Livermore-Amador Valley Water Management Agency (LAVWMA) has sent a letter to the state legislature stating its opposition to SB 332.
The measure , called the Local Water Reliability Act, would reduce the amount of treated wastewater dumped into the ocean each year, and set goals for recycling and reuse. It was introduced by Senators Bob Hertzberg and Scott Wiener
Pleasanton City Councilmember Julie Testa, who represents the city on the LAVWMA board, reported the action to the council at its May 21 meeting, She said that meeting the requirements of the legislation would cost the agency $50 million. The cost would be passed on to ratepayers, she stated.
LAVWMA provides wastewater treatment and disposal services to its member agencies: City of Livermore, City of Pleasanton, and Dublin San Ramon Services District. All flows that are not recycled by LAVWMA agencies are discharged into San Francisco Bay.
Wastewater treatment agencies would have to reduce their discharges by 50% by January 1, 2030, and by 95% by January 1, 2040. The bill would declare that discharge from ocean outfalls is a “waste and unreasonable use” of water, and impose penalties of $2,000/acre-foot of water discharged above the reduction requirement.
The letter was sent to Ben Allen, Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
The letter reads in part, "LAVWMA and its member agencies support the goal of maximizing recycled water for beneficial reuse in California.
"We believe that while the goal of increasing water recycling in California is laudable, a mandate on every ocean and bay discharger in the state is simply unworkable. . . . In our case, without going to direct potable reuse, the requirements of SB 332 could not be met. Even then, we would still need to discharge wet weather flows and brine from reverse osmosis treatment. It simply is not feasible to meet the mandates of SB 332.
"Even if the proposal were economically feasible, pursuing the effort could undermine other important statewide goals, such as producing more affordable housing and reducing air emissions that cause climate change."