COVID-19 Information

The District’s 33-acre wastewater treatment plant continues its 24/7 operations during the regional shelter-in-place order. As an essential public utility, we have staffing and contingency plans in place to continue our vital service to the Tri-Cities during these extraordinary circumstances.

Our treatment process is operating normally, which in general is effective in killing most if not all viruses and pathogens. All water treated at USD is disinfected before it leaves the wastewater treatment plant and is released into the environment. 

If you are experiencing a sewer emergency, please call (510) 477-7500. The District's main phone number will be answered by reception staff during normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and by treatment plant staff after hours. We encourage all non-urgent questions be directed to contactusd@unionsanitary.ca.gov. Emails to this address will receive a response within three business days.

USD strives to meet customer needs while protecting the public and our employees’ health and doing our part to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The District's Administrative offices are open during normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and permit counter service continues to be provided. Adjustments to customer service at the permit counter are in place as many employees are working remotely in response to the shelter-in-place order. To comply with the order's instructions for social distancing, the lobby security gate will be closed. The front desk receptionist can easily communicate through the gate and direct visitors seeking permits to speak to District Engineering Technicians via telephone. Calls can be made via customers' personal phones or a land line located in USD's lobby.

Plans can be dropped off at a table in the lobby for review. The Receptionist can accept payments via credit card (MC/VISA) or by check. At this time, customer service staff will continue to make every effort to process plan reviews normally.

Communications and instructions from county public health agencies regarding the shelter-in-place order continue to evolve as new information arises. USD will update customers if any further adjustments to Administrative office hours or plan review and permitting processes are required.

 

USD Issues Bonds to Refinance Debt at Historically Low Interest Rates

USD recently sold bonds to refinance over $37 million in existing debt at lower interest rates, saving more than $2.2 million dollars. The savings will be applied toward funding the District’s extensive Capital Improvement Program, which is more than $1 billion dollars over the next 20 years.

“Although the District has taken advantage of low-interest loans through the state and federally funded Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) program for many years, a historically favorable bond market prompted staff to explore alternative financing methods that would further save money,” says General Manager Paul Eldredge. “This is part of our commitment to keep expenses down and plan for the future in a way that has the most benefit to ratepayers.

The average interest rate on USD’s original SRF loans was 2.415%. Refinancing brought the rate down to 1.419%. The District’s Capital Improvements Program includes upgrades and improvements to address issues such as higher solids in wastewater that strain the system and make treatment more complicated and costly, increasingly stringent treatment standards, and aging infrastructure that, while well-maintained, has reached the end of its useful life.

“The District’s ability to take advantage of this opportunity is a reflection of USD’s focus on thorough capital and fiscal planning to meet both near-term and long-term challenges,” says Eldredge. “The District’s professional and efficient operations, finances, administration, and governance resulted in favorable credit ratings and investor interest that helps USD to continue providing quality service at the best value for our customers."

 

 

USD Wins Financial Reporting Award

GFOA

USD was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for our comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government agency and its management.

The Certificate of Achievement was presented to USD's Finance and Acquisition Services Team (FAST), which had primary responsibility for preparing the award-winning CAFR. An impartial panel found the District's CAFR to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate USD's financial story.

 

Union Sanitary District’s Leadership School Receives National Recognition

USD staff with Award

Union Sanitary District’s Leadership School program recently received a National Environmental Achievement Award for workforce development from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA.) NACWA is a nationwide network of public wastewater and stormwater agencies that share a mission to provide affordable and sustainable clean water for the communities they serve.  

USD established the program to prepare our future leaders and support long-term succession planning. “Like many organizations, the District is frequently faced with retirements of experienced staff that can be challenging to backfill in this competitive labor market,” says General Manager Paul Eldredge. “USD’s Leadership School was conceived as an opportunity to develop internal candidates who could not only fill these positions, but like their predecessors, become strong industry leaders. Conversely, participants may discover that management is not for them. This program provides employees the chance to consider the career path that best suits their interests.”  

The Leadership School’s two-year course is a blend of learning opportunities. Participants complete external college-level business management coursework, attend in-house classes focused on USD-specific policies and processes, and are paired with executive team mentors to gain insight into what a management role at the District entails. All curriculum is developed in-house by District subject-matter experts.

“Leadership School has resulted in internal advancement opportunities that provide significant savings in training time and maintain our high productivity levels,” Eldredge says. “This helps us to continue providing customers reliable, cost-effective service.”

Photo: USD Staff Members with NACWA's NEAA Award: Treatment and Disposal Manager Armando Lopez, Organizational Performance Manager Karoline Terrazas, Human Resources Manager Gene Boucher

 

 

USD Wins Peak Performance Platinum Award

 

NACWA PEAK

USD has received the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) for the 2017 calendar year. The Platinum Award recognizes agencies that have achieved five consecutive years of 100% compliance with their regulatory permit requirements. These permit conditions are in place to protect the water quality of San Francisco Bay. Additional consecutive years are added to an agency’s Platinum Award as they are accomplished. This latest award marks the District’s ninth consecutive Platinum-winning year.

The District has been recognized by NACWA for 25 consecutive years since the award program began in 1993. “USD’s Platinum Award is an honor that reflects our level of commitment to environmental protection, as well as the hard work of District employees,” says Armando Lopez, Plant Manager. “USD’s highly-trained, dedicated staff is the reason for our success.”

General Manager Paul Eldredge notes that “Our entire staff shares in this award. I am proud of USD’s long history of recognition from NACWA for excellence and credit the efforts of our employees in maintaining our superior record.”

 

 

Sewer Repair Work at Fremont Blvd./Decoto Rd. to Begin 10 p.m. Monday July 9

bigstock Road Cones 2042105

USD is scheduled to begin sewer repair work at the intersection of Fremont Blvd. and Decoto Road on Monday, July 9, 2018, and will continue throughout the week. The work will take place between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Monday through Friday to reduce impacts to traffic in this busy intersection. Traffic controls will be in place to assist drivers navigating the roadways. If you have questions about the repair project, please contact (510) 477-7500.

 

 

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