Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Presenters at the CSD Utility Summit: From Team XiO, (left to right) Kevin Liscovitz, Eric Bempah, Ken Elias (CSD board member), and Nick Liles. (Click arrows for additional photo.)Presenters at the CSD Utility Summit: (From left to right) Jon Curry, wastewater specialist, California Rural Water Association; Omar Mostafa, compliance enforcement, State Water Resources Control Board; Cindy Oviedo, CSD general manager; and Pat Conway, educator and circuit rider, California Rural Water Association.

CSD assists Three Rivers water boards with state compliance

John Elliott


There are so many new state regulations coming out of Sacramento, it’s a wonder any of the eight Three Rivers water associations can keep up with the changes and new technology. Making timely upgrades can be the critical difference where it matters most – in the water bills of hundreds of local users in one of these service areas.
“I’ve had so many of the water boards asking me how the other boards serve their users that I felt the need to provide a forum that offered free education and networking,” said Cindy Oviedo, Three Rivers Community Services District general manager.
The first of what will be a series of forums was held Monday, March 4, at St. Anthony Retreat. The programs are open to water company operators and their volunteer board members. 
Oviedo organized the forum attended by 20 local water board reps, many who are their system’s operators. 
The principal task of the CSD is to monitor water quality. In Three Rivers that means testing samples from the Kaweah River, testing local well water and, when systems are compromised, taking steps to see that problems are corrected.
Monday’s program began with an introduction by two consultants: Pat Conway of Three Rivers, educator and wastewater specialist, and Jon Curry, capacity development specialist. Both work for the California Rural Water Association; Conway assists local volunteers and professionals in preparing for the tests needed to become licensed. 
As a part of their session, Omar Mostafa gave a brief presentation and answered compliance questions. Mostafa, based in Fresno, is a compliance and enforcement specialist with the local region of the California State Water Resources Control Board.
The final session of the forum was a presentation by three team members of XiO, an industry innovator in the automation of water users and their associations. After upgrading to one of their SCADA systems, an operator can control and monitor their system via a cell phone or tablet.
The SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system helps the water companies meet regulations, improve efficiency, reduce operating costs, and gain insights into where potential problems might occur. 
Since they were introduced in 2008, SCADA systems have been used in drinking water, wastewater disposal, and agricultural water applications. While the XiO team was in Three Rivers, they inspected the facilities of several companies that either have SCADA systems or are considering upgrading to the smart technology.
More forums are in the works. For information, contact the CSD office at (559) 561-3480.