Results are tracked on a per-email address basis.

We thank you for taking part in our San Francisco Bay Section Board of Directors election. Results will be announced at our Annual Awards Banquet in 2022 (via email and posted on our website).

Nominations Open for New San Francisco Bay Section Board Member

By: Michael Walkowiak
November 15, 2021

Greetings fellow San Francisco Bay Section members! Following our tradition, we are seeking nominations for a new member to join the SFBS Board of Directors starting in 2022. We welcome nominations from any member who has the desire to uphold CWEA’s mission: empowering, educating and connecting water professionals to protect public health and the environment.

The successful candidate will collaborate with other Board members and committees and remain a member of the Board through a five-year rotation, starting as Secretary and advancing yearly to Program Director, Vice President, President, and Past President. Board membership affords excellent opportunities to champion CWEA’s mission while supporting professional growth and networking with other water professionals.

Schedule for selecting new Board member:

  • Deadline for nominations: December 8, 2021
  • Voting: December 9 through December 31, 2021

How to submit a nomination: email the following to [email protected] by the nomination deadline:

  • Candidate’s statement: Describe your interest in joining the SFBS Board, what you hope to accomplish as a Board member, your history of participation in CWEA and WEF, including involvement at the local, state, and national levels if applicable, professional experience, and any other pertinent items. The statement should not exceed 200 words.
  • Photograph of candidate
  • Candidate’s contact information: Name, employer, job title, phone number, and email address.

August President’s Update

By: Michael Walkowiak
August 1, 2021

Greetings fellow San Francisco Bay Section members! 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:

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

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)

New CWEA Award Category

By: Michael Walkowiak
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?

President’s Message

By: Michael Walkowiak
May 18, 2021

Greetings fellow San Francisco Bay Section members!

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the tremendous contributions from volunteers (i.e., your colleagues) who make the San Francisco Bay Section so successful. Our section is one of the largest and most active in CWEA due largely to efforts from members just like you. Our volunteers continually plan and implement outstanding training, educational, and networking events that build the skills of our members now and enhance the sustainability of the clean water profession over the long term. Kudos!

The committees that make up our section are always looking for new volunteers to provide fresh perspectives and carry the baton through the coming era. Are you curious about joining and contributing to one of our committees? If so, please reach out to me, other board members, or the leaders of the committee that interests you by clicking these links:

Collection Systems Committee
Communications Committee
Laboratory Committee
Operations and Maintenance Committee
Professional Development Committee
Safety Committee
Student and Young Professionals Committee
Technical Certification Program Committee

Thanks for your support,

Mike Walkowiak
President, CWEA San Francisco Bay Section

2021 Presidents Letter

By: Michael Walkowiak
Februrary 16, 2021

Greetings fellow San Francisco Bay Section members! I’m excited to serve you as President of the SFBS for 2021. The Board of Directors and committees have already started planning a full year of educational, training, and networking events that we will roll out throughout the coming months. Our aim is to continue the proud legacy of CWEA while maintaining safety during the COVID pandemic. We will continue conducting near-term events virtually, but we hope to return to face-to-face group events later this year.

To kick things off, the Student and Young Professionals Committee will host a virtual career fair on Tuesday March 30th. This virtual format is something new we are trying to connect prospective employers and employees. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m optimistic that this will be a great event for all involved. We hope you can join us.

Please feel free to reach out to me, other board members, or committee chairs if you have any ideas for making this year even more successful.

Mike Walkowiak

From the President’s Desk

By: Dennis Lambert
January 11, 2021

As we turn the page on the most challenging year that was 2020 and my tenure as President comes to a close, I am very pleased to give you the good news that the people have spoken. By that I mean the people of the San Francisco Bay Section. We have elected our newest board members, Nick Steiner from Delta Diablo Sanitary District as our incoming secretary and Laurie Brenner of Union Sanitary District as our new Treasurer.

Laurie Brenner – Treasurer
Union Sanitary District

Nick Steiner – Secretary
Delta Diablo Sanitary District

Please join me in welcoming the future leaders of the SFBS!

Best wishes for a healthy New year, take care, stay safe, protect yourselves, your loved ones and our communities.

Dennis Lambert
SFBS – President